With an adventurous spirit and a passion for charting the road less travelled, Beoga have shown that Irish traditional music can take fresh new directions. That world-facing potential was proven by the popularity of their collaborations with Ed Sheeran on his all-conquering ‘÷’ album. Those two songs – ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Nancy Mulligan’ – have been streamed over a billion times on Spotify alone.
Now Beoga build upon that growing profile by sharing their new single ‘In A Rocket’, a collaboration with Lissie. The track previews their new mini-album ‘Carousel’, which follows on May 22nd. It finds the band focusing on creating attention-grabbing hooks with a mix of rootsy instrumentation and elements of electronic pop production.
With vocals from Lissie and a topline written by James Bay, ‘In A Rocket’ blends Beoga’s Irish-fuelled rhythms with Lissie’s midwestern folk-pop as it looks ahead to better times to come. “Spent too long in this lonely room,” Lissie emotes, “Kicked out the locks, going to run with you / Sun’s waiting on the other side.”
Beoga commented:“’In A Rocket’ is about growing, escapism and losing yourself. The idea of getting away from it all in your own metaphorical rocket, whatever that may be. Lissie brings a special midwestern vibe to this song that really brought it all to life for us. We wanted this song to take you away to somewhere positive and daydreamy for a few minutes. It seems apt with all that’s going on in the world at the minute.”
Lissie added: “It’s such an honour to lend my voice to this uplifting song by Beoga. I feel like the words and meaning couldn’t be more perfect for these strange and uncertain times we are living in. Also, to have the release coincide with the first hopeful signs of springtime feels appropriate. There is a lot of strength, resolve and optimism in this song!”
‘In A Rocket’ is the third taster to preview ‘Carousel’ following ‘Matthew’s Daughter’ (featuring Devin Dawson) and ‘Make A Mark’ (featuring Ryan McMullan). Uniting the worlds of American and Irish contemporary folk, the former features lyrics written by Ed Sheeran about his wife Cherry and is already Beoga’s second most streamed track at Spotify. Meanwhile, ‘Make A Mark’ shows their growing flair for merging the worlds of Irish trad and modern pop.
Other featured vocalists on the mini-album include Beoga’s old friends Foy Vance and Niall McCabe. Meanwhile the Grammy-nominated producer Jonny Coffer has helped the band’s fresh fusion of sounds to flourish.
The ‘Carousel’ title was chosen to reflect Beoga’s experiences over the past two years. They’ve navigated the murky waters of the music industry, signing and then escaping two recording contracts before teaming up with AWAL. It’s been a long and frustrating experience, but looking back they realise that they’ve been more creative than ever before. In addition to ‘Carousel’, they also have the bones of a further two or three albums in place. Everything’s set up for Beoga to reach a whole new audience.
Beoga will follow the release of ‘Carousel’ with an Irish & UK headline tour later this year.
- ‘Make A Mark’ (featuring Ryan McMullan)
- ‘In A Rocket’ (with Lissie)
- ‘We’re Blood’ (featuring Foy Vance)
- ‘Aurora II’
- ‘Matthew’s Daughter’ (featuring Devin Dawson)
- ‘Homebird’ (featuring Niall McCabe)
Luan Parle‘s latest single ‘Change Your Mind’ will be released on Friday 10th April, the second single from her critically-acclaimed album ‘Never Say Goodbye’.
Luan’s plans to shoot a video for the single were halted due to the COVID-19 pandemic and instead she decided to issue a call-out to submit home videos of people rocking out to ‘Change Your Mind’, in the hopes of raising spirits in a surreal and anxious time. Luan asked people who were staying home with their families and loved ones to star in the video and film themselves giving it socks. The result is truly heartwarming, and Luan was blown away with the response from people all over the world. The video features music lovers in a variety of scenes; from 8-month-old Penny to 106-year-old Nancy, who also happens to be the oldest independently-living women in Ireland, and kids dressed-up as superheroes and princesses to a mother and son dancing in the living room. It captures the incredible spirit of those who star in it and will be sure to brighten up your day.
Luan’s recently-released album ‘Never Say Goodbye’, out since 7th February 2020, made the Hot Press ‘Hot For 2020’ Albums List and Album of The Week as recommended by Marty Whelan on RTÉ Lyric FM.
‘Never Say Goodbye’ features 10 original tracks, including two co-writes with Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes. “With ‘Never Say Goodbye’ Luan Parle has delivered her finest collection of songs to date.” (Colm O’Hare, Hotpress). The album has received a 4 Star review from Folk & Tumble, an 8 out of 10 review by Hot Press.
