At just 19yrs old, and having amassed over 10 million streams across all streaming services on his debut EP, ‘Breathe’, Curtis Walsh is delighted to announce the release on Paragon Records of his first single of 2020, ‘Until I Fall’. The track is a reflective piano-based ballad produced by LA-based Watsky producer/collaborator Kush Mody, with additional production by Ross Dowling (James Vincent McMorrow, Talos, All Tvvins) and Tommy McLaughlin (Soak, Villagers).
Speaking about the meaning behind the song, Curtis comments: “It’s good to criticise what you do as it’s important to try and improve. A lesson I learned was how easy it is to take that approach in an unhealthy mindset and find yourself trying to fix and improve every detail about yourself. This song was written after that realisation and is about trying to make that transition into finding that balance of living in the now and improving for the for the future without living in your head”
From an early stage Curtis has been championed by outlets such as CLASH, KOALA and numerous other tastemakers internationally. His first number of singles to date have been added to several thousand playlists and are being supported on BBC Radio 2, Amazing Radio in the UK in addition to fast growing national radio support in Ireland and other European countries. He has supported artists such as Tom Walker, Omar Apollo, JC Stewart and James TW and Picture This in addition to a recent two-week sold out tour of the UK with New Rules.
2020 promises to be a busy year for Curtis with a number of follow up releases already planned.
‘Until I Fall’ is released January 24th on Paragon Records.
Callum Orr is an alternative folk singer & songwriter from Dublin City. He cites his influences as well known acts such as Frightened Rabbit & The Shins, but also finds inspiration closer to home in folk acts such as Declan O’Rourke and Fionn Regan. Callum’s third EP – ‘Cathy & Places’ – is released today January 24th, accompanied by a music video for the lead single ‘You Are A Place I Used To Live’ directed by Johnny Stuart (WOLFF).
Speaking on the EP, Callum says ‘The songs on this EP try to evoke a sense of place. There’s a bidding goodbye to a childhood home, a yearning for Ireland while homesick abroad in North America, and it closes with song germinated whilst standing in front of a painting in the National Gallery.’ To celebrate the release, Orr is putting on a launch event at the Unitarian Church in Dublin city on February 1st. He will be joined by a 9-piece band, including a string quartet to recreate the lush string arrangements on the EP, as well as reworking older songs. Support on the night comes from Derry musician Conor Mason and Wexford based singer/songwriter The Man Whom. Tickets are on sale from Eventbrite.
The Crayon Set have just announced the release of a new single ‘Don’t Step Back Too Far’. It’s from their forthcoming third album ‘Downer Disco’. About the track, the band said: “This can be a tough time of the year for a lot of people. The song touches on how it feels to be low, to have lost a sense of yourself and your place in the world.”
The album was produced by Stephen Shannon at Experimental Audio and will be out later this year.
The Dublin-based band specialise in catchy, alternative pop.
The band released their debut album in April 2013. It was produced by Nick Brine (Teenage Fanclub, Super Furry Animals). Single ‘No.1 Fan’ received airplay on BBC Radio 6 Music, Today Fm and RTE amongst other stations and a number of tracks featured on Irish TV programmes.
Its follow-up, ‘Lost Languages’ was produced by Gavin Glass and released in 2017. The album was a move away from the indie pop of their debut and was in part a homage to many of their favourite ‘Americana’ artists. A number of tracks were play-listed on Irish radio stations. Musician.ie made it their Irish album of the year.
The band have just finished recording their third album with producer Stephen Shannon and it is scheduled for release in 2020
The Crayon Set are an exciting live band and have played many of the top Irish festivals and venues. Their dynamic live shows feature tight vocal harmonies, instrument swapping and occasionally some giant inflatable crayons …
Sion Hill has just released the eagerly awaited ‘Last Minute’, his second single on Warner Music Germany following ‘Fuel Kids’ earlier this year.
Singer-songwriters are supposed to tell real stories, right? Here’s one: A little while ago, Sion Hill was on his way from London to Liverpool for a writing session with producer Rich Turvey (Blossoms, The Choral). Unfortunately, he missed his train and ended up being three hours late. Shit happens, you say? True, only: shit’s been happening for pretty much all of Sion Hill’s life. He’s a notorious latecomer. But he swears it a) is nothing personal and b) also has its clear benefits. So, after Hill had finally reached Turvey’s studio and they got into a talk about life and such, the latter suggested: why don’t you c) just write it down and we make a song out of it?
