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Archive for January, 2021

IMRO Music Industry Webinar | YouTube Best Practice

YouTube offer a breadth of opportunities to customise videos, drive viewers to other videos on your channel, create playlists, and engage with your community. In this module we will explain the essentials of YouTube strategy and optimisation. Furthermore, with an estimated 70% of all watch time on YouTube being driven by recommendations from YouTube’s algorithm, this module, which is delivered by Music Ally, covers all bases for ensuring your YouTube videos and channels are as visible as possible.

Date: Tuesday 9th February
Time: 10am – 11.30am
Bookings:  FREE Online Webinar | Booking Essential | Email:  ei.ormi@stneve to reserve your place.

About Music Ally

Music Ally launched in 2002 with a mission to help the global music industry to thrive from digital disruption rather than fear it. Their original focus was on providing news and analysis of the way technology is impacting the industry and providing strategy and research to enable music companies to navigate the new landscape. Over time they have evolved, now providing more hands-on marketing services and training for music professionals around the world. Music Ally also plays a role connecting different communities by organising regular conferences, including NY:LON Connect and Sandbox Summit in London and New York, and social events with partners including Music Biz, by:Larm, AWAL, Midem and Circulart. They are currently exploring the evolution of the global music business, publishing regular profiles and analysis of expanding markets as well as launching an editorial service in Japan, opening an office in Medellín, Colombia with plans for Music Ally Africa and Music Ally China too. Their clients are across the music and technology sectors, and include all of the major labels, many independents, music publishers, management companies and music platforms like Spotify, Amazon, Facebook and Google.

Alex Gough Presents Latest Single ‘That’s My Job’

Alex Gough releases his latest single and music video, ‘That’s My Job’. The track was written, recorded and produced by Alex in his bedroom during the first lockdown in Ireland…beats baking banana bread. Alex had the opportunity to create the sound for ‘That’s My Job’ with one of his musical muses, Denzel Curry’s right hand man and esteemed mix engineer Nate Burgess, who mixed the track from his base in LA.

‘That’s My Job’ is about being responsible for yourself and taking care of that responsibility first and foremost. It’s knowing what you have to do for you – before you can do what you need to for others. As Alex says; “You can’t constantly look after everyone else without looking after yourself first. That is ‘That’s My Job’ in a nutshell right there.”

21 year old Drummer/Producer/rapper Alex Gough is blazing a trail for Irish hip-hop internationally. Throughout an undeniably difficult 2020, Gough kept up a steady stream of releases and accumulated 3million+ streams in that year alone. Early 2020 saw the internationally viral TV series ‘Normal People’ use his track ‘Dear SJ’ as the first song of the first episode, leading to coverage by British Vogue, Elle and many more. Back home, his latest single ‘BACKSEAT’ was Louise McSharry’s ‘Track of the Week’ on 2FM and ‘Record of the Week’ at Beat 102 103. 

Looking forward to 2021 it’s only up from here for Alex Gough. A recent signing to the biggest independent management company in the world, Redlight Management kicks things off nicely. He’s been named on DORK’s Hype List 2021 , played Eurosonic 2020 and is locked in for Primavera Pro , a headline London show and 3 sold out Irish gigs.

Alex was listed in the Eurosonic Top 5 Artists to Watch – as voted for by all media out of over 350 artists.

Rubyworks to Release Tolü Makay’s Stunning Cover of The Saw Doctor’s ‘N17’

Offaly singer Tolü Makay teamed up with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for a spell-binding cover of the hugely popular Saw Doctors classic ‘N17’, which debuted on national TV on New Years Eve which is now set to be released by Rubyworks.

The video, which includes clips of Irish people sending messages to their loved ones back home, has captured the hearts of the nation, already clocking up over 80,000 views on YouTube and over 850,000 views (!) on Twitter.

As a nod to the Irish around the world who couldn’t make it home this Christmas, Tolü’s version of ‘N17’ with The RTÉ Concert Orchestra was put together with the blessing of Galway legends The Saw Doctors.

Tolü says: “Performing for the New Year’s Show was incredible. I had no inkling of what to expect.  Although I wasn’t performing in the same space with the concert orchestra because of restrictions (hopefully  one day I do sing with them in person), the production team from Kite Productions, Susan Scannell,  the makeup dept, Damien Chennells, and everyone involved made it such a heart-warming experience. I don’t even have words really. Learning N17 by the Saw Doctors and singing the lyrics to the arrangement  Gavin Murphy created really resonated with me. I felt every word I sang because it rang true! I went to university in Galway. I was taught in prefabs! And not seeing my family for a whole year was tough, and I’m sure the whole world understood what that felt like over this holiday season. 

