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Archive for January, 2018

IMRO Songwriting Masterclass with International Hit Writer Ruth Anne Cunningham

DATE: Wednesday 21st February
TIME: 6:00pm – 9:00pm
VENUE: IMRO, Copyright House, Pembroke Row, Dublin 2
ENTRY: FREE Event (Booking Essential)
EMAIL: ei.ormi@stneve

With a powerhouse voice and a whole lot of soul, Ireland born and London based RuthAnne found the missing link between gritty nineties R&B à la Lauryn Hill and seventies songwriter storytelling reminiscent of Carole King. The musical journey of artist, songwriter, to performer RuthAnne has been marked by fearlessness. By the age of seven she regularly took the mic at karaoke bars, winning free drinks for mom and dad. Moving to Los Angeles at 17, she kicked off her career penning music for other artists.

She still writes for other artists including Niall Horan co‐writing half of his album including “Slow Hands”, Martin Garrix including his single “In The Name of Love” ft. Bebe Rexha, Thirdstory, Britney Spears, John Legend, JoJo including “Too Little Too Late” and more. She is now stepping into the limelight as an artist with music coming at the top of 2018.


RTÉ Choice Music Prize Song of the Year 2017 Shortlist Announced

The shortlist for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Song of the Year 2017, in association with IMRO & IRMA, was announced today on RTÉ 2FM’s Tracy Clifford Show.

The shortlist is as follows:

The Academic Bear Claws (ROOM6 Records)
Áine CahillPlastic (Self Released)
Chasing Abbey – That Good Thing (Self Released)
Tandem Felix – Were You There (When they Crucified the Birthday Boy)? (Self Released)
Niall HoranSlow Hands (Capitol)
Gavin JamesI Don’t Know Why (Warner Music)
Dermot KennedyGlory (Self Released)
The ScriptRain (Sony Music)
Wyvern LingoI Love You Sadie (Rubyworks)
SouléGood Life (Diffusion Labs)

To vote for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize, Irish Song of the Year 2017, visit Votes are limited to one per person per day. Only votes cast in the Republic of Ireland will be counted. Voting closes at midnight on Sunday 4th March.

Once again, RTÉ 2FM is celebrating the announcement of the shortlist across its schedule today with All Irish Music All Day from 6am to midnight. A special event featuring exclusive performances from some of the Song of the Year nominees will be held at Dublin’s Tramline this evening with 2FM’s Cormac Battle reporting live from the event for the Louise McSharry Show, 8-10pm.

The winning song will be announced at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize live event, held in Vicar Street, Dublin on Thursday 8th March. Tickets are on sale now from Ticketmaster and usual outlets:


Dreaming of Jupiter Announce New Single

In the first of a string of singles lined up for this year, Dreaming of Jupiter bring us their debut offering of 2018, from their upcoming EP, in the shape of ‘Let Me Down’. The Dublin trio have been playing together since late 2016 when they burst onto the scene with a packed out single/video launch for ‘Light of My Life’ in Dublin’s Whelan’s. This was followed by several acclaimed live performances at a string of festivals and gigs including Castlepalooza, Sunflower Fest and Sea Sessions among others and even playing as far afield as Madrid for SOFAR Sounds. The band finished up last year with a private live recorded show for their fans in Dublin’s ‘Windmill Lane Studios’, this made for a great finale to the year, and has ensured that Dreaming of Jupiter are a musical force to be reckoned with going forward into 2018.

Their sound incorporates a number of different influences from Electropop to Funk, RnB and Trip Hop in such a cohesive way it feels as though they have created a genre all of their own. It’s groovy, it’s atmospheric, it’s soulful and it’s different.

Having just returned from their first UK tour in Jan 2018, being featured on the critically acclaimed RTE series ‘Striking Out’ and hit the ground running with a packed out show in Dublin’s Button Factory, the band are eager to get their new material out into the ether. ‘Let Me Down’ kicks off with some almost jazzy synth beats and is a fusion of Funk, Jazz, R&B and Electropop. Reminiscent of 90’s R&B and featuring their now trademark groovy baselines, this is a laid back track featuring some rap vibes from Zoë, exploring the feelings left behind after a whirlwind and fiery romance has cooled down. This single demonstrates a massive development and maturity of their sound and is a sign of things to come from the band – constantly evolving but staying true to the elements that make them special.

