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Archive for January, 2016

Le Crunch Apple of My Eye Song Contest returns with

Launch-4The search for Ireland’s greatest cover version begins afresh on January 17 with the return of the hugely popular Le Crunch Apple of My Eye Song Contest. Super healthy apple brand Le Crunch from France have teamed up with to launch a nationwide search for Ireland’s best undiscovered musical talent.

Thousands of aspiring musicians and singers have entered the competition to date, showcasing an immense depth of talent from the four corners of Ireland. Amazing interpretations of well-known songs have wowed past judges, and now Le Crunch from France and are asking the public to record their favourite cover version (on video or MP3) and enter it to be in with a chance of winning €2,500 in cash prizes.

The public will be asked to enter the competition through and a panel of music industry judges – Niamh Farrell (HamsandwicH), Paddy McKenna (RTE and and Shane Dunne (Indiependence Festival Director) – will select the top ten tunes to go through to a National Semi-Final. The public will then be given the opportunity to vote for the final five.

Dublin’s most iconic music venue, Whelan’s, will host a National Final on Wednesday, March 9, featuring the judges’ favourite five in front of a live audience.

“It’s a great opportunity for budding Irish artists to have their talents showcased to a huge audience,” says Paddy McKenna, “and also have their song checked out by some influential people from the Irish music industry. We’re looking forward to hearing what is out there and during the competition we’ll be hosting some of the best songs and videos on and”

Sandrine Gaborieau, Marketing Director of Le Crunch from France, said, “We’ve been thrilled with the quality and amount of entries that the competition has received in previous years and it has been a privilege to help discover such new and exciting talent. We’re once again looking forward to hearing another superb batch of songs.”

The Le Crunch Apple of My Eye Song Contest 2016 opens for submissions on Monday, January 17 through and the deadline for entries is Friday, February 12.

Apply for the Gotland International Songwriters’ Retreat

Taking place between May 8th – 15th 2016 in Gotland, Holmhällar in Sweden.

After a number of successful years with satisfied participants and many new collaborations, tours and recordings this year’s week-long retreat will bring together about 20 professional songwriters from Europe and the USA and stay focused on the inspiration, co-writing and development of your musical artistry.

This year the Invited Writer is Nels Andrews, an established singer-songwriter from California, USA. The Invited Writer participates in all the Retreat activities.

Participants from previous events through the contacts they made in co-writing-retreat, recorded albums and toured the U.S. and other countries, and many of the co-written songs that was created has ended up on the released records.
The cost for participants is 8500 SEK (roughly €915). The price includes a shared room with shower, plus a small, simple kitchen, breakfast buffet, lunch and a three-course dinner every day of boarding Holmhällar on southern Gotland. (Accommodation in single rooms is also possible for an additional charge, and the ability to choose a cheaper accommodation, with shared rooms 2-4 people and a shared shower).
“Early bird” : In applying before February 1st there is a 500SEK (roughly €54) discount. The Retreat can also make a payment plan if that’s what’s needed to make your attendance possible.

The workshop includes the following activities:

Participant gather in a circle and play songs for each other, previously written or co-writes during the course.

Assigned co-writes:
With the help of the participants’ preferences the leaders pairs the songwriters into songwriting pairs, and most of the day is devoted to writing together. The material is played in songcircles.

Body and Voice warmup:
We start the day with a body&voice warm up.

Morning Circle:
Annika Fehling leads a daily welcome circle.

One to one Consultations:
Annika Fehling and Eva Hillered will this week also offer participants private consultations in career and songwriting, singing, performing, touring and coaching.

Listening Room Concerts:
An official concert will take place at the end of the week.

In order to secure a place you can email moc.gnilhefakinna@akinna)

A new opportunity has also arisen at the Crete International Songwriting Retreat, in the little fishing town of Lendas from the 8th – 15th September 2016! For more info, contact Annika on the email address above.

New Music: Exploding Eyes – We Need Love

Exploding Eyesare a garage psych rock trio from Dublin, Ireland. Channelling the explosive dynamics of the classic power trio, the band draw influence from such heavyweights as Mountain, Blue Cheer and Andromeda.

With the addition of live theremin, experimental sound scape guitar and a taste for raw punk’d up space rock the bands other influences of Thee Oh Sees, Hawkwind and Pink Fairies begin to seep through. With a debut LP recently back from the workshop of producer Jim Diamond (White Stripes, Dirtbombs, The Sonics) the Eyes are looking to the future to melt the minds of the most hardened rock listener.