No less than about 30 minutes after the show went live the tags on social media started going crazy. It wasn’t  till the following day that I was absolutely awestruck and so shocked with the responses! And seeing that the Saw Doctors loved the rendition gladdened my heart! I was not expecting the wonderful reviews! So many people shared stories with me and how long they’ve been away from family. I cried my eyes out on the first of January with gratitude.  

I’m beyond grateful to have been able to bring people into the new year and for it to be significant enough that  it resonated with those living far from Ireland.”  

Graham Norton Tweeted “Maybe feeling fragile on New Year’s Day but this has reduced me to a sobbing mess.  Huge congratulations to everyone involved in putting it together!!” 

Dustin the Turkey Tweeted “Sometimes I love being Irish. This is one of those times. Thanks a million @sawdoctors @ToluMakay”  

Dara Ó Briain Tweeted “Well this is just very beautiful. Well done to all involved. Very much one for the Irish  and Irish abroad, this.” 

Tolü plays her first headline show “Tolü Makay – A Night to Be Reborn” Friday 28th May 2021 @ 8:00 pm at  The Grand Social, Dublin, presented by MCD. The first sold out, due to phenomenal demand, a second date has  been added for 4th June. Tickets for the second date (€15) go on sale 13th January via Ticketmaster. 

Tolü will release her debut album later in 2021. 

For more, follow Tolü on: 

Spotify – Tolü Makay

Instagram – Tolü Makay

Facebook – Tolü Makay

YouTube – Tolü Makay

The Crayon Set to Release Brand-New Single ‘Moment’

The Crayon Set have announced they will release their latest single ‘Moment’ due for release this Friday, 15th January 2021. ‘Moment’ is taken from their third upcoming album ‘Downer Disco’ due for release this summer. Supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sports and Media.

The Crayon Set formed in 2010 and quickly came to prominence when they won a national competition to play the Sundae in the Park Festival in London. 

Founder/songwriter of The Crayon Set, Robert Baker, explains: “The idea behind the band, as the name suggests – was for it to incorporate different colours i.e. musical styles, influences, musicians and for it to evolve with each album. And for it to be inclusive. So, I think it will be a life-long project and it means it can continue even if some members come and go. Although I am very reliant on the other crayons adding their magic.” 

Rob eagerly releases ‘Moment’ as he explains it took years to write, swapping and re-writing the song and with COVID restrictions in place, there were more delays. Speaking about the single Rob declares, “the single is about depression and not giving up on life.”

‘Downer Disco’ is the band’s upcoming third album release, following the self-titled album in 2013 filled with choc-a-bloc with infectious, uptempo indie pop songs. The Crayon Set released a follow up ‘Lost Languages’ in 2017, which moved from indie pop was in part a tribute to many of their favourite ‘Americana’ artists such as Tom Petty, Wilco and Neil Young.

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! 

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New Single ‘Rapture Song’ from Paddy Nash

Derry Singer Songwriter Paddy Nash releases his first song of 2021 on the 18th January as an antidote to ‘Blue Monday’ which is traditionally the saddest day of the year. 

‘Rapture Song’ is a full tilt, E-Street Band style proclamation of love in all it’s true forms.

Paddy says that Springsteen himself came to him in a dream and told him to do it.

I had this dream that I was at the AMAUK Conference in London and I went for a pint with Billy Bragg and Ralph McLean. Billy grabbed the seats, Ralph got the beers and I put ‘Thunder Road’ on the jukebox. Next thing the door opens and in walks the boss. He approves of my choice of music and then asks me why I’ve never released ‘Rapture Song’ as a single. I explain that it was a song I wrote for my missus for her birthday and never really thought about it. He said ‘You have to record it and get it out there. ‘What? Full E-Street?’ says I. ‘Full E-Street!’ says he.

‘Rapture Song’ will be available on the usual streaming platforms and if you want to support the artist directly it can be downloaded at

New Music From Robin James Hurt

Robin James Hurt has shared ‘Salonika’, the lead single from his recently released album, ‘Live from Kilmichael’.

