Kicking off her 30th anniversary year with the first of her “single a month” for 2020, Sharon Shannon releases ‘Crossed The Line’ featuring Louise Connell. All the tracks will then be compiled and on her 30th Anniversary album for release November 2020.
Louise Connell is a singer-songwriter from Airdrie, near Glasgow. Over the course of two critically-acclaimed albums she has earned a considerable reputation as an outstanding songwriter, with a unique world view and a particular knack for framing intelligent, literate lyrics in haunting and beautiful melodies, delivered by “a voice that would melt iron.” (Ravechild)
Her first studio album, ‘Straw Woman’ (2016), was released to overwhelmingly positive reviews, and was the featured album of the week on several BBC Radio Scotland programmes as well as receiving general airplay on Radio 2, Radio 6 (Lauren Laverne’s “Headphone Moment” on two occasions), Radio 4, Virgin Radio and Amazing Radio, eventually leading to the BBC filming and broadcasting a 45-minute performance in Glasgow by Louise and her band as part of their Quay Sessions series.
The follow up double album ‘Squall Echo Rale’ met with an even greater critical response and featured even more prominently on the airwaves – within a month of its release all 19 songs had been played at least once on UK radio, with the BBC alone giving airplay to 14 songs, almost all multiple times. Once again it was declared Album Of The Week on several BBC Radio Scotland programmes and the single ‘Careful Unplanned’ was playlisted as the Single Of The Week on their daytime show.
Following on from their sold out show at Tradfest 2020, Drops of Green start their 2020 album campaign with a new single, ‘On The Carousel’.
Hailing from Laois, Kilkenny and Waterford and rooted in the folk and traditional movement, this band have a uniquely accessible sound and a live energy that is unparalleled.
‘On The Carousel’ is the first single from their forthcoming album ‘On The Carousal’, due for release this summer.
Written by Davey Long & Robbie Campion, the song deals with love, loss, family and perhaps most poignantly: hope.
Produced by Martin Quinn of JAM Studios, Kells, County Meath with additional strings by Rob Larkin, ‘On The Carousel’ is positive proof of this group’s dynamism.
The accompanying video was produced by Bearfoot Productions and features the talented thespian Brendan Corcoran in his debut music video performance.
After the formation of the group in 2014, The band have went on to play all over the world including several tours of the USA preforming in Colorado, New Mexico, Maine, Chicago and Las Vegas to name but a few, along with a six month resident show in Disney World Florida.
With four sold out shows at this years Temple Bar Tradfest and tours already confirmed in Ireland, Germany, Holland and Italy, 2020 looks like a very exciting year for Drops of Green!
Fox Jaw have just released ‘Sun Goes Sideways’ taken from their forthcoming album ‘Breathe In The Strange’, out Friday February 21st 2020 on All Platforms.
“Alt-rock meets dark-pop” from Limerick City, Ireland.
‘Breathe In The Strange’ is the third studio album from Limerick City natives, Fox Jaw. Recorded at Even Audio with producer Mike Gavin of Windings and Mastered by Richard Dowling at Wav Mastering (David Bowie, Foo Fighters, Interpol).
2019 has seen the band release two new singles ‘Madeline’ and ‘Let It Run’, both to great critical acclaim, followed in 2020 with the albums lead single ‘Sun Goes Sideways’, a song that lead singer Ronan Mitchell describes as about, “one of those nights that seem to be frozen in time, with no end in sight.”
Fox Jaw are a musical brotherhood that have honed their craft over the last two decades across various musical projects. Comprising of Ronan Mitchell, Morgan Nolan, Shane Serrano, Kieran J. Sims and Manolis Pates. An independent band with a DIY ethic, they make sure to have a polished approach in all their creative outputs, with all music videos and artwork created by the band themselves, but most importantly, in their music they take pride to always have a distinct Irish touch.
Once described as, “a modern band with an old soul”, they have a swaggering genre-defying growl, that keeps things sweet and melodic with an honest collection of dark pop songs. Their music has drawn comparisons to the likes of Tom Waits, Interpol, Pixies and yet sound like none of the above. “Therein lies the beauty of the Limerick quintet … Fox Jaw triumphantly embrace their weirdness” – The Irish Times
Fox Jaw have played such festivals as: Electric Picnic, Indie Week (Canada & Ireland), Castlepalooza, Knockanstockan, Indiependence, Sea Sessions, AranMojo, Hard Working Class Heroes, Glasgowbury, Vantastival, Arthur’s Day & more.
They’ve shared the stage with such acts as: Against Me!, Steriogram, And So I Watch You From Afar, Alabama 3, The Redneck Manifesto, Jape, Hayseed Dixie, Hermitage Green and bizarrely once… Calvin Harris.
