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Archive for March, 2013

New Single from Frantic Jack | “Living Proof”

Frantic JackFrantic Jack are set to release their latest single, “Living Proof”, on 29th March. This is the second single from their latest album, “Last One to Leave”, and follows on from the album’s lead single, “Soar”.

The band have had a busy start to 2013, recently headlining the Alcheringa Music Festival in India where they played to a crowd of over 10,000. Their live shows have become known for being highly energetic and entertaining, and they have shared stages with the likes of The Saw Doctors, Ash, Imelda May and Bressie in the past few years.

You can keep up to date with Frantic Jack at their website

Brendan Graham’s O, America! performed for Barack Obama in Washington

Irish Tenor Anthony Kearns performed at the 2013 Friends of Ireland Luncheon at the U.S. Capitol on Tuesday, March 19, as the guest of Speaker of the House John Boehner.bgraham_2012

Special guests included President Barack Obama, Taoiseach Enda Kenny, as he made his annual St. Patrick’s Day visit to the United States, members of Congress, and dignitaries from Ireland and the United Kingdom.

The Luncheon was hosted by the Speaker of the House of Representatives in conjunction with The Friends of Ireland Caucus, a bipartisan group led by Chairman Peter King (R-NY) and Vice-Chairman Richard Neal (D-MA). The annual event is a time-honored tradition started in 1981 by House Speaker Tip O’Neill, Senator Ted Kennedy, and President Ronald Reagan, who rose above politics to unite in their shared heritage and desire for peace.  

The performance of O, America!  was followed by standing ovation which was led by President Obama.  House Speaker John Boehner, who sat between Obama and Kenny, was reported to have wiped away a tear after the emotional performance.

O, America! was written by IMRO member, Brendan Graham and American composer and pianist, William Joseph.
The Irish songwriter first heard the strains of the melody in the corridor of an LA hotel – and then heard it again later, at a showcase by William Joseph, hosted by multi-Grammy winning producer, David Foster.
”I instantly fell in love with the melody – called Sweet Remembrance of You”, Graham remembers, ”and William generously gave me permission to try to find words to it”.
The idea that it should be an anthem to America came to Graham, when listening to the melody, while driving from Dublin to Mayo, the day after he got back to Ireland.
”It was the longest road home, ever”, he says – ”stopping at lay-bys and farm-gates  all down  the way, scribbling a bit here and there, in case I’d forget. Songs come in strange ways…and you just have to go with them – having no earthly idea, where they might end up…if anywhere!”
”So, it is a huge good fortune for William and myself that this particular song, should find its way to be performed before President Obama, President of the United States, the country for whom the song was written – and,  too, in the presence of Taoiseach, Enda Kenny”.
”Songs always travel hopefully and sometimes, thankfully they arrive.  I am thankful to Anthony Kearns for choosing to sing O, America! at this prestigious occasion, between Ireland and the United States…and giving this song its moment to arrive”

New Single from Cat Dowling | “Come On”

Cat DowlingCat Dowling releases her new single, “Come On”, on 19th April. The single is the first from Cat’s forthcoming album, “The Believer”, due for release in early May.

Cat previously fronted alphastates, pioneers in guitar-heavy electronica who released two critically acclaimed albums, “Made from Sand” and “Human Nature”.  In 2010 she wanted to write and record following her own lead and knew the moment had arrived to create and perform under her solo guise. This departure led to Cat recently signed an international and US publishing deal.

“Come On” is a mournful pop song tinged with haunting melancholia that all the while manages to animate and uplift. The animation video was directed by award-winning Irish animator Marc Corrigan.  (Benny Smiles “Moonlight”, Ham Sandwich “Ants”)

You can catch Cat live at The Grand Social, Dublin this Friday 22nd March.

swords Announce Whelan’s Headline Gig

swordsAhead of their hotly-anticipated festival appearances at Camden Crawl and Vantastival, Dublin-based band swords have just announced their first ever headline performance in Whelan’s, Dublin on Friday July 5th.

Since their début EP Launch in 2012, the band has played an impressive number of shows throughout Ireland, including a headline slot at Electric Picnic. swords began 2013 on a sweet note, performing for Whelan’s Ones to Watch in January, and recording a live track for RTE’s Other Voices in February.