Not many folk songs are based on two Cork housewives having a slanging match over the garden fence. That, the wicked sense of humour in the words, and the insistent chorus chant, made it stand out as a truly great and underestimated Irish song. I was drawn to try and sing it after hearing the legendary Jimmy Crowley version. It’s a song with parallels today as it echoes social division and the power of ‘fake news’. Its also a belter!” Robin James Hurt

When the world went into lockdown in spring 2020, Irish/Scotish folk singer and guitarist Robin James Hurt saw his livelihood disappear overnight. So, he retreated to his small house by the sea in County Wexford, got a dog named Dougal, slowed down his life and started performing livestream sessions on Facebook and YouTube every Sunday night from his living room. Along with regular Robin James Hurt fans, these Live from Kilmichael sessions quickly grew a whole new following, with viewers tuning in regularly from as far as Patagonia, Afghanistan and even Kilmuckridge. He even managed to perform from home for a wedding in Malibu, livestreaming on a large screen at the California location, where he received an enthusiastic reception.

Old fans and new watchers suggested songs for Robin to learn and he also wrote several new original instrumental compositions, one of which, ‘Croghan To The Sea’, was directly inspired by the stunningly beautiful countryside around his home. Requests were made for an album which would capture the mood of the live sessions, and so Liam Mulvaney, recorder and producer of much of Robin’s solo output, came to Kilmichael for a weekend with microphones at the ready. The album was recorded live with minimal edits and tweaks and Dougal pitched in with backing vocals on selected tracks.

Robin James Hurt was born in Belfast and reared in Scotland. He formed his first serious band aged 18 with Irish singer songwriter Martin Furey, which led to him forsaking Edinburgh for Dublin where he settled and made a name for himself as a lead guitarist. After 23 years in Dublin he moved to County Wexford where he found home. Robin has played with many Irish artists including household names such as Ronnie Drew, Sinead O’Connor and Finbar Furey. Other artists he’s played with include Camille O’Sullivan, Garrett Wall and bands such as The West Seventies and Gael Slí. Robin reckons his career highlight is playing Glastonbury, not once but twice. “I went there as a 17-year-old music fan and said to myself I’m not coming back till I play here…which I did ten years later..

Robin’s debut solo EP, ‘The Spiders Legs’, was recorded in a rundown farmhouse outside Dublin and released 2007, followed by debut full solo studio album, ‘The Tallyman’s Lament’ in 2008. He followed that up with two EPS, The Market House (2011) and Ballads & Stramashes (2014), recorded with The Band of Moonlight Love. Then in 2017 came ‘The Magpie’s Nest’, a collection of traditional tunes and songs recorded with the Dublin concertina player Ailbhe Nolan. This was selected by the Irish Traditional Music Archive as a prime example of contemporary Irish traditional music and it also received radio play across Ireland.

The album ‘Live from Kilmichael’ was released in November 2020, on download / streaming and CD. Robin James Hurt will continue to perform regular livestream sessions from his living room, with Valentine his Martin D-28 acoustic guitar, and Dougal the dog by his side.

Joe Chester Releases New Live Album

Following the release in May, 2020 of his critically acclaimed sixth solo album, ‘Jupiter’s Wife’, named Best Irish Album of 2020 by the Irish Daily Mirror (“One of the greatest Irish albums of the decade.”), Joe Chester releases his second live album, ‘Under The Ragged Thorn’, on Bohemia Records on January 15th. 

The album was recorded live, but with no audience present, in the sumptuous 17th century baroque chapel of l’Église du Gesù, Nice.

Opening with a beautiful interpretation on Spanish guitar of the traditional Irish air, ‘O’Farrell’s Slip Jig’, and closing with the emotional peak of Jupiter’s Wife, ‘Hilton & Michael’, the concert is a voyage through Chester’s back pages, a fiery, passionate and emotional performance comprising songs from his albums ‘A Murder Of Crows’, ‘The Tiny Pieces Left Behind’, ‘The Easter Vigil’ as well as more recent material from ‘Jupiter’s Wife’.

For now, the album is only available as an exclusive, limited edition physical release on Bohemia Records. A streaming release will follow.

Joe Chester’s albums have been written about in the books 101 Irish Albums You Must Hear Before You Die, by Tony Clayton-Lea and Buried Treasure by Dan Hegarty and featured recently in The Sunday Times list of the best Irish albums of all time – “Chester’s debut solo album is a perfect pop record. The songs are at once effortless, memorable, hook-laden and a masterclass in subtle dynamics.”

His fifth album, ‘The Easter Vigil’, meanwhile, was named 2017 Irish Album of the Year by The Sun who described it as, “A tonic for these times, a triumph of substance over style.” 

Jupiter’s Wife, his sixth studio album was voted Best Irish Album of 2020 by the Irish Daily Mirror.