With its catchy yet sophisticated sound, ‘Let Me Down’ is one for fans of MØ, Jessie Ware, Charli XCX and Snake Hips, and is a very strong start to DOJ’s much anticipated debut EP.

NIALLER9 / IRISH TIMES – ’ New Irish act of the week ‘

HOT PRESS : ’ Dublin ambi-electro 3 piece Dreaming of Jupiter, have exploded in a way most bands can only dream of in such a short space of time – and it is very clear to see why.

GOLDENPLEC: ’ The Dublin trio create smooth funky grooves in the Chic/P-funk style, delivering chugging staccato guitar riffs and bouncy basslines while also exploring laid-back electro with hints of London Grammar, all tied together with a powerful soul vocal. ‘

Donal Quinn Releases ‘Prescious’

Following a string of big dance bangers during summer 2017 and the BBC 6 Music plays of ‘Massif Anthem’ late last year – described by Hot Press as “sounds quite unlike anything else we’ve come across” – Dublin-based indie dance artist Donal Quinn releases brand new single ‘Precious’ on February 8th.

‘Precious’, live favourite at gigs, was recorded in Hackney, London with top producer Tom McFall (Kasabian, Snow Patrol, Bloc Party). Available on iTunes, Spotify, Deezer and all other digital distribution outlets.

Available on iTunes & Spotify

Jim McHugh Releases ‘An Muc Snámha’

To celebrate Seachtain na Gaelige and Bliain na Gaeilge, Jim McHugh will release a new song entitled ‘An Muc Snámha’ on 6th of March 2018.  Jim McHugh comes from Castleblayney Co. Monaghan and the name Muckno is synonymous with the town, and is attached to the beautiful lakes and to the parish itself. The name Muckno is derived from the legend of ‘an Muc Snámha’ (the swimming pig). The legend depicts St. Maeldoid who decided to build a new monastery on the opposite side of Muckno lake.  After his hard labour each day, St. Maeldoid would return the next morning to find his stone walls all knocked down. The legend describes a black pig (an muc dubh) swimming across the lake at night to destroy St. Maeldoid’s work. The legend attests the black pig was the devil (an diabhal) himself.

For this song, Jim McHugh interprets this legend slightly different.  It’s based on the pig’s perspective. Up to this point, he had been earning his keep with the monks and was ruefully awarded by the monks with shelter and food for him and his family. This all changed when St. Maeldoid and his monks (na manaigh) decided to build a new monastery.  They were so consumed with their new project that they neglected the poor pig and his family.  Of course, he had to take action so he escaped from his keep. It wasn’t easy for the small pig.  Crossing the freezing lake (an loch) at night and knocking down the walls and large stones (na clocha móra) had a negative impact on his health (mo cheann atá tinn) and physical condition (lámha briste).   His reputation was also tarnished and blackened (Dúirt siad gur mise an diabhal). In the song chorus, the wee pig gloats he’s a free pig (is muc saor mé) and they’ll never capture him (ní bhéarfaidh said orm)!  Legend tells that St. Maeldoid eventually abandoned his efforts across the lake. This we assume was to the satisfaction of the small pig and his family.

The song is produced, mixed and mastered in Ben Reels Studio, Silverbridge, Armagh. The song features McHugh on vocals, guitar and mandolin. Percussion by Ben and Jim.

An Muc Snámha will be available on all digital formats for streaming/download.

Kodaline to Play Galway International Arts Festival 2018

Galway International Arts Festival and Róisín Dubh are delighted to announce that one of Ireland’s biggest international successes of recent years, Kodaline will return to the Festival Big Top for one night only in 2018.

Kodaline played two nights at Galway International Arts Festival in 2015, both of which sold out in record time.

They return to the Festival Big Top in 2018, fresh from thrilling sets at some of the UK’s biggest venues in 2017, including Glastonbury, where they treated fans to their stunning new single ‘Brother’.

The track, which was produced by Steve Harris and Two Inch Punch, with long-time collaborator Johnny McDaid (Snow Patrol) as executive producer, and mixed by Spike Stent, is the first addictive taste from their forthcoming new album.