Drawing comparisons to Beach house, Portishead, Feist, and Yeah Yeah Yeahs, their blend of guitars, synths, samples, loud drums, and keyboard hooks, along with Diane Anglim’s haunting and intimate vocals is something quite unique.

They approach songwriting with a passion and a need to express themselves honestly, and in the moment. ‘Our songs are changing as we change’ Anglim says, ‘they reflect the things we go through, and the energy we feel as we write. It’s important to us that we follow our ears and our own energies, instead of aiming for a certain musical genre.’

swords’ upcoming album ‘Lions and Gold’ is set for release in July 2013

Book Now on: 

Details: swords – Whelan’s Main Room – Fri July 5th – 8pm

Price: €10

Tickets: on / 

Tickets available from Tues March 19th.

twitter @swordsband


CMC announces details of its Salon series concerts for March and April

CMCThe Contemporary Music Centre has announced details of its new music::new Ireland Salon series concerts for March and April taking place in the Kevin Barry Room of the National Concert Hall.

On Thursday 28 March, Paul Roe (clarinet) and Dermot Dunne (accordion) present a series of solos and duos for this unusual combination.  The pair are leading performers of new music and champions of Irish music.  Their programme features works by Ann Cleare, Gráinne Mulvey, Jane O’Leary, Martin O’Leary and Ailís ní Ríain.

On Thursday 25 April, video artist Marie Hanlon will introduce a concert of audiovisual works featuring the music of four Irish composers – Emma O’Halloran, Rhona Clarke, Gráinne Mulvey and Jane O’Leary. Principally an abstract painter, these works are the result of recent collaborations and the development of Hanlon’s work into other media.  In the final work – O’Leary’s A Way Through – members of Concorde will join for a live performance with projections.

A new work by Ian Wilson will feature in the Salon on Thursday 30 May, a programme of new works for solo violin performed by Cliodhna Ryan.

CMC’s new music::new Ireland salon series aims to encourage newcomers and enthusiasts alike to engage with the music of Irish composers.  Each performance takes place in an informal atmosphere with dialogue encouraged between composers, performers and audience.

Admission to these concerts is free but booking is strongly recommended. To book please contact the National Concert Hall (tel: 01 417 0000 /

Thursday 28 March 2013, 6-7pm
CMC new music::new Ireland Salon
Paul Roe, clarinet; Dermot Dunne, accordion
Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2

Ann Cleare: I am not a clockmaker either
Gráinne Mulvey: duo
Jane O’Leary: a piacere
Martin O’Leary: Linea
Ailís ní Ríain: First Absolute Execution

Thursday 25 April 2013, 6-7pm
CMC new music::new Ireland Salon
Marie Hanlon, video artist; members of Concorde ensemble
Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2

Truth and Beauty (pre-recorded – Electronic)

Music: Emma O’Halloran

Video: Marie Hanlon

Lines & Spaces (pre-recorded – Electronic)

Music: Rhona Clarke

Video: Marie Hanlon

Soundscapes (pre-recorded – Flute and electronics)

Music: Gráinne Mulvey

Video: Marie Hanlon

A Way Through (alto flute, bass clarinet and accordion)

Music: Jane O’Leary

Live performance by members of Concorde ensemble with projected images Marie Hanlon

Thursday 30 May 2013, 6-7pm
CMC new music::new Ireland Salon
Cliodhna Ryan, violin
Kevin Barry Room, National Concert Hall, Dublin 2

Including a new work for solo violin by Ian Wilson.

RTÉ lyric fm / IMRO Mentored Composition Bursary 2013

RTÉ lyric fm has announced that it will award bursaries of €800 each to two composers aged between 18-24, interested in writing a 5-8 minute work for the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra. The award will include mentoring during the compositional process by Linda Buckley, the RTÉ lyric fm Composer in Residence in association with the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra, a workshop with RTÉ NSO Principals and a recording of the new work by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra.Violin

This is the second year that RTÉ lyric fm has awarded bursaries to young composers supported by the Irish Music Rights Organisation. In 2011 Enda Bates and Seán Clancy worked with Linda Buckley to produce two new works that were recorded by the RTÉ National Symphony Orchestra and premiered on Nova, presented by Bernard Clarke on RTÉ lyric fm.

