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When Other Voices started, it was very much in the mould of a regular TV show. Go somewhere and make the thing, record it and broadcast it at a later date. In the last few years though, the music show has made the leap into online too with live streams via RTE and The Guardian, an active social media presence and a Youtube channel which hosts performances shot just days prior.

The show started in the intimate environs of St. James Church but it too has made the leap further afield in recent years. A show in New York a couple of years ago galvanised the series to spread its wings, and this year, in its eleventh season, it travelled to the UK City of Culture, Derry, last weekend and it will go to London to complete the triangle in April.

Tonight, RTE will broadcast a 2 hour special featuring the highlights from the weekend’s sets from 11pm to 1am. I was there the entire weekend reporting for the Other Voices blog and here are some of my personal highlights, in a numbered but no particular order, from the last few days.

All photos: Rich Gilligan.


1. Daughter

Daughter
Despite an obvious shyness between songs, the set from Daughter was notable for their music which can rise to an awesome tumult.

Elena Tonra’s vocals ground everything in a young woman’s emotional disposition; (“All my limbs can become trees / All my children can become me / What a mess I leave / To follow”). She performs through her dark black hair with a transfixing magnetism, often singing lyrics about men who aren’t the right fit or who aren’t around anymore – “I want him but we’re not right” (‘Smother’), “Collecting names of the lovers that went wrong” (‘Youth’) “Take your hands off him / cos he’s the only one I’ve ever loved.” (‘Love’).

It’s no wonder that their songs have been used on The Vampire Diaries, their scratched violin-bow on guitar atmospheric tones and arrangements which lap into raging intensity and calm moments of serenity perfectly fit with the transformation of the natural into the supernatural. The song ‘Candles’ even appears to be inspired by the recent vampire pop culture resurgence. “That boy, take me away, into the night / Out of the hum of the street lights and into a forest / I’ll do whatever you say to me in the dark.” Really looking forward to their album If You Leave out next month on 4AD.