Last year Kodaline, who are made up of singer Steve Garrigan, guitarist Mark Prendergast, bassist Jason Boland and drummer Vinny May, featured on Kygo’s global smash ‘Raging’. On their forthcoming album, they have for the first time worked with a variety of different writers and producers, including pop guru Wayne Hector, Jonny Coffer (Beyonce, Emeli Sande, Naughty Boy and Two Inch Punch, Rag ‘n’ Bone Man and Sam Smith).

The new album will be the first new music from the band since 2015’s ‘Coming Up For Air’, which went gold in the UK. The band’s debut album, ‘In A Perfect World’ has sold over a million copies worldwide and imprinted itself on the nation’s consciousness, with streaming figures well into the 100s of millions. On Vevo, the band’s videos have had over 200 million views, and they have sold over a million singles.

Kodaline’s multi-platinum selling debut album ‘In A Perfect World’ enjoyed massive success in 2012, going into the Top 3 in Britain, spending nine weeks at No. 1 in Ireland and bringing  them to the attention of Europe and the US.

Their song ‘All I Want’ has appeared on a number of successful TV and film soundtracks, including Grey’s Anatomy and box-office smash The Fault In Our Stars.

Kodaline will play the Festival Big Top as part of Galway International Arts Festival 2018 on Thursday 19 July. Tickets for Kodaline go on sale on Friday 2 February, priced at €47.50, from and

Galway International Arts Festival’s Festival Big Top 2018 line-up is set to be the biggest in the festival’s 41-year history, with acts already announced including alternative rock band Walking on Cars and indie sensation Caribou.

Galway International Arts Festival would like to acknowledge the support of its principal funding agencies the Arts Council and Fáilte Ireland, its Festival Partner Ulster Bank and Education Partner NUI Galway.

Kern Milwaukee Bound Following Temple Bar TradFest

Louth contemporary folk band Kern are gearing up for Milwaukee Irish Fest having just won the TradFest Temple Bar Showcase.

Kern is made up of traditional musicians Brendan McCreanor (uilleann pipes) and Barry Kieran (fiddle) along with singer-songwriter SJ McArdle. The band has released a debut album, ‘False Deceiver’, produced by Trevor Hutchinson (Lúnasa, The Waterboys). It is a mix of songs and tunes from the band’s home County of Louth alongside original material and has already garnered significant national airplay in Ireland (including RTE Lyric FM and Radio 1), including live appearances on Newstalk’s Pat Kenny Show and Raidio na Gaeltachta.

More recently Kern released a single, ‘Till the Docklands Drown’, produced by Donal O’Connor (Ulaid, At First Light). The song was featured in the IFTA-winning Element Pictures movie ‘A Date for Mad Mary’. The band has also toured extensively over the past year.

Kern’s performance, along with the other bands in the showcase, was recorded for broadcast by RTÉ Radio 1 and goes out on Niall Toner’s Roots Freeway at 11pm on Saturday February 3rd.

Minister Madigan Launches Programme for European Year of Cultural Heritage

Minister for Culture, Heritage and the Gaeltacht Josepha Madigan TD launches Ireland’s programme for the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018

The European Year of Cultural Heritage is a European initiative, designed to put a spotlight on Europe’s wealth of cultural heritage, and to involve all citizens in events that promote a sense of belonging to a shared European space. The Department of Culture, Heritage & the Gaeltacht is coordinating Ireland’s Steering Group for the European Year of Cultural Heritage, which is being overseen by the Heritage Council.

Minister Madigan said the aim of the European Year of Cultural Heritage 2018 is threefold: “Firstly, it encourages the sharing and appreciation of Europe’s cultural heritage. Secondly, it seeks to raise awareness of our common history and values and thirdly and most importantly, it is geared towards involving all citizens in events.”

“People and communities across Ireland are the custodians of our heritage in all its richness and are very much at the heart of the programme for this year. This is reflected in the theme for Ireland: ‘Make a Connection’. This theme aims to deepen the connection between people and heritage and I would like to invite and encourage everybody to participate in Ireland’s programme for the Year,” the Minister said.

The Heritage Council, which works to promote, educate and encourage enjoyment in Ireland’s national heritage, is working with cultural institutions, heritage organisations, local councils, community groups and individuals to implement the year-long programme of heritage-related public events and activities to make this year an exceptional one for Irish cultural heritage within the broader European context. The programme of events for the year will be continually expanded throughout 2018.