As part of the creative process, conductor Gavin Maloney will facilitate a workshop for the composers with RTÉ NSO principal players. This workshop will focus on considerations with regard to writing for orchestral instruments, feedback on composers’ compositional ideas and considerations regarding the layout and presentation of the score and individual parts.

RTÉ lyric fm is interested in hearing from composers who have a track record in writing new acoustic or electro-acoustic work for soloists and small ensembles, and who are interested in developing their compositional experience and knowledge by writing for orchestra. You should be aware of the need to meet agreed deadlines and the challenge of writing for the dynamic musical range of the core forces of an orchestra. Composers are asked to bear in mind the likely audience which a new work could reach in public performance and/or radio broadcast. Their composition should be fulfilling to perform and compelling in terms of securing subsequent performances in the concert hall and on RTÉ lyric fm.


Composers should be aged between 18-24
Composers should be Irish or Irish-based
Composers should make one application through this process
Compositions already completed will not be supported through this process.


– Range and artistic merit of previous experience
– Originality and competency demonstrated in the proposal
– The proposed be suitable for broadcast during the daytime on RTÉ lyric fm
– Feasibility, for example, the ability to deliver the commission scored appropriately within the proposed budget and the agreed timeline.


Applications should be submitted in hard copy and must include:

– a covering letter and CV of the composer
– a description of the work seeking commission
– appropriate support material: samples of the composer’s work including sound/video recordings on CD/ DVD only with full information of tracks, performers, instrumentation etc. and scores of previous compositions.


The two recipients of the RTÉ lyric fm / IMRO Mentored Composition Bursary will be selected by Linda Buckley, Gavin Maloney and two representatives from RTÉ lyric fm.

Applications should be received by 5pm on Tuesday 16th April.

All applications should be forwarded to:

RTÉ lyric fm / IMRO Mentored Composition Bursary
RTÉ lyric fm
Cornmarket Square

Notification of the confirmation of receipt of applications will follow by email. The assessment group will make their decisions by the end of April and notification of decisions will be announced subsequently.


You will be informed in writing after which discussions will commence and a contract will issue and include an agreed timeline to completion.


You will be informed in writing and negotiations will not be entered into. Eligibility and compliance with application procedures alone will not guarantee a commission. For further information please e mail: ei.etr@mfciryl.resopmoc



LOWmountain ‘DNA’

LMLOWmountain are pleased to announce that their second album, entitled ‘DNA’, will be launched on Thursday, March 21, 2013.

LOWmountain are story tellers that don’t shy away from the viscera of a broken heart or the silent ecstasy of our gentlest moments. Their songs, though decorated with alt country ribbons do not belie their west cork origins. Scenes of Atlantic sea storms, Cork train journeys & missed opportunities are found throughout, with beauty, love & heartache transcending these surroundings.

Writing their own blend of folk/alternative country music with deep twists of sensitivity and darkness, it’s all about great songs for these guys. Choosing to deliver their music in its bare-bones simplest form, there’s nowhere for a bad song to hide in the LOWmountain catalogue.

DNA is an 11-track collection that has been a little over 2 years in the making. The band feels that it offers a refined, accurate and ultimately very cohesive collection of music that represents who they have become – not just as individual writers, but also as a musical collective – recognising that LOWmountain as a whole is far greater than the sum of its individual members.

Here is a LIVE recording of  ‘Write To Me’, a song featured on the new album.

Album Tour Dates:

March 21 – De Barras – Clonakilty (Album Launch)

April 11 – Coughlans – Cork

April 19 – McCarthys – Dingle

April 26 – Monroes – Galway

May 9 – The Grand Social – Dublin

Dirty Epics ‘One Way Mirror’

DEDirty Epics burst onto the Irish music scene into 2008 with an album, Straight In No Kissing, that was brimming with energy, emotion and punk rock attitude. They quickly grew a reputation for bold and brazen live performances of tracks written about loves, lust and the rollercoaster of everyday life.