Feb 28th De Barra’s, Clonakilty
Mar 7th The Disfunction Room, Dundalk
Mar 13th The Glassworks, Derry
Mar 14th No. 58, Letterkenny
Mar 26th Roisín Dubh, Galway
Mar 28th Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
April 9th Whelan’s, Dublin
More shows to be announced
The Irish Music Rights Organisation CLG (IMRO) is delighted to announce that the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards 2019 will take place on Tuesday 11th February 2020. This year will see a change of location for the Awards, with the event taking place at club Twenty Two, South Anne Street in Dublin.
The nominees shortlist was announced today by IMRO Chief Executive, Victor Finn.
The annual awards, now in their twelfth year, celebrate the venues and individuals working in the live music industry, whose passion and determination brings the joy and inimitable experience of live music to the public across Ireland.
More than 13,000 IMRO members were given the opportunity to vote for their favourite venues of 2019 for inclusion on the awards shortlist. Venues were judged on atmosphere, sound and lighting, staging, diversity of programming, the staff and management of each venue and accessibility for people with disabilities, all of which are essential foundations for a truly remarkable live music venue. IMRO members also voted on Ireland’s music festivals, tech crews and for the IMRO Outstanding Contribution to Live Music, the receiver of which shall be announced on the night of the Awards.
Music venues and festivals play a vital role in the music industry in Ireland, giving international and homegrown artists of all levels a platform to engage with existing fans and build new audiences. They also play a central role in urban and rural communities across the country, providing a social gathering space for a multitude of audience types, and contributing hugely to the domestic economy.
Of the Awards, Victor Finn, IMRO Chief Executive said, “The important role that venues and festivals make nationally is all too often overlooked. They provide an essential platform and support network for Irish and international artists and bands of all levels, in addition to their vital contribution to communities both economically and socially. The IMRO Live Music Venue Awards have grown from their inception to become one of the most anticipated dates in the Irish music industry calendar. The awards are an opportunity to acknowledge venues big and small across the country and to celebrate the individuals whose hard work and commitment help our vibrant and eclectic music industry to flourish.”
At the ceremony in club Twenty Two on February 11th, awards will be presented to live music venues in each of the following regions: Dublin, Leinster (excluding Dublin), Connacht, Munster and Ulster (Donegal, Monaghan, Cavan). The IMRO Music Festival of the Year, IMRO Small Music Festival of the Year, IMRO Tech Crew of the Year Award and a special Outstanding Contribution to Live Music Award will also be presented. Performances on the night will come from emerging acts Soda Blonde, Alex Gough and Elm.
One overall award will be presented to the IMRO National Live Music Venue of the Year. This award is decided upon by the public, who vote for their live music venue of the year from the combined shortlist of all the regions.
Live music fans should simply log on to https://www.surveymonkey.com/r/imrovenueawards and choose their favourite from the shortlist provided, by 5pm on the 7th of February. Voters will by entered into a draw to be in with a chance to win an iPad.
The ceremony will also see the presentation of the award for Hot Press Live Music Venue of the Year via The Readers Poll which is contributed to by Hot Press fans and can be viewed at Hotpress.com
Niall Stokes, editor of Hot Press said “Irish music is going through a real purple patch at the moment, with brilliant new artists emerging across every genre – and a lot of them are making a serious impact internationally. They deserve to. We are producing some truly great music here at the moment.
This extraordinary surge of creativity in Irish music would not be possible without great live venues. They give artists and bands a vital platform, especially at the start of their careers. A healthy live music scene is at the very heart of things – and music is flourishing all over Ireland.
That’s why the IMRO Live Music Venues Awards are so important. It matters a lot to us, here at Hot Press, to lend our support to the awards – and to do everything we can to promote live music in Ireland. We want Irish artists to experience recognition and success like never before during the year ahead. I firmly believe that 2020 is going to be a great one.”
The winners of the IMRO Live Music Venue of the Year Awards 2019 will be announced on Tuesday 11th February 2020 from a live event from Twenty Two, Dawson Street in Dublin.