And so they did. ‘Last Minute’ builds on Sion’s missing-the-train experience and turns it into a portrayal of a budding relationship that is overshadowed or propelled by his latecomer streak – depending on how you look at it. “I’m in your bad books again coz I missed the train / It only ever pours when it rains“, Sion observes over a buoyant, propulsive beat, adding: “I want you to know / I never think about the consequences / If I ever let you down / I hope you understand.” It’s not that Sion doesn’t care, it just: he doesn’t care about timing: “Do you wanna be more than friends? / Coz I don’t wanna change / Yeah, I like living day by day.” Constantly running late is not so much a personal flaw but a mindset, he insists: “I just want to dream / Can’t fall into the same old routines / We can run away tonight, on a one-way flight / We’ll go wherever you decide.”
“It’s not so much an apology to one person for not showing up on time, but more of a general statement that sometimes things can be more interesting when they are spontaneous“, Sion Hill asserts. “I don’t like letting people down, so I’m trying to get better with my timing, but at the same time, I leave a lot of things to the last minute. There’s something slightly freeing about not having plans and I love those evenings when I go out with no real plan and just see where the night takes us.” Because isn’t that where the real magic happens? “I love surprises and being spontaneous always keeps me on my toes,” Hill concludes. “It has allowed me to meet so many interesting people and have so many crazy and amazing experiences.”
Oh, and needless to say: when Sion Hill went back to Liverpool a few weeks later to record the song, he ended up missing the train yet again. “This was complete coincidence and I felt pretty bad leaving Rich waiting for me. But he just laughed and said: ‘Fuck it mate. That’s you in a song.” And a pretty good one at that.
Hailing from Ireland, the 25-year-old singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer (real name Nathan Johnston) currently lives in London. His debut album ‘Elephant’ was released in 2017 via Clouds Hill Records.
‘Last Minute’ by Sion Hill is out now and available across all digital platforms.
Donegal’s Siren Of The Sad Bop Eve Belle starts her 2020 with the simultaneous release of two new songs, her first release since ‘Out Of Town’, which sizzled the national airwaves in summer 2019.
‘Smithereens’ continues Eve’s hot streak of shimmy discs, recorded in London with long-term collaborator Fred Cox (Lily Moore, Rag ‘N’ Bone Man, Grace Carter). Eve says: “’Smithereen’ is a song about that torturous feeling of having missed your chance with someone and watching them move on. It’s based on my experience of falling in love with your best friend, and feeling as though you might have waited too long to put your feelings out there.”
Eve then flips the coin for a timely protest song – ‘Homesick’ – co-written and produced in Dublin with fast-rising solo artist SENU. She adds: “‘Homesick’ is about feeling isolated in your own city. It’s a song about the housing crisis, the skyrocketing rents of Dublin and the way that they alienate the people who have built their lives there. For me, it deals with that feeling of panic when thinking about being forced to leave due to financial pressure and abandoning this little world you’ve made for yourself, new friends, new experiences, all lost due to something as preventable as greed. This is a lamentation over the mounting pressure that is pushing young people out of Ireland, in search for somewhere that appreciates what they have to offer.”
That’s Eve Belle folks, something to make you dance and something else to make you think.
‘Smithereens’ and ‘Homesick’ are released side-by-side on Rubyworks on Friday 24th January. Eve Belle plays The Sound House in Dublin on Wednesday 25th March.
‘Revived’ is a contemplative yet uplifting ballad written by John Blek and performed as a duet with Mick Flannery. It is the second single to come from Blek’s new album ‘The Embers’.
‘The Embers’, will be released on 7th February 2020, it is the fifth solo long player from Cork’s John Blek. This time it was recorded in its entirety at Wavefield Recordings, Clonakilty with Brian Casey Producing/Engineering and musical contributions from Mick Flannery, Matthew Berrill (Ensemble Eriu) and Davie Ryan (Notify, Atlantic Arc Orchestra).
John Blek is much loved for his enthralling live show full of humour, pathos and his impassioned musical delivery. A master storyteller and a stunning finger-style guitar player. A must see act and a true artist.
‘The Embers’ will see widespread release in Europe and the UK via K&F Records and Hometown Caravan and in Ireland via John’s own imprint We Are Rats Recordings (WARR). Available on digital, CD and gatefold 180gram Vinyl.