“Our aim is to create music that pulses and thumps and buzzes in your brain and your heart, which gives you strength and belief”.

Their brand new album, One-Way Mirror, produced by Declan Gaffney (U2) and Matt Paul (Amy Winehouse, Noistettes, Hotchip), is an offering of songs about the light and dark of the human condition, from blind faith and the first flourishes of love to the depths of depravity. The songs form a story of two young lovers who meet by a stolen kiss, who run away to seek adventure together in the big city. Their wide eyed experience is tainted as they encounter forces that wish to corrupt mind and body. Will they survive unscathed?

With a combination of infectious songs and electric performances Dirty Epics are on a mission to get your blood pumping…

Twice voted Irish Times “Gig of the Week”, they’ve supported One Republic, Brandon Flowers, LadyHawke, The Hoosiers… they’ve toured all around Ireland, the UK, Germany, NY and LA, twice appearing at the world famous SXSW festival, Austin Texas, 4 times at the Oxegen Festival, Indie Pendence, Castlepooloza, Hennessy Artistry, Music Ireland in the RDS.

Dirty Epics have appeared on RTE shows Podge and Rodge, The Café, The Once a Week Show, The Raw Sessions, UTV’s Live at the Limelight. Their high energy music has featured on tv and film including a full track on E4s top teen TV drama series Skins and just confirmed, two tracks will feature in the brand new series of BBC’s vampire drama Being Human.

Live show to launch the album – The Workman’s Club, Dublin, 21st March 2013

In-store gig – Tower Records, Wicklow St. Dublin – Friday 22nd March 2013 @ 1pm

Dun Laoghaire Harbour Music Festival, Harbour Plaza – Sat 23rd March 2013 @ 2:30pm


Paul Hourican Signs To Round Hill Music and Launches Blackbird

Blackbird is a band created by Paul Hourican, a songwriter, singer and writer of sorts from Dublin Ireland currently living in New York City. paul_hourican

Paul has just entered into an exclusive worldwide publishing agreement with New York and L.A. based Round Hill Music. Round Hill is home to a select group of legendary songwriters along with many of today’s top hit makers. Artists and writer’s with Round Hill include The Beatles, Bruno Mars, Andreas Carlsson, Cee Lo Green, Charlie Midnight and Randy Goodrum. Together their writer’s have penned hits for iconic performers such as Ray Charles, Frank Sinatra, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell and James Brown whilst more recently they have produced mega hits such as ‘Billionaire’ by Travie McCoy and ‘Just The Way You Are’ by Bruno Mars.

More than anywhere this is the arena that Paul wants to enter having always referred to himself as ‘a songwriter first and a singer second’. It is a wonderful opportunity to join the ranks of some of the world’s finest songwriters and the opportunity was quickly seized upon by Round Hill Music’s CEO and founder Joshua Gruss, who upon hearing Hourican’s catalog of songs knew he had found, as he puts it, ‘a delicate, rare and very special talent’. In addition to this Paul has set up a new venture Blackbird to showcase his work as an artist in his own right which debuts with the release of the Wishing Well EP now available to purchase at the Blackbird Store. For further information please see
The Wishing Well EP is the debut release from Blackbird and is currently available at the Blackbird Store online store – A debut album will follow later this year.

A Band Called Wanda Shortlisted for Glastonbury Emerging Talent Competition

A Band Called WandaA Band Called Wanda have just been announced as one of eight finalists in the 2013 Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition. The Galway-based indie/folk band were selected from 8,000 entries. Last month they made it onto the longlist of 120 artists, selected by 40 blogger judges.

Building up a steady following on the live music scene, A Band Called Wanda have previously supported artists such as David Gray, Alabama 3, Stornoway and The Coronas. Their debut mini-album, “Roses are Still Red”, released in 2010, received plaudits from radio stations in Ireland and abroad.
The band are currently working on their debut LP, due for release later this year.

The live finals of the 2013 Glastonbury Emerging Talent competition will take place on Saturday 6th April. The event will stream live on the official Glastonbury website at The winning act will then get the chance to play a main stage set at this year’s festival.

For more on A Band Called Wanda, check out their Facebook page and Breaking Tunes profile.

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