IMRO LIVE MUSIC VENUE OF THE YEAR AWARDS SHORTLIST
Bord Gáis Energy Theatre, Dublin 2
Vicar Street, Dublin 8
Arthur’s Blues and Jazz Club, Dublin 8
The Old Storehouse, Dublin 2
The Underground, Dublin 2
Rest of Leinster
The Royal Meath Bar, Navan, Co Meath
Kavanagh’s Bar & Venue, Portlaoise, Co. Laois
Bridge House Hotel, Tullamore, Co. Offaly
The Spirit Store, Dundalk, Co. Louth
The Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Iontas Theatre, Castleblayney Co. Monaghan
An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
McGinley’s Bar, Letterkenny, Co. Donegal
The Chasin’ Bull, Bundoran, Co. Donegal
Balor Arts Centre, Ballybofey, Co Donegal
Coughlan’s Bar & Live Music Venue, Cork
Mike the Pies, Listowel, Co. Kerry
De Barra’s Folk Club, Clonakilty, Co. Cork
Connolly’s of Leap, Co. Cork
Crane Lane Theatre, Cork
Matt Molloy’s, Westport, Co. Mayo
The Quays Bar, Galway
JJ Harlow’s Bar, Roscommon
Anderson’s Live, Sligo
Róisín Dubh, Galway
IMRO Music Festival of the Year 2019
All Together Now
Body & Soul
Galway International Arts Festival
Live @ The Iveagh Gardens
IMRO Small Music Festival of the Year 2019
Clonakility International Guitar Festival
It Takes A Village
Claremorris Folk Festival
K-Fest Arts Festival
Another Love Story
The Acoustic Yard Festival
Sounds from a Safe Harbour
Ireland Music Week
Doolin Folk Festival
IMRO Tech Crew of the Year 2019
Coughlan’s Live Bar and Music Venue
Axis Arts Centre and Theatre
Live at St. Luke’s
The Sugar Club
Tropolis released their debut single ‘Oceans Away’ on Friday 24th January 2020.
Tropolis is a new electronic alt-pop project by Michael Hopkins and Andrew Lloyd. Blending dreampop synth, ambient sensibilities and pop hooks together Tropolis blurs the lines between accessible and unconventional.
Their debut track ‘Oceans Away’ is submersive electronic alt pop with touches of organic instrumentation. All recorded, produced and engineered by the duo in their studio in Kildare. Tropolis plan on releasing more singles in 2020 and live shows beginning in spring.
The Irish Music Rights Organisation (IMRO) is pleased to announce the appointment of Clare Duignan, the former managing director of RTÉ Radio, to its board of directors.
Ms Duignan, who has extensive board experience across private, public and not-for-profit sectors, will act as a non-executive external director on IMRO’s board.
She said: “I am delighted to be joining the board of IMRO at this exciting time. The Irish music industry accounts for over 13,000 jobs and contributes more than €700 million annually to the economy. It’s a crucial sector for Ireland, both economically and culturally.”
Ms Duignan worked in key leadership roles at RTÉ for over 20 years, including Head of Independent Productions, Director of Programmes TV, and Managing Director Radio and Performing Groups.
She is currently a board member with Fáilte Ireland, The Irish Times DAC, The Chester Beatty Library, Business to Arts, and The Institute of Banking. She has previously served on the board of the Broadcasting Authority of Ireland, The Dublin International Film Festival, and The Arts Council, and she chaired the Advisory Board of ShinAwil Film and Television.
Ms Duignan said: “I hope to use my experience in broadcasting and film, the arts and business to support IMRO in delivering the best possible opportunities for songwriters, composers and music publishers in this digital age, including ensuring the speedy and effective enactment of the EU Copyright Directive so that members are properly remunerated and can reach their full potential at home, in Europe and across the globe.”
Eleanor McEvoy, chair of IMRO, said: “We are delighted to welcome Clare Duignan to the board. Her extensive experience across the public and private sectors, and her passion for the arts and culture, make her a huge asset to IMRO. We look forward to working with Clare and the rest of our board to ensure that music is protected and promoted and that our members, the best songwriters, producers, publishers and performers, are treated fairly. This appointment comes at an important time for IMRO as the vital EU Copyright Directive is due to be transposed into Irish law next year. This directive will modernise copyright legislation and protect songwriters, artists, and creators by ensuring they are paid fairly for their hard and important work.”
IMRO is governed by a Board of Directors comprising 15 non-executive directors. Seven of the directors are writer members and five are publisher members, all of whom are directly elected by the membership. In addition, there are three external directors on the Board. External directors are not members of IMRO and they are appointed by the Board on the basis of the particular expertise and skills they can bring to the workings of the Board.
Congratulations to IMRO members Rodrigo y Gabriela who last night were presented with the Best Contemporary Instrumental Album GRAMMY Award for their album ‘Mettavolution’.
Rodrigo y Gabriela’s win was also the band’s first GRAMMY Nomination. On the nomination the band said, “It feels GREAT to know that our album ‘Mettavolution’ has been nominated for a Grammy, thanks to the academy for the nomination and thanks to all our fans, it is an honor to share this music with you.”
Released in April 2019, ‘Mettavolition’ is the band’s fifth studio album. Described as, “the most ambitious music of their twenty-year career together,” ‘Mettavolution’ brings together Rodrigo and Gabriela’s passionate interest in Buddhism, the history of human evolution and the liberation of the potential we have as a species; all expressed through the medium of two acoustic guitars.
