Irish singer/songwriter Robert O’Connor has announced the release of his new single ‘Older ‘20’ on February 21.
‘Older ‘20’ sees Robert collaborate with EDM artist Skynem GT for the second time, after the Peruvian producer won a remix contest run by Robert to remix his single ‘Real Good Fight’ last summer.
Speaking about the collaboration, Robert said, “We connected creatively in a way that we knew there was more to explore beyond one remix. Skynem GT’s EDM sonic palette and my country storytelling lyric and vocal are an unlikely fit, but we’re lucky as artists that right now we live in an era of genre-bending.”
Robert has never been fearful of musical experimentation, often complimenting his commercial country pop singles with remix packages that rework his tracks into dancefloor fillers.
He explains, “I grew up in the ‘90s listening to a mix of pure pop and dance, and later in my 20s I came to indie and country – I’ve no doubt my songwriting is a product of that. When I write something new, I never assume it’s genre! I’ll always contemplate what it would sound like as a dance track, or a country record – and sometimes I think, ‘Why not have both’?”
In the past 18 months, the Dublin-born singer has released a string of singles, each receiving an abundance of critical acclaim. Music blog Pop, Rinse, Repeat called Robert’s work, “Honest songwriting the world needs a whole lot more of,” while Indie Music Digest said, “Robert possesses enough musical talent and songwriting prowess to be extremely dangerous.”
2019 saw Robert assemble a close-knit live band and play regularly on the Dublin scene, receiving praise for their semi-unplugged but wholly satisfying versions of Robert’s back catalogue – from ‘No Second Chances’, a world-class country song described by music blog Caesar Live n Loud as, “A timeless classic,” to the anthemic ‘You Found Me‘, a song that sounds destined to fill stadiums.
In 2020, Robert says, he has an appetite for more, “More singles, more gigs, more collaborations, more listeners, and most importantly – more risks!”
Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/ie/artist/robert-oconnor/68165886
The Lost Messiahs hail from Portlaoise, Ireland and now with some line-up changes head out on tour to promote their new album. The tour will take them to venues all over Ireland before they head to America for a series of dates in in April, 2020, following by a string of festivals in Europe in May and June.
Having spent the last two years writing and recording The Lost Messiah’s second album ‘Deconstruction of the Mind’, founding member and songwriter Ollie Plunkett is eager to share these new songs with the world.
His latest creative journey has yielded 10 original songs delivered with a rich palette of atmospheric guitars, dark and brooding synths and driven by a relentless hypnotic rhythm. Meditations on love, loss and a search for life meaning permeate the tracks on this album.
‘The deconstruction of the mind, the segue to a place
The silence, the fall, the breaking of the mould
The colours all explode, the wonder of it all
Look at the birds out in the sky, look how they fly, look how they fly
In a heartbeat, in a heartbeat, you and I, you and I’
The Lost Messiahs have already released two singles from ‘Deconstruction of the Mind’ ; with ‘Lights Out’ selected as Song of the Day by Joe.ie and Song of the Day by Dan Hegarty 2FM.
For this new single ‘Didn’t Have To Be That Way’ they have collaborated with Steve Fallone of Sterling Sound in New Jersey, whose credits include The National, Interpol, War on Drugs.
The band is made up of experienced musicians who have shared stages in the past with major acts including: Van Morrison, The Waterboys, Bob Geldof and the Vegetarians of Love and always sound like they are hardwired to the creators internal circuitry. They are known for their legendary live performances and last year they took time out of recording their new album to play a string of festivals including Electric Picnic, Sonas Music and Arts Festival, and Body & Soul and are already confirmed for many festivals and TV appearances in 2020.
They head out on an American East Coast Tour in April, playing prestigious venues like The Mercury Lounge, The Bowery Electric and Rockwood Music Hall in New York as well as gigs in Boston, Philadelphia and New Jersey.
The video for ‘Didn’t Have To be That Way’ will be released shortly.