With over 300 radio airplays, the first single released from the album, ‘My Something Beautiful’, hit the No.2 spot on the iTunes charts on its debut on 17th January.
“With a voice pure and true, Luan Parle sings from the heart but aims for the gut. From lovelorn country ballads to gothic Americana to hard-hitting social commentary, with this album Luan’s songwriting has matured to the point where she can rightfully claim to be the Emmylou of the Emerald Isle.” Nick Kelly – Music Editor, broadsheet.ie.
“The result is her best record yet. Highlights include Running In Circles, a co-write with ex Dire Straits guitarist Hal Lindes that evokes Stevie Nicks” – Steve Cummins – Sunday Times
‘Never Say Goodbye’, Luan Parle’s fourth studio album, is out since 7th February 2020.
In keeping with government guidelines, Luan’s ‘Never Say Goodbye’ Tour has been postponed. She performs free live concerts from her living room, which broadcast on Facebook every Friday at 8pm GMT.
Irish songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna Mieke has teamed up with director and filmmaker Myles O’Reilly (Arbutus Yarns) to create a new live video for ‘Warped Window’, the third track on her album ‘Idle Mind’, released almost one year ago now.
Anna Mieke has played a lot of shows since the album release, highlights being a tour in the UK (including playing in an amphitheatre made of pianos at the Edinburgh Fringe, and in a puppet theatre), as well as performing at Other Voices, Dingle. Recent times finds her thinking a lot, and writing and more songs, edging towards more of a darker sound.
Anna Mieke says: “It’s such a strange time for everyone. There’s solidarity in knowing that we’re experiencing it together, albeit to very different degrees. It’s looking like two upcoming tours of mine are not going to go ahead, which is a shame, but a small price to pay given the current situation. Those dates will be rescheduled to sometime later this year if it’s possible – it’s pretty tricky not knowing when things will be back to relative normality, including events and concerts, so it’s hard to plan. I’ve been living in Dublin, cooking a lot more than usual, exercising a lot, learning how to grow things in the garden, and learning tunes on the mandolin. All while trying to avoid news and internet overload.
When I first wrote this song ‘Warped Window’, the ‘you’ throughout the song actually referred to myself; it was originally written to a future version of me as an impossibly ancient woman, who I’d imagined slowly fading and merging with her surroundings. A bit of a dark image perhaps, but perhaps there’s something poetic in that. So there’s a theme of age and decay but also, perseverance. Of course, a listener of the song can decide who the ‘you’ in this song might be for them.”
The live performance seen in the video has evolved somewhat from the album version, as it now has Matthew Jacobson (Insufficient Funs, ReDiviDeR) on percussion, Ryan Hargadon on saxophone, and Brían Mac Gloinn (Ye Vagabonds) on harmonium.
Chatting about the video, filmmaker and director Myles O’Reilly of Arbutus Yarns said:
“There’s an extra something about a song once it has been toured, when all the musicians stop trying to play with each other and genuinely, effortlessly feel each other’s space. It’s never going to be identical to a recorded version, but what is exciting for me is how live performance reveals a more sensitive dialogue between band members and their personalities. Having followed Anna Mieke to a number of shows, and being a massive fan of the record and her band, it was exciting then to witness their relationship on stage evolve and try to capture that magic…”
Anna Mieke’s 2019 album, which features this track ‘Warped Window’, is available to stream or buy on digitial/CD/vinyl here: https://annamieke.bandcamp.com/album/idle-mind
Filmed and edited by Myles O’Reilly (Arbutus Yarns).
Sound recorded and mixed by Cian Hamilton, mastered by Brían Mac Gloinn.
Anna Mieke – Vocals and electric guitar
Brían Mac Gloinn – Harmonium, fiddle and vocals
Ryan Hargadon – Synth and floor tom
Matthew Jacobson – Drums
Some news on Dublin artist, Johnny Rayge (aka Jonathan Armas Mc Glinn). With his full time gig schedule now fully cancelled, he is using self isolation to produce songs he hopes will create an album if the lockdown continues.
Following on from the great success of his single and song ‘Lockdown’, released on the 25th March, he will be releasing a new song quarantine boudoir blues on the 7th of April 2020. “It’s the first time in my life I’ve been solely able to focus on writing and producing, I’m pleased with the results, they’re the first songs I’ve released that I’ve done everything, bar drums by Avel Benito, and bass on QBB is by Fernando Castilhos.“
You can click a link below or go straight to his channel and subscribe, Johnny Rayge. The song and video premier at 1900.
‘Quarantine Boudoir Blues’, new song and video, premieres on Youtube at 19:00, on 7th April on the Johnny Rayge channel. Tune in and say hi.