The 62nd GRAMMY Awards took place on 26th January from Los Angeles STAPLES Center.
‘The Backroom Window EP’ is a refined and polished collection of songs that feature influences of jazz, vintage rock and popular music, topped with an accomplished instrumental.
This is Dave Carey’s debut EP, a music performance and production graduate from Cork, has in the past shared stages with musical songsmiths such as Mick Flannery and O Emperor, and recorded with Cork music jazz troubadours The Stargazers, intended to give the listener an experience of perhaps unexpected turns, colourful chord progressions and stylish vocals/harmonies assembled around memorable melodies.
There is an elegant mix present of delicate forms from the instrumental ‘La Luna De Lobo ~ The Wolf Moon’ inspirited from the stories of Native American tribes of early colonial times when wolves would howl outside villages and ‘I’ll Have To Carry On’ which has a reflective and somewhat melancholy presence presenting skilful, confident string arrangements.
The lively and jazzy flair of ‘Pretty Penny’ which could easily be mistaken for a lost Ray Davies song, features flashy trumpets and brass sections.
The EP shadows hints of a retro prospective with nods to Paul McCartney, Billy Joel, Chris De Burgh, Gilbert O’Sullivan and The Kinks and was recorded in just 4 and a half days at Jam Studios with the masterful producer Martin Quinn in the charming town of Kells, Co Meath. Most instrumentation was completed by Carey and Quinn, with professional musicians Eoin Grace and Ken Rice for brass and string sections. With the finishing touches and mastering another few weeks after, the single, ‘Only A Moment’, which reached the semi final of the UK songwriting contest receiving 5 stars from the likes of legendary producer Stuart Epps, was released in September followed by the EP under the Bentley Records NY label.
Dave was seeking quality over quantity, to allow the songs to portray their eclectic and effective elements, and simply let the music articulate itself through the backroom window of imagination.
Luunah release brand new track ‘These Roads’ produced by Brian Casey. The song is available to stream and download on all major platforms.
‘These Roads’ is a glimpse of what to expect from the band’s debut album due for a mid-2020 release.
The melancholic pop song was written by lead singer, Sarah-Beth who has previously released many introspective solo projects. In the third person, she speaks objectively about herself from an observer’s point of view – realising the truth of her own emotions when she detaches from her thoughts.
The song is a contrast to the groups previous up-tempo releases including ‘Heart On The Left’ and ‘On Your Side’. ‘These Roads’ shows a more vulnerable, human aspect to their music.
Follow Luunah to keep up to date with festival announcements, releases and footage behind the scenes.
Photo: Miki Barlok
The Fighting Spiders are a musical project under the leadership of songwriter and performer Ashley Sheehan. Having led numerous groups over the years, such as The Mute and 13 Kennel Gods, the Fighting Spiders allows Ashley to flex his modern production muscles and blend his love of 80s synth pop with classic guitar-driven songwriting. The Spiders draw heavily on influences such as Depeche Mode, Kate Bush, Prince and Cindi Lauper.
The Waterford-based electro-pop outfit are hitting the ground running in 2020 with ‘Some Party’ – a beats-laden banger about the party that never ends, or does it?
“Everything In Life Has Brought You Here,
Everything In Life Has Brought You Here”
This follows on from a set of single releases in 2019 which included the synth-soaked darkness of ‘I Have Something You Like’, the nostalgia-themed electro acoustic vibes of ‘Every Fresh Memory’ and the winter warming melodies of ‘Nothing’s Forever.’
Fighting Spiders showcases the commanding vocals of Ashley Sheehan, the intriguing guitar talents of Dean Croke and gritty placement of synth, loops, beats and basslines from Brian Grace, Dean Doyle, Rob O’Connor and Andy Walsh.
Five Interesting Facts about Fighting Spiders:
- Lead singer Ashley is a qualified Krav Maga instructor and has the bruises to prove it.
- The band are quite thrifty. Their stage costume mostly consists of accessories bought in Dealz. The tight white jeans they wear on stage were the cheapest they could find online.
- All of the band members have history with other groups including The Mute, 13 Kennel Gods, Torann, The Bearded Ladies, Time in the Shade, Chew the Scenery, Big Paulie Kool and the Mental Institution, Gilead and Acrojunk. None of them were particularly commercial successful though each of them had their moments.
- Percussionist Andy considers himself a minor local celebrity, though nobody else does.
- On numerous occasions, Rob has been mistaken for Will Ferrell. Once at Oxegen, he was forced to sign autographs in the Cosy Tea Tent as the star of Elf. This is 100% true.
Upcoming live shows:
Sun 23rd February The Workmans (Dublin)
Wed 25th March Crane Lane (Cork)
More to be announced.