Hailing from Castleblayney, Marty Mone made his inaugural debut onto the Irish & UK music scene in 2014 with his single ‘Hit The Diff’, and amassed over 9 million views on YouTube to date. He went on to produce 2 successful full-length albums, and his discography thus far has brought him 22 million YouTube views (and counting).
After a slew of large-scale shows across Ireland & The UK including performances on national TV and radio, Marty resurfaces with his latest effort, a heartfelt yet upbeat country-folk single titled ‘Truck & Roll’.
This release premieres in the wake of his 2020 Australian & New Zealand tour, and is the first single off his forthcoming album. An Irish Tour is planned for later in 2020 where he will take his show and truck around the country to meet and perform for his fans.
The track is being released on 10th February 2020, on his own imprint ‘Marty Mone Music’. It will be available across all major streaming and social media platforms.
The track follows Marty’s life on the road, depicting the blood, sweat and tears involved in a rigorous touring schedule as he and his team haul loads from venue to venue via boat from Ireland to the UK and back. It’s a compelling summary of the ups-and-downs of a working-class touring musician, but also a look into the life of what happens in between — going to truck shows and exploring the countryside in his Scania R580.
His self-produced music video is the perfect visual accompaniment, highlighting the memorable moments across his journey in a fun and lighthearted manner. It’s also chock full of references to the folklore contained in ‘Smokey & The Bandit’, a nod to a comedy film that Marty draws inspiration from.
The track is written and recorded by Marty in his home studio ‘The Plot Cottage Studio’. All video work was done by Marty, both camerawork and editing, which is a feat in itself. In order to complete the video, 3000 video clips were shot, 50,000kms were travelled, and 1 year was collectively spent on the road.
Join Danny G & The Major 7ths in the Bello Bar for a night of original soul, funk, jazzy sounds and good vibes on 6th March. This will be the first gig of 2020 for the group, and it might be the last one before their album launch. Limited early bird tickets available.
Special guest is the amazing Tolü Makay with her band.
Danny G & The Major 7ths is Irish neo-soul. No, not ‘The Commitments’. This is smooth, laid-back groove music with a positive message. Think harmonies and head-nodding. Imagine if D’Angelo was born in Limerick, grew up in Dublin listening to CSNY and had a Dutch songwriter father. The band is an all-star lineup ranging from 5 to 8 musicians including past or present members of Hozier, Loah, Fehdah, Mary Coughlan, Zaska, Ensemble Eriu, Paj, Selk and LaGracia. Phew!
Debut LP ‘Love Joints‘ was released in late 2014 on Hipdrop Records to positive acclaim. Single ‘Sweet Lies‘ has 400k plays on Spotify to date. Latest single ‘Believing‘ feat. Grainne McCarthy is out now (200k Spotify streams to date). ‘Say When‘ feat. French R’nB singer Osmojam was released in late 2018 – both tracks were added to RTE’s recommended playlist and received considerable national airplay. New EP ‘Live @ D-Light Studios’ is out now (featuring new track ‘When it All Runs Out’). ‘Time the Healer’ feat. Fehdah & Zaska is out now! www.dmajor7ths.com
Tolü Makay is an artist, performer, singer & songwriter. She is currently working on her project EP about personal growth in confidence and stages of self-love set to be released in the summer.
Having worked with Zaska, Delush, JyellowL, and with over 600,000 streams on Spotify, Tolü Makay is one to watch.
Inspired by the likes of Nina Simone, Beyoncé, Amy Winehouse and Asa, she plans to make it as an iconic and influential artist that will forever inspire generations to come.
Chris Short is a singer and songwriter from Dublin, with an original acoustic style of music. Having only set out on his music performance journey in January 2017, Chris has had a meteoric rise on the circuit over the past two years. Chris has already achieved some great things. Chris was short listed, excuse the pun, in the top 10 for the DublinLive, Nathan Carter – Search for a Star. 2020 is looking bright for Chris Short, with a number of singles due for release in 2020 and a debut EP due early next year. The forthcoming single ‘Your Smile’ has had a number of radio plays already and is available for Pre-Save.