‘We Need Love’ the new single from Exploding Eyes – which was released on Friday 22nd January. The first single taken from their debut s/t LP due out Summer 2016 on Big Neck Records. Video directed by Chris Carroll. Available as a pay-what-you-want download from the Exploding Eyes Bandcamp or a limited run of CDs.

You can follow Exploding Eyes on Facebook and Twitter.

Spotify introduce ‘story behind the song’ with Genius

Spotify have recently teamed up with Genius to add annotations to songs featuring in their ‘Behind The Lyrics’ playlists.

Genius currently has the world’s largest collection of song lyrics and crowdsourced musical knowledge, which will add a new dimension to the Spotify experience and change the service from that of a passive experience to something much more immersive.

At the moment the service is restricted to the above playlist subset but it is thought that future collaboration with Genius will result in lyric writers being able to annotate their works and give fans of the songs an insight into the creative process, fun facts or the story behind the song across all licensed catalogue on the platform.

IMRO members can access the Genius website to see what the service has to offer in the meantime.



2016 Unsigned Only Music Competition Judges Announced

unsigned onlyGrand Prize Has Been Increased To $20,000 Cash (US)

January 26, 2016 – Unsigned Only Music Competition announced today its judging panel for the 2016 competition, which is now accepting entries. The panel consists of high-profile recording artists and journalists who will select the winners in 13 categories representing a wide variety of genres of music.

Unsigned Only is open to solo artists, bands, and singers who are not signed to a major label record company. Unsigned Only is looking for outstanding, talented artists, newcomers or veterans, and accepts both original and cover songs.

This year, Unsigned Only has increased its Grand Prize to $20,000 in cash (US) this year – plus additional merchandise. The Grand Prize winner will also receive one-on-one mentoring from a group of music industry executives, ranging from label presidents to heads of A&R. This is a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity to directly network with the top record company professionals and get advice, guidance, feedback, and networking opportunities. A First, Second, and Third Place winner will also be selected in each category.

Artists may enter into any of the following categories: Adult Album Alternative (AAA) Adult Contemporary (AC); Americana; Christian; Country; EDM (Electronic Dance Music); Folk/Singer-Songwriter; R&B/Hip-Hop; Rock; Pop/Top 40; Screen Shot; Teen; and Vocal Performance.

“We are thrilled to be able to give away $20,000 this year to our Grand Prize winner,” say Founders/Directors Candace Avery and Jim Morgan. “What all artists need the most is cash, and $20,000 can go a long way toward helping them with a new CD, a tour, a van, or whatever they might need.”

Judges include: Aimee Mann; R. City; The Killers; Bone Thugs N Harmony; The Struts; Dustin Lynch; Kelly Price; Darryl McDaniels (Run DMC); Aaron Shust; Rapsody; Hayes Carll; Kool and the Gang; David Crowder; Lucero; Colt Ford; The Turnpike Troubadours; Frank Foster; Kyle Anderson (Senior Writer, Entertainment Weekly); Josh Jackson (Co-Founder and Editor-In-Chief, Paste Magazine); Anthony DeCurtis (Contributing Editor, Rolling Stone); Zach Long (Associate Editor, Time Out Chicago); Michael Molenda (Editor-In-Chief, Guitar Player); Jim Farber (Music Critic); Lyndsey Parker (Managing Editor, Yahoo Music); Jed Gottlieb (Music & Theater Writer, Boston Herald); Matthew Meadow (Editor-In-Chief, Your EDM); Kevin McNeese (President, NewReleaseToday); Andy Herman (Music Editor, LA Weekly); Sarah Jones (Editor, Electronic Musician Magazine); Chelsea Perry; Sasha Geffen (Consequence of Sound); and more.

For entry and general information, please go to

The Hot Press Music Industry MIX course starts next week,register now!

MIXWant to find out how to get ahead in the music industry? Are you a singer ? Musician? Manager? Then MIX ’16 might be for you. The Music Industry Xplained course is the essential how-to guide for anyone seeking a career in music.

Brought to you by Hot Press, MIX ‘16 is a 13 week series of exclusive lectures by top industry experts and distinguished professionals from the Irish and international music industry. Spanning a wide range of subjects including Music Marketing, Publicity, Image Development, Record Production, Music Publishing, Radio, Finance, Touring and Distribution, Mix ’16 will run one for day a week for 13 weeks in Dublin City Centre.

The course kicks off on the 2nd February and places are limited and in extremely high demand so head over to now for more details on how to secure your place. Alternatively you can email Louise Zayed – ei.sserptoh@esiuol or call 01 2411500.