It’s been eight months since The Coronas last released new music, and to say that the band have been busy since then is a bit of an understatement. They’ve headlined their own travelling festival, performed a run of special shows in their hometown, and released a live album, all while recording a brand-new album in London’s prestigious Eastcote studios. George Murphy, acclaimed engineer and producer (Ellie Goulding, The Specials, Mumford & Sons), has undertaken the main production duties on the album along with Rob Kirwan (Hozier, PJ Harvey) and Cormac Butler (The Academic, All Tvvins).
With a renewed vigour as a 3-piece (lead guitarist Dave McPhillips left the band amicably late last year), The Coronas are set to continue their busy schedule right up to the album release in May. “Yeah, it’s been a crazy few months!” laughs singer Danny. “But it’s a new chapter for us and we’re so proud of this album, we can’t wait to release it.“
‘Haunted’ is the first taste of this new music for the band’s legions of fans and they will be touring extensively both in Ireland and internationally in support of the upcoming album. As well as dates already in the diary, there will be an announcement coming on Monday of a very special show.
29th May Marquee, Cork
30th May Saltwater Festival, Westport
27th June Fever Pitch Music Festival, Galway
The line-up for this year’s RTÉ Choice Music Prize live event, in association with IMRO & IRMA, has just been announced by Tracy Clifford on 2FM.
Seven of the ten acts are confirmed so far to perform live at the event on Thursday 5th March:
The winning album will be announced at the RTÉ Choice Music Prize live event in Vicar Street, Dublin on Thursday 5th March and broadcast live on RTÉ 2FM in a special four-hour extended show from 7-11pm. A special TV programme of the event highlights will be broadcast on Sunday 15th March on RTÉ2, presented by Eoghan McDermott and Bláthnaid Treacy.
The 10 shortlisted albums are:
Daithi – L.O.S.S. (Strange Brew)
Mick Flannery – Mick Flannery (Rosaleen Records)
Fontaines D.C. – Dogrel (Partisan Records)
Girl Band – The Talkies (Rough Trade Records)
Jafaris – Stride (DFL)
Junior Brother – Pull The Right Rope (Strange Brew)
Lankum – The Livelong Day (Rough Trade Records)
Soak – Grim Town (Rough Trade Records)
Maija Sofia – Bath Time (Trapped Animal Records)
Sorcha Richardson – First Prize Bravery (Faction Records)
The 15th annual RTÉ Choice Music Prize will once again celebrate the best in Irish recorded music. The Prize has become one of the music-industry highlights of the year since its inception in 2005. The Irish Album of the Year award is chosen from a shortlist of ten albums by a panel of twelve Irish music media professionals and industry experts. The full list of judges is on the RTÉ Choice Music Prize http://www.choicemusicprize.ie
RAAP and Culture Ireland are also official project partners of the RTE Choice Music Prize.
Culture Ireland will fund the attendance of influential overseas music industry delegates to attend the RTE Choice Music Prize Live Event and RTÉ Choice Music Prize “Conversations”, which will take place during the day on the 5th.
Tickets for the Choice Music Prize live event are on sale now from all Ticketmaster outlets and from http://www.ticketmaster.ie priced €28.00 including booking fee.
We-Bloom, a night all about showcasing new Irish music and talent have just announced their big move to Dublin’s LoSt LaNe.
Kicking things off to a great start, after five successful years at Workman’s Club, We-Bloom are launching their move to LoSt Lane on February 3rd with special guests: Farah Elle, KYNSY, St. Bishop.
Una Molloy – Lost Lane – “We are so excited to be welcoming We-Bloom into Lost Lane. This amazing free entry showcase of talent has been the first port of call for so many Irish artists that have gone on to become serious Irish heavyweights in the Irish music industry such as Soulé, AE Mak, Laoise, THUMPER, Super Silly and many more. We-Bloom’s ethos is exactly parallel with ours in and we are already coming up with plans to broaden the parameters with Steven and have some We-Bloom shows in prime spots across our calendar over weekends and festivals in Lost Lane. Couldn’t be a better match!”
Steven McCann – Booker – “After 5 brilliant years of showcasing new Irish music & international acts, We-Bloom is very excited to start a new chapter with a move over to one of Dublin’s newest and slickest venues in the heart of the city, Lost Lane. We are truly passionate about the line-ups we have scheduled for the next few months. Our hope is that you come along and join us on what is a great community for artists, creatives, music lovers and everybody to hear new music, network and hang out. With so many venues in our capital city closing, we are honoured to host what is a very important night of showcasing Ireland’s best new music.”
