After debuting her excellent single ‘Distrust’, Ailbhe Reddy has kindly given myself first dibs on sharing her six-track EP Hollowed Out Sea with you. The EP takes that song’s confidence and runs with it on a Darragh Nolan-produced release of orchestral-swept singer-songwriter-lead music surrounded by musicians like Keith O’Reilly (keys/piano), Katie Lynn (violin), Muireann Ní… Read more »

Posted on June 30th, 2016

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Irish singer-songwriter Rosa Nutty impressed with her debut EP last year, and in particular the single ‘Fine Print’. For the followup song to that release, Nutty’s ‘Sea Salt’ conveys an increased arrangement complexity and a maturity in songwriting and addresses “how early-life relationships dissolve as people begin to polarise with age.” Watch the video by Sean… Read more »

Posted on June 28th, 2016

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Mayo singer-songwriter Maria Kelly has been writing music since she was 10, yet she’s just released her first single ‘Before It Has Begun’, a mournful finger-picked acoustic song released late last year. Followup single ‘Black & Blue’ is a melodic acoustic pop song in the vein of a brighter Daughter. It’s out 1st July 2016… Read more »

Posted on June 9th, 2016

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Lisa Hannigan is currently on an Irish tour playing some new songs in a live setting and today, she’s given the rest of us a chance to hear some new music. ‘Prayer For The Dying’ is an emotive undulating piece of orchestral music from third album At Swim, Hannigan’s new album out August 19th on… Read more »

Posted on June 8th, 2016

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Ensemble Ériu released one of the most exciting albums of contemporary trad music in recent years so it’s a delight to hear that the seven-piece group will release a second album, entitled Imbas in June as a joint release on Raelach Records and Ensemble Music label (Loah, Conor Walsh). Imbas will feature six tracks of… Read more »

Posted on May 23rd, 2016

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Dublin singer-songwriter Callum Orr released his second EP, Dawning Throes in the Unitarian Church last week. The EP, recorded with Darragh Nolan suggest a blossoming expressive acoustic folk pop songwriter across its seven tracks. An easy highlight, is ‘Love’ which blossoms itself from bright guitar plucks to an full-flight orchestral and electronics movement. Orr is… Read more »

Posted on April 27th, 2016

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I Have A Tribe’s Patrick O’Laoghaire is approaching the release of his debut album Beneath A Yellow Moon next month on May 27th through Groenland Records, and with each passing song and performance, his stature is growing, as he showed us in the Co-Op earleir this month. ‘Buddy Holly’, from the record is an emotive… Read more »

Posted on April 26th, 2016

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Let it be known that development that is worthwhile and sustainable doesn’t happen overnight. The 10,000-hour idea is one that holds true for creativity in many ways. Most artists work hard at their craft and get to where they are by putting an indeterminable amount of hours in, drawing from their life experiences and regrouping…. Read more »

Posted on April 20th, 2016

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The Japanese folk musician Shugo Tokumaru has been a long-time favourite around these parts. Tokumaru was one of the first independent artists from far away I discovered via music blogs 10 years ago and I’ve kept tabs on him since. Tokumaru’s style is bright and pleasing, quirky and almost cartoony, exuberant and despite the language… Read more »

Posted on April 18th, 2016

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With the forthcoming release of Let The Bad in and a productive and eventful SXSW Festival behind him, Ciaran Lavery has revealed the second single from the album due on May 27th. ‘Okkervil River’ adds a fresh perspective to Lavery’s craft, moving from ambient folk pop with digital beats to brass-lead crescendo swirling around his… Read more »

Posted on April 13th, 2016

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Mossy Nolan’s music walks a thin line between traditional Irish music, folk and singer-songwriter styles. His 2012 debut album was an amalgamation of all three and was refreshing because of it. For his newest EP, The Exile, Nolan joined by his trusted Bouzouki and cohort Colm McGowan’s guitar has hit upon a more established style… Read more »

Posted on April 5th, 2016

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Atmosfolk duo Saint Sister, Gemma Doherty and Morgan MacIntyre are one of the best new Irish bands of the last year. Through their self-titled debut EP and a series of fine performances, most recently at SXSW in Texas and The Ray D’Arcy Show on TV last weekend, they have captivated people with their harmonic harp… Read more »

Posted on March 31st, 2016

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The talented Cavan singer-songwriter Lisa O’Neill has made a welcome return with news of her third album, and followup to the 2013 Same Cloth Or Not album. ‘Pothole In The Sky’, the title track is a pleasing reintroduction to her storytelling sound. “On my way to heaven, I hit a pothole in the sky,” she… Read more »

Posted on March 16th, 2016

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Pine The Pilcrow are a new band I was only vaguely aware of until Ruby Sessions’ Conor Donovan recommended them as one of his favourite acts at the weekly night in my Irish Times How Music Works column. Kevin Murray on piano, Robert Campbell on cello and Hannah Ryan on fiddle have been together less… Read more »

Posted on March 15th, 2016

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Armagh singer-songwriter Conchúr White and his band Silences have been writing songs of growing stature with each new release like last year’s ‘The Sea’ and ‘Sister Snow’. ‘There’s A Wolf’, from the band’s third EP Luna, marks a leap once again. Produced by Declan Legge and Tommy McLaughlin, ‘There’s A Wolf’, going from a hushed… Read more »

Posted on March 14th, 2016

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