Ballymena artist Lilla Vargen (the name means Little Wolf in Swedish) really came into her own last year with the songs ‘Hold On’ and a cover of Majical Cloudz’ ‘Downtown’.
For her first song of 2018, ‘Believe Me’ addresses a messed-up relationship that happened at the wrong time in her life but had a lasting effect on the songwriter. “I never really sung before until I sung about you,” she sings.
The song is a confident step forward for a developing artist. It was written in West Cork with Nick Rayner.
“It was inspired by a friendship that was quite complicated. I let that person down before and I was determined not to do it again. The only way I could explain myself, to let them know I was ready to let my guard down, was to put my words down on paper, and post the letter.”
Northern Irish artist Lilla Vargen has this past few months, burst into life with her live performances and a debut single. It has been a most welcome activity as the song and shows have resonated and she’s not ready to stop there.
Majical Cloudz’s ‘Downtown’ is already a devastatingly effective song in the hand’s of the now defunct Canadian duo. Lilla Vargen’s version doesn’t change much of the original’s as it doesn’t need much work. Instead, she heightens the song’s backing arrangements and sings the song in her own way.
Lilla Vargen on Downtown:
“I think it’s one of the most honest love songs I have ever heard. When I listened to it first, I just understood it straight away. The simplicity of the song speaks volumes. I heard it again on that show The OA recently and I just sort of knew I wanted to cover it. I wasn’t sure how it would sound but when I got to the studio with Nick and we started to plan it out, it all came together really quickly.”
Lilla Vargen is an Northern Irish artist who appeared with some interesting demos a couple of years ago and who played at Hard Working Class Heroes in 2015, but who has taken the time to develop her songwriting and music over the last while.
She plays HWCH once more this Friday at the Tara Building this weekend, and as such it’s the perfect time to share some music she’s been working on.
‘Hold On’ is an emotionally resonant song written as a caution to a close friend not to get too carried away in new love and produced by Nick Raynor.
‘Hold On’ released via Feel Good Lost – on Friday September 29, with her debut EP to follow soon after.
This year’s Hard Working Class Heroes lineup of new bands is a tough one. Primarily because there are so many new bands to see for the first time and secondly, because the quality of those unseen is greater than in previous years. This year, the tracks on the Breaking Tunes profiles are well-produced and suggest that there are more bands and artists more clued in to How Music Works than ever.
Here are 20 new bands to see this weekend, I capped it at 6 bands per day. Some of last year’s picks are also playing the festival for further investigation so they weren’t featured here (Rusangano Family / Dear Desert / Buffalo Woman and more).
It was only last year at the festival where Hare Squead really became known at their Meeting House Square gig. Since then, the Dublin trio have been expanding their sound of rap, R&B, soul and pop music with a full live band show that’s really starting to hit home and gel. With a couple of years more experience, these guys could be huge. On a similiar style-tip, Stay Gold in the same venue are a band following a similar path.
A new Kildare duo, David “Monty” Montgomery and Conor Cuffe only formed less than a year ago but with a tropical dance track called Waiting hanging around, they are doing something decidedly more pop than a lot on this list and are worthy of further investigation.
With over 90,000 plays on Spotify for just two songs, the Cork-born, Liverpool-based singer-songwriter has the metrics on his side. It’s the songs that matter though and his most recent single ‘Take It In’ impresses with its production by Scandinavian duo Boxes that takes a singer-songwriter style in a more atmospheric direction.
Celtic-influenced harmony folk world or “atmosfolk” as Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre call it. Their debut EP is released next month and the music so far has had a pleasing ethereality to it with harmonies to the fore alongside harp tones.
The kind of sophisticated pop music that Maud In Cahoots make has a lot in common with Scandinavian pop music, The sisters Maud and Zoe Ní Riordáin and band have also showed some interesting initiative by placing their songs in a theatrical show context. The new single ‘Cure For The Crazy’ is their career best track.