Miles Graham is set to release his brand new single ‘Don’t Change’ on Friday the 17 April 2020.
The Irish singer-songwriter Miles Graham has been establishing his reputation, first hitting Radio 2’s playlist with ‘I Can’t Love You Again’ and then with high profile Billboard Dance hits with Don Diablo and L’Tric. During that time, Graham has focused upon honing his deeply affected songcraft, the first release of which comes with his brand new single ‘Don’t Change’.
The challenges and turmoil of heartbreak has been Graham’s prime inspiration in recent years. Yet with ‘Don’t Change’, Graham channels that sorrow to express an uplifting message of encouragement to others who are going through similarly troubled times. Spanning a velvety, soulful croon to a striking falsetto, the sheer range of Graham’s vocal gift immediately makes an impression. It’s the perfect adornment to the song’s hybrid of modern pop focus and timeless retro-soul.
“Breakup can be dark or colourful depending on your perspective. The choice is always yours , ‘Don’t Change’ I hope is a colourful moment captured within all the turmoil,” explains Graham.
‘Don’t Change’ was recorded in London with producer Paul Herman (Emeli Sandé, Dido, Corinne Bailey Rae), with string arrangements from the renowned Sally Herbert (Mumford & Sons, Ellie Goulding, Florence + The Machine). Expect Graham to share more music from these sessions in the near future.
Now things are taking off for Graham, but he still finds songwriting to be an immensely cathartic experience. “Making music is definitely life’s energy for me,” he says. “If I couldn’t do it, I don’t think I’d actually be here right now. One thing that always keeps me going is the melody – even when a song’s about pain and hardship, the melody still always carries some kind of hope. If people can listen to my songs and come away feeling a little uplifted, then I feel like I’ve achieved something meaningful.”
‘Don’t Change’ by Miles Graham is out on the 17 April 2020 across all digital platforms.
From Dublin to Dusseldorf, Paris to Perth, the critical acclaim for the newly released debut album for the young man from Dundalk has been worldwide.
Here are just a few glowing comments…
“A remarkable talent. Takes the baton from Van Morrison, Bob Dylan, early Bruce Springsteen and Mike Scott, and runs with it. Thrilling.”
– Dan Cairns, Sunday Times Culture (UK)
“Keenan’s debut is so devastatingly good, that it’s
downright scary to imagine his growth since he’s only just started. Even now It
takes some bravery just to listen to his intense tales.”
– Jim Hynes, Glide magazine (USA)
“A really remarkable new record.”– Robin Hilton, NPR All Songs Considered (US)
“An unbreakable stretch of ambition”– 4 stars album review,
Tony Clayton-Lea, The Irish Times
“Reach and grasp are equal. The first great record of the year.”
Pat Carty – Hot Press (IE)
“Debut albums as fine as this are a genuine rarity.”
Trevor Leeden, Rhythms magazine, Australia.
“an astonishing debut by an astonishing narrator.”
– Ralf Dorschel, NDR, Germany.
“It is by marrying texts of great poetry with an almost punk energy that the young David Keenan released an exceptional folk album.” Jessica Saval, Rolling Stone France
Global affairs more important than music have temporarily prevented David Keenan from spreading his wings and taking his tunes and tales abroad. While he works away at new possibilities in his County Louth cubby hole, here – in the shape of a new radio edit of the epic ballad ‘Evidence Of Living’ – is a reminder of the breadth and depth of his remarkable talents.
Ciarán Moran’s willingness to write songs, that according to Christy Moore “very few will write or sing about,” has allowed him to explore the darker side of society’s issues with references to substance abuse, domestic violence and homelessness. His latest release, ‘Falling Down’, encompasses a number of issues affecting those that start off at a disadvantage. It tells a story of the loss of a role model experienced by the narrator and an environment that was filled with alcohol and drugs, a sad reflection of what is so prolific in today’s society.
Born and raised in Dublin’s North Inner City, Moran is narrating the city’s sound through his music. Revealing its innate beauty and tenacity of its people, whilst continuing to pay homage to its imperfections and struggles. The line “we could be heroes, or we could be more” is repeated in the chorus, inspiring others to overcome barriers, regardless of how many times they keep falling down. Moran recalls how he first wrote the song, “on a long car journey home from a gig with Aslan,” when he was inspired by a, “boy who gives everything his best shot, but life always drags him back.”
Though a young man, Moran has already proven himself a veteran of his craft. His early development was guided by the creative minds of Christy Moore, Roddy Doyle and Colm Querney, who took an interest in Moran’s previously untapped potential. By the age of 23, Ciaran has performed on sold-out tours of Ireland, supporting giants such as Aslan, Damien Dempsey and Brian Kennedy. His talents have ushered crowds into the Olympia Theatre, Vicar Street and countless other venues around the country.