Best Practice Session for Composers

save the dateMusic Generation and The Contemporary Music Centre are working together to develop a mutual understanding of best practice in relation to composers engaging with children and young people in a Performance Music Education context within Music Generation.

Composers and Music Generation musicians/coordinators are invited to attend a session to learn more about the residency-type composition projects which Music Education Partnerships around the country are developing and the work opportunities these present for composers.

Tuesday, 2 February 2016, 10.00am – 12.30pm in the Contemporary Music Centre Library, 19 Fishamble Street, Temple Bar, Dublin 8. Booking required. To book tel: 01-673 1922 or email Leanne on ei.cmc@dlaregztifl

Conference for Musicians takes place in Cork as part of Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal Weekend

Violin (1)On Friday 5 February, 15 traditional flute and whistle players will compete for the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal in a final to be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, and this year for the first time a Musicians’ Convention will be held on Saturday as part of the weekend’s events, intended to help and advise traditional musicians on a host of subjects. The events will take place in the Rochestown Park Hotel in Cork.

Munster musicians are to the fore in this year’s final, with four competitors from Cork, two from Clare, one from Kerry and one from Tipperary. The youngest competitor is Eimhear Flannery from Rockchapel in Mallow, Co. Cork, who is just 11 years old, and Seán Gavin will be the musician who will travel the furthest to compete, all the way from Chicago.

This year’s judges are esteemed musicians Mary Bergin, Patsy Hanly and Mick O’Connor, and the final will be broadcast live on RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta from 7 pm on Friday 5 February.

The Musicians’ Convention on Saturday will run from 2 pm to 5 pm, with speakers from the music industry giving talks on funding opportunities, publicity, insurance, copyright, marketing and publishing, amongst other topics. Speakers will include representatives from IMRO, the Arts Council and Gael Linn, and entry is €5. Musicians interested should register by emailing ei.lioecnuhchdaeriuc@uralc .

There is a full schedule of speakers for the Convention at

Saturday evening’s events will be completed by a free concert at 8 pm with several of the past winners of the Seán Ó Riada Gold Medal, as well as this year’s winner.

The weekend’s event have been sponsored by RTÉ Raidió na Gaeltachta, Iontaobhas Fódhla, Gael Linn, Rochestown Park Hotel, Comhaltas Ceoltóirí Éireann, IMRO, Ealaín na Gaeltachta and GaelTaca.

New Music: Ross Breen – One Last Kiss

Ross Breen is back with a new single. One Last Kiss is the follow up to 2015’s Idyllic Valley, which achieved number one position in the Irish iTunes rock charts after an appearance on RTÉ television’s The Saturday Night Show.

The song is the latest cut from Ross Breen’s forthcoming album, New Born Vibrancy, set for release this year. The Kildare native is currently putting together a string of tour dates to follow previous years’ successes on the road with the likes of Midlake, Glen Hansard and Bell X1.

Ross is excited about fans hearing his new direction, evident on One Last Kiss:

It’s a gospel and blues influenced song with an emotional immediacy to it – people have really related to it at our live shows. In studio, we referenced artists like The Golden Gate Quartet, The Blind Boys of Alabama, Elvis Presley, Bill Withers and Daniel Lanois and this track is definitely different to anything I’ve released before.

You can follow Ross Breen on Facebook, Twitter and his website.

Imro Emerging Stage Winners The Living Stream Set To Play Temple Bar Tradfest On Sun 31st January

IMRO Emerging Stage Winners The Living Streamplay Temple Bar Tradfest Sun 31st January, The Old Storehouse. 3pm

When Brian Kelly traveled home to Ireland – to Sprig studio in Galway – the plan was to record a handful of tunes with a group of traditional Irish session musicians. As people turned up and plugged in, one by one, a spark was lit. Simple ideas quickly became full songs, and that handful of tunes began to feel and sound like an album that had to be made.

That was July 2015.

Six months on and an album that nobody saw coming is complete. It is an album that oozes modern Ireland. And one that has found a fresh new sound in an old traditional style.

With rolling rhythms come protest songs, love songs, nostalgic songs and personal songs. The whole album is a subtlety intricate and forceful piece of work.

Others seem to agree. The band is one of only three chosen by IMRO to play their coveted Emerging slots at Temple Bar Tradfest 2016.

Catch The Living Stream live…

Sunday 31st January, The Old Storehouse, Temple Bar @ 3pm

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