Chris will be releasing his debut single ‘Your Smile’ in The Vintage Room at The Workman’s Club, 10 Wellington Quay, Temple Bar, Dublin. Chris will be joined on the night by the amazing Carol Faherty and the dynamic duo Novaton.
Capacity is restricted in The Vintage Room so tickets will be limited, get yours now to avoid disappointment.
Single Release Party: https://www.eventbrite.ie/e/chris-short-your-smile-single-release-party-tickets-90397791227?aff=ebdssbeac
‘After The Fire After The Rain’ is the sixth studio album from Irish duo Oisin Leech and Mark McCausland from Meath and Tyrone respectively. As ever the vocals are haunting and evocative, the playing is soulful and the songs resonate. The album was produced in Brooklyn, New York, by Daniel Schlett and Tony Garnier- Bob Dylan’s bassist and musical director of the last thirty years.
As Dylan’s longest standing band member Garnier has played on many classic albums down the years including Tom Waits’ ‘Rain Dogs’. For the Lost Brothers session, he played a double bass that was once owned by jazz luminary Charles Mingus. “It really was special having Tony come play on the songs- he and Daniel make a really great production team,” says Oisin. The atmosphere of fun, camaraderie and of simply friends making music was something shared by Garnier- “I thoroughly enjoyed helping out on this record- really great tunes and a joy to be around these guys. It’s a spectacular record.”
Co-producer Daniel Schlett, who has recently recorded highly acclaimed albums by The War On Drugs and Steve Gunn, played keys and engineered the session. There are also contributions from an all-star cast including M Ward, Howe Gelb, Steve Wickham and Jolie Holland. “It was an honour to have some friends on the album who inspired us in the early days and continue to do so” adds Mark. “Everyone who contributed to the album- we all draw from different parts of the same river.”
On this new release Lost Brothers remain true to their love of folk and roots music but the record also reveals a change of horizon. Many of these songs are inspired by the landscape, the weather and the band’s deep connections with the North and South of Ireland. Like much of the music that inspires them, these songs are fortified by water from the wells of home. The result is their most emotionally direct album.
The record came out of a cache of nearly fifty songs. A writing session at an old hotel in County Monaghan had been especially productive. “More than any other album these songs are inspired by our native land and all the beauty of the island with its rain, its dreams and storms.” They sing about the River Boyne on ‘Fugitive Moon’. The Gortin Glen, north of Omagh, was another direction home as was the Hill of Tara, the ancient burial site in County Meath. “These are sacred places to us,” continues Oisin. “If the songs showed any traces of alchemy, we’d keep them and try to develop them.”
The instrumentals too earned their keep and sustained the feeling of reverie. “When you are out on the road for a long spell,” adds Mark “it’s the mundane things you end up longing for from back home. You miss the rain. And when you return, all of a sudden, all those things you took for granted are suddenly magical.”
With pre-production taking place in Dublin and Tyrone, the songs were then taken to Strange Weather Studios in Brooklyn. The album was tracked over one week with the band recording live in one room to get an organic live feel. “We tried to catch a certain moment or mood rather than a perfect take,” explains Mark. “If we didn’t capture it in the first couple of tries, we put the song back on the shelf and moved onto the next one. It’s a fast way of working, keeping in the moment, and as a result, the album was pretty much wrapped up in five days.” “It was really exciting to be playing and singing the songs live in the room with Tony and TJ,” adds Oisín “it gave the recordings an energy and an edge that made it feel more like a performance.”
It’s been a remarkable passage for the Lost Brothers. They met in Liverpool when Mark had played with The Basement (Deltasonic Records) and Oisín had featured in The 747s (Island Records) – an older chapter that had included tours with Joe Strummer of The Clash and collaborations with The Arctic Monkeys. As the new Lost Brothers story took wings they immediately started writing songs and making music on their own terms.