Moran belongs to a celebrated lineage of Irish artists; drawing inspiration from the likes of Damien Dempsey, Glen Hansard and a whole host of honest Irish troubadours. Moran displays all of the endearing authenticity of these bards, but presents a more modern iteration of their age-old formulae.
In 2017, Moran released ‘Almost Anyone’ a song with a ballad-like melody and narrative that also incorporated electronic drum tracks, alluding to his time spent as a hip hop artist in his youth. His critically acclaimed song, ‘Mother’, was released in 2018 and stripped away the ensemble sound in favour of delicate harmonies and soft synth strings, enabling a crushingly dark narrative to be delivered with pinpoint precision. ‘Follow Your Soul’ was released later that year, balancing the tone of ‘Mother’ with one of hope, optimism and positivity. He has since gone on to release his first EP, ‘& I Haven’t Even Started Yet’ in 2019, where he performed his songs to a sold out show in The Underground venue.
The song ‘Falling Down’ is out on all major streaming platforms now.
Following the release of their debut single ‘Coincréit Fhuar’ in January, Irish-language collective Deoraí have released a video for their newest single .
Deoraí, fronted by writer, producer, and singer Jack Delaney, are an independent project combining contemporary modern music and the Irish language to create something new and exciting. “I feel that although there are some Irish language acts and music,” Jack notes, “there is only a small amount of Irish language music which is breaking creative ground.”
Delaney, a fluent Irish speaker, only began learning the language at the age of 26 after attending school in London. Returning to Ireland, he studied twenty minutes a day, five days a week until he felt confident enough to begin to speak it after a year. Twelve months later he was comfortable and fluent.
The group’s new song, ‘Sceimhlitheoir’, tells the story of a woman who’s been abused in the past, but who now, once free, still feels internal turmoil surrounding her abuse and her abuser. The video, which is directed, produced and written by Delaney, represents the struggle taking place in the mind of the abused as she feels constantly on the edge and she tries to escape her past and her psychopathic, narcissist abuser who is chasing her through the streets of Dublin.
“Music videos are really important and will be more important going forward,” Delaney admits of Deoraí. “The videos are important because they tell the story of the songs. There are no love songs in the project so many of them have very specific topics and the videos make the scope of the storytelling much larger.”
Deoraí have a busy year ahead, with eleven songs set to be released over the coming months featuring a host of Irish artists, many of which will be accompanied by music videos. With work still to be done, Deoraí are displaying a new innovative way for artists across Ireland to incorporate the Irish language into their music, adding to the growing oeuvre
The song ‘Sceimhlitheoir’ was released on all major streaming platforms on Monday, 9th of March.
A new initiative to help promote community support within the Irish music industry and beyond kicked off last week as Mick Flannery, in partnership with PlayIrish, present ‘Mini Gigs at Mick’s’.
‘Mini Gigs at Mick’s’ is a series of online concerts, curated by the award-winning double platinum selling artist Mick Flannery. Series 1 featured musicians across the world who have supported him in live shows over the past year: Emma Langford (Limerick, Ire), Jeffrey Martin (USA), Rachel Sermanni (Scotland), Mo Kenney (Canada), and Niamh Regan (Galway, Ire) – all of these shows are available to watch back via Mick’s Facebook and Instagram.
Following the success of the first run of acts, the second series begins this weekend. Mick Flannery himself will perform a set on Saturday 4th April, at 7pm.
Mick commented: “I will be awkwardly interacting with the virtual world on Saturday evening. Singing songs to the people behind the mirror. I’m scared.”
Here is the full line-up for series II:
Saturday April 4th – Mick Flannery
Sunday April 5th – Steve Poltz (USA)
Tuesday April 7th – Jenn Grant (CAN)
Thursday April 9th – Niall Connolly (IRE)
Saturday April 11th – Casey Black (USA)
Monday April 13th – John Blek (IRE)
Follow Mick Flannery on Facebook and Instagram to see ‘Mini Gigs at Mick’s’.
Úna Keane has just shared a new work, :: PIANO SQUARED :: A piece for Piano and Live Electronics (Looped, layered Piano). Recorded Live at the Pepper Canister Church in Dublin on March 5th 2020 by Adam Kilbey Johnston.
The speed-corrected archive film footage comes courtesy of Guy Jones and depicts Victorian / Edwardian workers (as well as some curious kids) caught on film in 1901. “I really enjoyed scoring the music to this footage : There’s something kinda surreal about being stared at by our early 20th Century counterparts while they’re going about their busy lives, and we’re in Isolation mode at home.“