Chairman of the Heritage Council, Michael Parsons said: “The Heritage Council is very pleased to coordinate the European Year of Cultural Heritage in Ireland, an initiative which presents an excellent opportunity for everybody to make a new connection with our heritage, for example by visiting a museum, getting to know the history behind a historic monument in their locality, or learning about our unique landscapes and wildlife habitats.

“Heritage is our cultural identity, values and traditions that we have inherited from previous generations, live with today, and pass on to future generations. It belongs to all of us and we should all engage with it and contribute to its protection, enhancement and promotion. Our vision for the year is to lay the foundations for a more empowered and connected heritage sector, and better connected audiences.”

National Coordinator of the European Year of Cultural Heritage, Beatrice Kelly said: “The main focus of the Heritage Council – and our partners across the cultural institutions, local heritage organisations and community groups – is to work together to ensure that everybody takes the time to engage with our heritage during this European Year. We hope its benefits will extend beyond 2018. Heritage is something we can all enjoy and it also plays an important role in supporting social cohesion, both within national borders and across Europe.”

The initiatives developed by the Heritage Council include:

  • An events calendar, available on a dedicated European Year of Cultural Heritage website. The calendar will be updated with events and activities – from workshops, exhibitions and lectures to film screenings and digital projects – throughout the year.
  • The Heritage Council is encouraging organisations and groups across the country to submit events for considerationas an EYCH initiative. Successful submissions will be granted the EYCH label and added to the events calendar.
  • The Heritage Council’s annual community grants schemefocuses on the theme ‘Make a Connection’ this year, encouraging communities throughout Ireland to build heritage connections that will last beyond 2018.
  • Le Chéile san Eoraip’, a special initiative coordinated by the Heritage Council, will see local authority heritage officers work with community groups to research heritage links – literary, historical, craft, architectural, linguistic, etc. – between their community and a community in another European country.

Paddy Hanna Announces New Album and Single

Dublin-based songwriter Paddy Hanna today reveals ‘Toulouse The Kisser’, another track from his forthcoming album ‘Frankly, I Mutate’, which will be out 2nd March. 

As Paddy explains about the new single – “It’s a travelogue of drunken misadventure, watching your future waste away and accepting you will become the person to whom people say, “at least I’m not that poor fool”.

The album was recorded in Bow Lane studios, which was knocked down a month after recording. Everyone was required to wear foundation during the recording process!

“We took the unusual route of lavishly recording many of the tracks around roughly recorded demos, almost like tracing over a four-track demo with an orchestra”.

Producer Daniel (Fox) was keen to give the album a wall of sound feel, so it was his idea to bring in the strings and horns. The strings were arranged by Ena Brennan.

Hanna’s sophomore album will be released via Strange Brew Rekkids. Following on from the singles ‘Bad Boys’ and ‘Mario Lanza’,  Hanna continues with an orchestral element to his music, along with contributions from members of Girl Band, Saint Sister, Tandem Felix, Cian Nugent and the Cosmos and the Trinity Orchestra.

Hanna played the HWCH 2017 festival and along with his own dates in November and December accompanied by a live band.

“Blessed with a sharply defined, neatly uplifting chorus and some biting, Elvis Costello style lyrics it’s a neat introduction to a curious talent” – Clash

The new album solidifies Paddy Hanna’s position as one of modern pop’s premier songwriters, pitching him right up alongside everyone from Meilyr Jones, to Arab Strap, to Richard Hawley. 

Conor O’Sullivan Releases ‘Fifty For Electricity’

In January 2017 Conor O’Sullivan released his second solo album ‘The Inbetween’ which for the first time also saw him take on the roles of recording engineer and producer. The fruits of this self professed experiment bore excellent results, the album receiving great acclaim and radio play.

Now in January 2018, Conor has once again emerged from the same process with a new album of self penned songs. His latest offering, Fifty For Electricity’ takes a somewhat different direction in terms of songwriting, a departure from the folk/traditional style of narrative. The songs collected here vary thematically and stylistically, seeing Conor broaden his horizons and sitting comfortably into a more contemporary setting.

Although Conor accompanies himself on a number of instruments here, the assistance of double bassist Martin Brunsden and drummer Martin Leahy feature throughout. There are also contributions from vocalists, Aine Whelan, Eoin O’Brien and Adrian Spillett, strings from Brendan Clancy and Clare Sands, and accordion from Christy Leahy.

The album is available from and iTunes from January 29th.

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