The interim years have witnessed a trail of excellent records, international touring and the very significant return that is ‘After The Fire After The Rain’. It’s a personal direction but it also makes a case for perseverance in the face of hostile times and inclement forces.
Their finest and most crafted LP to date ‘After The Fire After The Rain’ has a lasting quality that grows and gives with every listen. In the words of Philip King, “this record is a wonderful sonic expedition and an album that is beautiful in every way. The writing is deep and emotional, an antidote to the virtual life and all its anxieties.”
The Lost Brothers have long traversed the landscape of gothic folk and roots but now they have transcended the genre to find a sound that is completely their own and this is a great achievement in itself.
March 3rd- London – The Southbank- The Purcell room
March 19th – Omagh – Strule Arts Theatre
March 20th – Belfast – The Ulster Sports Club
March 21st – Dublin – Vicar Street
March 25th – Galway – Town Hall Theatre
March 26th – Castlebar -The Royal Theatre
March 28 – Letterkenny – An Grianan Theatre
April. 3rd – Waterford – St. Patrick’s Gateway
April 4th – Cork – Live At St. Luke’s
April 5th – Limerick – Dolans
‘Sparks Of The Divine’, released Friday 7th February, is the first offering from Ultan Conlon’s eagerly anticipated 4th studio album, ‘There’s A Waltz’.
Conlon says, “’Sparks of the Divine’ is a love song dedicated to the consistency of a loving, supportive relationship throughout the supposed drudgery of everyday life, relishing in simplicity and contentment.”
His upcoming record, ‘There’s A Waltz’, produced by acclaimed Bluegrass and Grammy winner Sean Watkins (Nicklecreek, the Watkins Family Hour), was recorded in LA at the storied Heritage Studios, in just over two days to capture that timeless sound and classic album feel.
Ultan and Sean recorded the album with some of the top session players in Los Angeles including Don Heffington – Drums (Bob Dylan, Lucinda Williams, Ron Sexsmith, Percy Sledge), Sebastian Steinberg – Bass, Double Bass (Iron and Wine, Neil Diamond, Neil Finn, KD Lang), Gabe Witcher – Fiddle (Punch Brothers, Dave Rawlings Machine, Paul Simon, Beck), Rich Hinman – Pedal Steel (KD Lang, St.Vincent), Sara Watkins -Backing Vocals (Nicklecreek, I’m With Her, Watkins Family Hour) and Tyler Chester – B3, Piano (Jackson Browne, Andrew Bird).
The album was mixed in Nashville by Collin Dupuis and mastered at RCA by John Baldwin.
February 16th – Black Gate Cultural Centre, Galway
April 4th – Gealach Gorm Festival, Kill, Waterford
May 22nd – The Workman’s Club, Dublin
May 23rd – The Stables (Smiddy’s), Mullingar, Westmeath
May 24th – Coughlan’s, Cork
May 29th – Saltwater Festival, Westport, Mayo
October 22nd – Suirfest, Clonmel, Tipperary
‘The Nashville Calling` is the title of the soon to be released ninth studio album by Irish artist Ben Reel. Produced by Will Kimbrough and Tommy Womack and featuring Garry W Tallent on bass from the legendary E Street Band. The album contains eleven new tracks all written by Ben Reel. It was recorded at Skinny Elephant Studios in Nashville. This album was done and dusted in just three days with all live takes. Following the critically acclaimed experimental slow burner ‘Land of Escape’ from 2018, this new record has a more Americana, rootsy rock, live band feel.
Since his debut album ‘This Is the Movie’ back in 1999, Ben has reinvented himself from album to album, influenced by different styles of music over the years.
As one critic said, “He’s not afraid to throw in some folk, soul, reggae vibes, which in turn call to mind John Hiatt at his best.” Another describes him as, “somewhere in the middle ground between rock and jazz or a sound that is sometimes reminiscent of Dylan and the Band.”
