It was no major surprise that someone who was thoughtful in writing about music as Shane Culloty would be able to turn his hand to writing reflective music in the vein of the music featured on The Torture Garden site but it is not a given. Many have not veen able to translate their love of something to making it.
Since Shane first released music as Winter Aid in 2013, his debut song ‘ The Wisp Sings’ went on to gather 8 million streams with the majority of those on Spotify through high-profile playlists.

‘The Night is an Ocean’
 is the first Winter Aid song since that era, a gentle folk track, from an upcoming album The Murmur Of The Land out on April 28th on Bluestack Records, produced by Darragh Nolan (Sacred Animals).

“This song came out of a few difficult weeks, and I think you can hear that. There’s a lot in there about how you can be stuck with what’s in your own head, and how someone else can get you past it. The lyrics swing wildly between homespun and overwrought scenes, but in the end all is calm and as it should be.”

The beaut of a video was directed by Aneel Neupane of Kathmandu’s Jazz Productions, and was filmed in Gosaikunda in Nepal.

The song is a free download on Bandcamp.

Of The Murmur Of The Land, Culloty says the release is:

An album of songs about love and isolation, depression and recovery, The Murmur of the Land ties everything together around a central question: what do people do when faced with something – love, loss, fear – they can’t understand? And what stories do they tell to make sense of it all?

Winter Aid on Spotify.

Posted on March 6th, 2017

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It is eight years to the day since I first wrote about music on Nialler9, the first post being Kraftwerk’s Minimum Maximum live album. There were those who were doing it before me of course, and in Ireland, Shane Culloty with his site The Torture Garden, cultivated a beautifully-written, well-versed destination for indie music and became synonymous with the American indie-rock on particular: Sufjan Stevens, DM Stith, Parenthetical Girls and Final Fantasy.

Serendipitously, I received an email from Shane this morning saying that he’s been making music of his own, not just writing about it. Any fears that it could have been an awkward correspondence, or as Shane called it “a bit weird”, a blogger hitting up another blogger for coverage of their music, was quickly allayed by the pressing play on the excellent first track ‘The Wisp Sings’ from Shane’s new musical project, Winter Aid.

Watch the beautiful video by Joey Bania for the piano-ballad track. It’s always weird to hear someone you’ve talked to in real life sing for the first time but his voice is well suited to this kind of indie-folk atmospherics.

The debut Winter Aid EP features three tracks that move beyond that song’s gentle disposition with the guitar-lead ‘Within’ revelling in twinkling synthesizer outro. ‘Wives’ is a swirl of chamber piano keys and beats. It’s out today on Bluestack Records via Bandcamp for just €2. Buying it would be a nice way to say thanks for all the blog posts as well as this impressive new musical venture.

Posted on November 11th, 2013

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