Farah Elle – https://www.facebook.com/farahellemusic
With an eagerly anticipated album on the horizon for 2020, this looks like a very exciting year for Farah Elle. Raised in Ireland, she moved to Dublin with her family as a newborn child. With eclectic influences, including North African echoes from her Libyan background; her punk ethos as an artist is to encourage positive social change with her music. Farah also holds creative coaching sessions to empower people of minority groups through self- expression & music.
Kynsy believes in the power of authenticity, sincerity and vitality in pop music. A Dublin artist, her music fuses elements of indie, rock and electronic music in a haze of distortion, wit and deadpan delivery. Recent supports of All Tvvins & The Wha and a slot on the Dingle Gin Other Voices Music Trail show a promising 2020 ahead.
St. Bishop – https://www.facebook.com/iamstbishop
Blending his roots in rural Ireland, soul and electro-pop, as confidently as he tackles issues of sexuality, gender identity and radical self-acceptance. After a self-imposed year long hiatus St. Bishop recently relaunched his project with ‘Sleep It Off’, a single that garnered the attention of notable press outlets – Golden Plec, Variance Magazine, The Last Mixed Tape & Clout to name but a few.
LoSt LaNe FREE IN Doors 8pm Off Grafton Street
LoSt LaNe is a venue where music and emerging talent is front and centre. The venue seeks to create and maintain a reputation as the home of live music in Dublin. With a custom built, high end bespoke design speakers by Toby Hatchett, Hatchett Sound Furniture (Hang Dai, The Big Romance, Connolly’s of Leap) LoSt LaNe is the perfect venue for showcasing and enjoying Ireland’s emerging talents.
We-Bloom upcoming dates:
Feb 3rd Feb 24th
Farah Elle Jacob Henley
KYNSY Isaac Butler
St. Bishop Fiona Harte
March 2nd March 23rd
Erica Cody CC Brez
1000 Beasts Ma-Ka
Leila Jane Slaney
The Irish Music Rights Organisation CLG (IMRO) has become the first creative and entertainment sector company to be accredited with the KeepWell Mark, Ibec’s award for promoting happiness, health and safety in the workplace.
IMRO has heavily invested in employee wellness, safety and health in recent years and this has been recognised by Ibec, Ireland’s largest and most influential business representation organisation.
The KeepWell Mark is an exclusive workplace wellness accreditation programme developed by Ibec in 2017. It recognises organisations who put the wellbeing of employees at the forefront of company policy. The first of its kind in Ireland, the mark is a set of health and wellbeing standards that companies can achieve through the promotion of wellbeing in the workplace.
The accreditation takes a holistic approach, focusing on eight key areas and how they can impact business. These eight areas of improvement are leadership, absence management, smoke free, physical activity, health and safety, mental health, healthy eating, and intoxicants.
IMRO has hosted and supported a number of initiatives over the past two years focused on raising awareness of the complex ranges of mental health challenges facing individuals working in the creative industries sector in Ireland. Further investment in this important area is scheduled by IMRO through targeted programmes and initiatives for its members and employees in 2020.
The KeepWell Mark process starts with benchmarking current company practice against recognised standards followed by clear guidance on how to make improvements with support and resources provided.
On achieving the KeepWell Mark, Sarah Sweetnam, Director of Finance, Distribution and Human Resources said: “It is becoming increasingly apparent that businesses in Ireland need to make the health and wellbeing of their employees a top priority. While some old-fashioned stereotypes about life in the music industry persist, IMRO is determined to prove that those working in music can have healthy, safe and happy careers.”
Ms Sweetnam added: “We are extremely proud to achieve The KeepWell Mark accreditation, demonstrating our commitment to and raising the standards of employee health, wellbeing, and safety across all aspects of our business operations. Our industry is firmly built on our people, they are our greatest asset and their health and wellbeing is of paramount importance to IMRO. We hope that our staff will soon begin to feel the tangible benefits of The KeepWell Mark, and that we will set an example for other Irish businesses by following industry best practice”.
Sophie Moran, KeepWell Mark Programme Manager said: “We are delighted to present IMRO with The KeepWell Mark for demonstrating their commitment to employee health and wellbeing and taking steps to support their people. It’s fantastic to see an organisation like IMRO leading the way for others in the music industry.”