A new monthly night called Unscene is coming to Dublin with the first instalment taking place at the Underground on March 15th.

Musician Ailbhe Reddy and Broadcaster and Promoter Dwayne Woods have teamed up to deliver a live music night for live music event for ‘Queers and Pals.’

“Some people have asked why are you doing a Queer event?
The simple answer is because there currently isn’t an event that focuses on live music but there is definitely space for one within the music and the LGBTQ+ communities. There are some amazing and very successful club nights running in Dublin which is fantastic but we want to cater for those who might like to attend a live music event and check out some local talent.” – says Dwayne.

Performances for the fist installment include:

Tickets priced at €8 are available now from Eventbrite or €10 on the door.

Artists and performers from all areas of the arts are invited to apply to get involved in the night by emailing [email protected]

Posted on February 15th, 2018


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Galway singer-songwriter Maija Sofia’s ‘Persephone’ is the musician’s best single song yet. Dispensing (or rather graduating) with lo-fi recording techniques, ‘Persephone’ was produced and recorded by North London electronic artist Gazel.

‘Persephone’ is an intimate folk pop song that Sofia says is a song “of despair, an ethereal retelling of the Greek tale of a kidnapped goddess trapped in the mythical underworld, layered with echoes of the modern-world’s political chaos. With samples from Sylvia Plath, the song is an ode to the many talented women throughout history who have been oppressed and overshadowed at the hands of an abuser.”

It’s her first release since ‘Stains’.

Sofia is on a short tour in London this week with Irish dates later this month and in March.

Persephone Tour

15/2 – The Water Rats, Kings Cross, London
16/2 – The Waiting Room, Stoke Newington, London (with Gazel)
17/2 – The Comrade Club, Manor House, London
23/2 – The Crow Club, Crow Bar, Dublin
15/3 – The Roisín Dubh, Galway

Maija Sofia on Spotify | Facebook | Twitter

Posted on February 13th, 2017


The Galway-born Dublin-based singer songwriter Maija Sofia has released some fine gossamer lo-fi songs in the last year.

Sofia released an EP, called The Sugar Sea in late 2015 and she’s got a new video for the opening track ‘Stains’, which she says “deals with the universal feelings of inadequacy and insecurity that come with being in a dysfunctional relationship”.

The video, made on Sandymount beach, was directed by Sofia and filmed and edited by Ciarán O’Brien (The OB blog, resident camera man at The Ruby Sessions ).

Maija Sofia play an intimate acoustic set with Maria Kelly and poet Lewis Kenny at Bang Bang in Phibsboro on August 18th, or in The Slaughtered Lamb in London on 8 September.

Posted on August 15th, 2016


Yesterday, Galway singer-songwriter Maija Sofia was one of 18 new artists I recommended to check out at Hard Working Class Heroes this weekend.

Today, here’s another reason, a track called ‘The Girl Who Pulled The Sun Down’ which flaunts a lo-fi singer-songwriter folk style that draws comparison to one of my favourite Irish acts vocally – Nina Hynes.

‘The Girl Who Pulled The Sun Down’ is from a forthcoming EP called Tales from the Sugar Sea to be released on Little Witch records. to be launched on November 13th in London where Sofia is based most of the time. It was recorded by ex-drummer of Milk White White Teeth, James Hare, in Mowlem Street Studio in Bethnal Green.

Maija Sofia plays The Grand Social at 8pm on Saturday 3rd of October as part of Hard Working Class Heroes.

Posted on September 29th, 2015


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.

So for three days, from Thursday to Saturday, HWCH returns to seven venues featuring 100 bands playing to music fans and industry delegates.  There are free daytime gigs, a convention in the Liberties featuring speed sessions, panels, talks and more. There’s a special Banter with Pitchfork’s Jessica Hopper on the Sunday. There’s also a special Nialler9-curated afterparty with Dublin Theatre Festival in The Grand Social on Saturday night late with the debut live performance of R.S.A.G. and French producer Cosmo Vitelli as Teleoke.

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).

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

1. Hare Squead


These Dublin rap soul pop dudes are just getting better.

Thursday October 1 – 10.15pm @ The Academy

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. 

2. 13


Years & Years style-pop

Thursday October 1 – 8.15pm @ The Academy

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.

3. Tiz McNamara


Cork/Liverpool singer-songwriter with atmosphere

Thursday Oct 1 – 8:50pm @ The Grand Social

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.


4. Saint Sister


Self-proclaimed atmosfolk duo

Thursday Oct 1 – 9.20pm @ The Workman’s Club

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.

5. Maud in Cahoots


Thursday Oct 1  – 10.50pm @ The Grand Social

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.

6. Elephant


Dundalk singer-songwriter

Thursday Oct 1 – 7:30pm @ The Grand Social

Dundalk musician Shane Clarke’s sweet vocal tones are what makes his elemental guitar and keys music work so well, lending his songs a delicate disposition. A debut album is on the way shortly.

Thursday | Friday | Saturday

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Posted on September 28th, 2015


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