He has been nominated for the Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, the Meteor Irish Music Awards for Best Male Artist and for Best Album in the RTE Folk Awards (with The Hedge Schools.) 

His latest album, ‘Jupiter’s Wife’, a double album, partly recorded at the legendary Sun Studio, Memphis, Tennessee, was named “One of the greatest Irish albums of the decade,” by the Irish Daily Mirror. A producer of over 60 albums for other artists, including multi-platinum and Number 1 albums and singles both in Ireland and overseas, he was until recently one half of the critically acclaimed Hedge Schools, has been lead guitarist of The Waterboys, toured extensively with Gemma Hayes, accompanied Sinead O’Connor and performed for Irish president Michael D. Higgins. He is guitarist and producer of Dublin group A Lazarus Soul whose 2019 album, ‘The D They Put Between The R & L’ was voted album of the year (and indeed the decade) by numerous end of year polls. Hotpress Magazine have described Joe Chester as “A legitimate giant of Irish music.”

New Music from Rónán Ó Snodaigh feat Myles O Reilly (AkA Indistinct Chatter)

Tá’n t’Ádh Liom – Is a reflection on unexpected grace or luck, a guitar song in Irish, this recording came about from a chance opportunity to call in on an old friend for a cuppa tea after a long time of isolation. 

Rónán Ó Snodaigh, better known for his singing with the group Kíla, has had weekends at home for the first time in thirty years as all gigging stopped. He spent the year writing songs, playing and practising music and reflecting over his career.  2020 has been a year of ups and downs for Rónán and Kíla, live touring came to an abrupt halt midway through their European St Patricks weekend tour while they have had big successes from their work in film with an IFTA win for their score for the Oscar longlisted Irish film Arracht, and their collaboration with Bruno Coulais on the score of the recently released Cartoon Saloon film ‘Wolfwalkers’ winning much critical acclaim. Rónán is currently working on a solo album which will be released in 2021.

Myles O Reilly, film maker and musician, also found his life and work turned upside by the pause in live performances. Through the opportunity of borrowing a Moog, an early analogue synthesizer, Myles has spent much of 2020 creating and composing ambient electronic music under the name Indistinct Chatter. October saw his first release; ‘Cabin Lights Off’ which was RTÉ1 album of the week. 

Myles has spent much of the last 10 years accompanying musicians as they tour and play to audiences, documenting their work on film, giving viewers unique insight into artists and their work and artists a platform to showcase their work through crafting magnificent videos available free to watch through

Tá’n t’Ádh Liom was recorded from a live performance at Myles O Reilly’s home. 

It was mixed by Myles and mastered by Seán Mac Erlaine. 

‘Being an attempt at an independent individual I didn’t expect to be lent a hand by anyone; Angels, Grace, Gods or otherwise. It appears I have been helped a lot along the way and maybe I have just stopped long enough this year to notice how lucky I have been and how much grace has been bestowed on me.’Rónán Ó Snodaigh
Instagram: @myles.o.reilly

Twin Pop Duo ROOUE Kicking 2021 Off with a Blast of Pop

Following their arrival on the scene in late 2020, pop due ROOUE release their brand new single ‘Flavour’” on Friday, January 15th, 2021. ‘Flavour’ is about being bored of normal monotonous life and the same bland relationships, this song captures the moment when you decide to get more from life, get a taste of new flavours.

This song captures more of a disco dance feel compared to their debut, ‘What You Want’, providing a more old-school 00’s vibe. “This song resonates with us from being in quarantine craving a sense of excitement and an escape from confinement,” say ROOUE.

ROOUE are twin sisters Ro and Lou, born in London and living in Dublin, Ireland since their pre-teens. Singing with one another since they could walk, ROOUE excel in their connection with music and each other with the use of signature blended harmonies and diverse counter melodies.

Inspirations deriving from artists such as NAO, BANKS, Lennon Stella and Christina Aguilera. With this release, ROOUE demonstrate the beginning of an exciting career with loads more music and gigs to come.

Gaze is Ghost to Release Double A Side

Gaze is Ghost is  the recording moniker of Northern Irish musician Laura McGarrigle.

Her upcoming release ‘Wild Geese’, out 26th January, was inspired by the fragile beauty of the Scottish coast line where McGarrigle currently resides, while ‘Feather And Bone’ explores themes of renewal and regeneration, drawing inspiration from the Inuit folk tale of the Skeleton Woman. On this track she is joined by Donegal Musician Keith Mannion (of Slow Place Like Home) on the bass and Casey Miller on the drums.

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