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 that he embeds into deeper.

The three tracks range from the trad-infused introspective ballads ‘Hitting Rocks’ and ‘Exile’ to the George Brennan-produced ‘Inherited’ which has an ambient folk feel.

Nolan is embarking on an Irish tour with Seamus Fogarty this week. Dates below.

See also his Nationwide-style video about his EP


Posted on April 5th, 2016


Canadian tape-manipulating analogue live electronic instrumentalists Holy Fuck announced a new album called Congrats, their first album in six years, which will be released on May 27th on Innovative Leisure.

They previewed ‘Tom Tom’ a track from the album that didn’t give too much away in terms of what it may feature. The song (below) was a little bit kraut, a little bit lo-fi and not as memorable as one would hope for.

‘Xed Eyes’ is much more effective in terms of raising anticipation. It has that trippy textured sound that the band have done so well in the past and is bolstered by a rhythm that invites repeated listens.

Holy Fuck Congrats Tracklisting

1. Chimes Broken
2. Tom Tom
3. Shivering
4. Xed Eyes
5. Neon Dad
6. House Of Glass
7. Acidic
8. Subbatics
9. Shimmering
10. Crapture

Posted on March 31st, 2016


Always worth a visit during the Christmas season, Young Hearts Run Free’s Yule! event has featured the likes of Villagers, The Strypes and Twin Shadow among its performers in recent years.

Taking place at the Co-Op in Newmarket Square in Dublin 8, this year’s edition happens on Saturday December 5th with:

Land Lovers, Switzerland, The Mess Around, DJ Dandelion, Paddy Hanna, White Collar Boy, Women’s Christmas, Dónal Lunny, Mossy Nolan & Colm McGowan, Stephen James Smith, Young Hearts DJs, Super Surprise Guests!

The gig is BYOB and cake is promised. It’s €22 on the door with all proceeds going to the Simon Community.

Watch Villagers’ Conor O’Brien perform ‘My Lighthouse’ at Young Hearts Run Free

Posted on November 23rd, 2015


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Update: A few people have taken issue with my opinions below. Let me just stress this, I wrote this from my own view of why I felt trad was reinvigorated. I didn’t intend to make grand statements about trad music as a whole, I’m not a trad ‘expert’. The article title was intended to refer to my reasons (and to draw people in to reading it), i.e. five artists I wanted to shine some light on it their field to my audience and not some big statement designed to offend people who devote their lives to traditional music in Ireland.

Trad is as big a part of our heritage as it’s perceived that Aran jumpers, sheep, Guinness and leprechauns are. So it’s not surprising that the genre of music, in terms of a modern context, is often maligned as old-fogey music or music for pubs and rural areas. It’s understandable that trad will be disregarded by succeeding generations who hit upon their twenties who have grown up with it their whole lives in favour of a Skrillex drop or the more global R&B chart pop or something.

But there are movements afoot. Just as those who said the Irish language would die out were proven wrong by a reclamation of the language in the last 15 years by the very people who hated studying it in Irish schools (its neverending grammar and distinct lack of speaking the actual thing was the definition of no craic), so too, is Irish trad being reclaimed, being pulled back from the brink of its own folk obscurity and a lot of that work is being lead by a few individuals. Here are five reasons why Irish trad music is now very much modern music.
Five reasons why Irish trad rocks in 2012…→

Posted on April 27th, 2012


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Mossy Nolan
Mossy Nolan

It’s not often that something traditional will hit me but I’ve always had a soft spot in my heart for a bit of Planxty. I remember my dad playing ‘Cold Blow And The Rainy Night’ for myself and my sister and being taken by its very Irish charm and intonation. As someone who didn’t grow up around trad sessions, it was a revelation of sorts.

Mossy Nolan’s music is very much in the vein of Planxty but I believe he has a wider appeal. In the same way that I love that the Spook Of The Thirteenth Lock combine new and old Irish ideas into their own thing, Nolan’s debut album is a mix of original compositions and traditional covers.

Listen to ‘Tunnel Tigers’ his take on the Ewan MacColl original and then his instrumental original on ‘2 Flats 1 Pump’. I’ve yet to hear the album but I going on these two songs, it will be an interesting juxtaposition. Other songs include ‘Spencer The Rover’, ‘Dark Horse On The Wind’ and ‘Si Beag Si Mhor’.

Mossy Nolan is launching his debut album this weekend in The Odessa Club. He also plays in Lisa O’ Neill‘s band. You may have heard him on Donal Dineen’s radio show last year.

Posted on February 28th, 2012


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