In a solo career which now spans over twenty years, Ben has received worldwide critical acclaim with numerous high profile TV/Radio appearances like BBC, RTÉ and Dutch NPO Radio. Supporting Jools Holland, Alabama 3 and The Cranberries, and he has collaborated musically with such names as Hal Ketchum & The Blockheads. He has co written and performed live with his fellow countryman Tony McLoughlin and some of Nashville’s finest such as David Olney and Irene Kelley.
In the past Ben was selected to play an official showcase at Folk Alliance in Memphis TN and has toured as double bill with Tommy Womack (Nashville) in the US and UK, and also with legendary American folk singer/songwriter Eric Andersen in the UK and Netherlands. While in Nashville he was invited to play the famous Bluebird Cafe on a number of occasions, most recently September 2018.
Over the last ten years Ben has enjoyed successful tours in Ireland, UK, Europe and U.S.A, receiving rave reviews and attracting a growing loyal fan base. He has graced big festivals such as Jamming@Hippie Jacks (USA), Musiktan festival in Bilbao (ESP), Haarlem Jazz & Huntenpop (NL), Robin Hood Folk Festival (UK), Kilkenny Rhythm & Roots, Cork Jazz and Electric Picnic (EIRE).
Band line-up for The Nashville Calling:
Ben Reel – Vocals, acoustic guitar, harmonica
Will Kimbrough – electric guitars, keys, melotrone, mandoline, backing vocals , dobro, percussion
Tommy Womack – additional electric guitar, backing vocals
Evan Hutchings – drums and Percussion
Garry W Tallent – bass
Julieanne Reel – backing vocals
SIIGHTS return with third release ‘Better Now’ from their self-titled debut EP, released 7th February. The duo co-wrote the track with songwriter/producer Emi Dragoi who reached out to them to collaborate after hearing their music. Emi has worked with superstars such as Sasha Sloan, Meghan Trainor, G -Eazy & Lennon Stella.
‘Better Now’ features a hard-hitting, hypnotic drop intertwined with melodic and intimate verses. Lyrically, the pre-chorus features an anthem mantra of sorts depicting the struggle of trying to get over someone.
SIIGHTS say: “The song touches on the difficult thoughts and hurt experienced trying to get over someone from your past but thinking back and wondering could things be different if you gave it a second chance with the knowledge you now have.
It’s definitely a bit of a ‘what if’ song. In the studio we wanted to keep the verses quite intimate and raw but for the drop to really have a lot of energy. It was actually the last song we wrote out of all the tracks on the EP.”
SIIGHTS previous EP releases ‘Shoulda Been’ and ‘One More’ made Spotify’s ‘New Music Friday UK & ‘New Pop Revolution’ playlists boosting their collective streams to over 3 Million! The tracks have also been supported via YouTube on Wave Music and Mr Revillz clocking up over 250k views combined with huge backing from Irish radio accumulating over 5 Million impacts.
With their recent collaborations surpassing 1.7 million views on YouTube and support from BBC Radio 1, The Chainsmokers and Kiss Xtra along with being chosen to feature on Elton John’s ‘Rocket Hour’ (Beats 1), the duo are here to make their mark in the pop stratosphere.
Pre-save link https://smarturl.it/SiightsBetter
Following the success of his last 2 E.P: ‘Rain Or Shine E.P’ last summer and ‘Balance’ E.P this autumn (which so far have generated close to 2 millions streams on Spotify and Apple Music), Nicolas Kluzek releases a new single: ‘Pariscentric’.
“Nicolas Kluzek currently lives in Dublin which he loves, but his heart still beats too for his birthplace Paris. The city of love is a constant influence on his music. This is also the case with his new single ‘Pariscentric’, where he has set the feeling of the French capital to music. With the beautiful and detailed sound, as well as a striking clarinet melody, the thoroughbred musician captures the vibe that can be felt all over the city.” J.S
‘Pariscentric’ by Nicolas Kluzek is available across all digital platforms now.