Fox Colony – Fragile: An 11-minute snapshot of modern love and life

A cold, windy night on Tuesday 11th September. A night where you couldn’t be blamed for wanting to sit in with a cuppa, but that’s not how things work in Belfast. The sesh was calling, and Fox Colony were dropping their new EP ‘Fragile’ in Voodoo – how could you ever pass it up?! An impressive crowd thought just the same, and braced the elements to witness an evening of live bliss and musical energy.

A jaw-dropping line-up featuring some of the ‘best-bits’ of the local Northern Irish music scene helped make this launch one to remember. Derry’s finest punk-rockers Cherym and our electronic queen Roe were joined on the support slots by the newcomers from the North Coast, sweater cult. The latter opened the evening with a rapturous set of rocking anthems; an impressive set for a band who only released their first tracks at the end of June. Cherym then came on all-guns blazing, ripping through punking tune after tune as if it’s easy – a flawless set once again, but you really can’t expect anything less from the band who have been nominated for multiple Northern Ireland Music Prize awards. Another nominee for multiple NI music prize awards and another flawless perfromance came from Roe. The former QR Underground perfromer impressed once again, with a set perfecting the art of electronic pop.

The main event, the headline slot from Fox Colony, did not disappoint. The band who describe themselves as ‘fuzzy indie-pop’ came to the stage in a now-packed-out Voodoo, amidst an ecstatic applause from fans and friends alike. Playing old fan favourites such as ‘Baseball Bat’ alongside the tracks from the new EP, Fox Colony proved why so many had came along to witness their euphoric launch. ‘Fragile’ reads like an ode to modern love and life, with the title track finishing the album on a note that shows no matter how we feel, there is fragility to be found in each of us. The leading single and first track from the EP, ‘Supermarkets’, is a sweet pop-rock delight with a powerful guitar riff and¬† catchy chorus that rings out with a refrain of “I’ve been stuck in my mind / you keep taking my time / how can it be worked out / when you keep taking my time.” It’s a song that screams of modern perills, such as overuse of the internet, climate change, businesses valuing profit over employees, and toxicity in relationships, but still comes across as a fun-filled track that will get you jumping along at a gig. You can check out the new music video for the track below:

¬†Continuing into the EP, the synth intro on ‘Don’t Keep Me Here’ provides a shake-up, but doesn’t throw off the tempo of the previous tracks. Another song that will get you headbanging along at a show, and follows on well to the slower ‘Fractured’, a song fanning out from the light guitar riff that pushes it along. This is a tune that already seems to be a fan favourite, with a lot of the crowd already singing along.

The newest addition to Fox Colony’s discography is a delight and a happy welcome to the ever-growing category of ‘local bangers.’

Make sure to check the band out over on Facebook, Instagram and Twitter, and you can listen to ‘Fragile’ over on Spotify.

Post also published on Queen’s Radio: https://www.queensradio.co.uk/single-post/2018/09/12/QR-Music-Review-Fox-Colony—Fragile-An-11-minute-snapshot-of-modern-love-and-life

Why I Meditate

When you think of meditation, what comes to your mind? Is it an image similar to the one pictured above, a serene image featuring a figure sitting cross-legged, with eyes closed?

For me, this is exactly how I pictured meditation. And I ultimately thought it wasn’t for me – until I turned it into a habit.

In my last post, I talked about how I’ve recently started reading a bunch, and about how that’s changed how I feel about myself and others. Meditation has influenced me in a similar way, and can be carried out just as regularly.

I stumbled upon meditation a few years ago, thanks to the Headspace app. It was during my first year of university, I was feeling anxious and restless, and online research suggested meditation was a simple way to deal with this. I really struggled with it. Sitting in one space for 5-10 minutes a day – when it was all too easy to reach for my phone and and distract my mind by scrolling through Twitter – felt impossible.

But simply distracting my mind from difficult feelings wasn’t sustainable. Fast-forward two years, and meditation has become a part of my daily routine. Every morning I sit for 10 minutes and do nothing. Think about nothing. I just let myself, and my mind, rest and grow. As a person who has always been a worrier, someone whos mind is always going 100 miles per hour, the discipline and clarity meditation has provided me is priceless.

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At the time of writing, I am on day 17 of my meditation streak. After stopping and restarting countless times, incorporating this important tool into my daily life took a lot of work, but it has undeinably been worth it. Forcing myself to overcome classic hurdles, such as finding a quiet space and time daily to focus on the here and now, has started a rhythm that is hard to break. As noted in an article written by Oliver Burkeman for The Guardian – you need to make yourself sit down and do the damn thing, even if it seems like the hardest thing in the world.

Burkeman continues to note that most people get distracted when they start meditating, but this is not a problem. Instead, noticing when you are distracted is the whole point of meditation. Regulating your attitude and behaviour, noting when your mind has strayed from the present moment – away from focusing on the breath, the body, or a current thought – is when the habit is formed:

“Getting back on the wagon, over and over, is the practice. And good luck doing that if you haven’t fallen off first.”

And what a habit it is to form. Daily basic meditations on Headspace, led by the calm voice of Andy Puddicombe, constantly urge you to keep in mind your motivation to meditate. It constantly keeps what you focused on what you want to achieve, the change you want to see in yourself. Personally, the reason I love to meditate is that it calms my mind; although I’m not even three weeks into regular meditation, already I’m seeing changes in my concentration levels. Similarly, I’m a lot calmer than I normally am – both mentally and physically, which has helped me feel a lot closer to the people I talk to regularly.

There’s also a whole bunch of long term changes meditation can bring around. I won’t go into detail on them here, but they include: reducing stress, improving sleep, reducing anxiety and depression, and it can even change your brain. Pretty impressive for sitting with your eyes closed for 10 minutes a day.

TL;DR: I recently started meditating regularly, and am seeing a bunch of positive changes already. So, if you’re thinking of taking the plunge into mindfulness – just do it!