West Co. Sligo native, BRÍDÍN, carries on the traditions of unique skills and talents passed down through her family. She is fourth generation of her family to play Irish music and plays harp, flute, piano, and dances sean nós. And by day, BRÍDÍN, works as a full time funeral director and embalmer, taking after her father David McGowan, known from the RTÉ documentary The Funeral director. She says “I’ve always been involved in funerals, working full time in it, it has completely changed my outlook on life. I see sadness every day and people going through the most horrible time. There are tragic funerals and you have to stay strong, and hold it together. When the funerals over and I go home that night I erupt. I gravitate towards my harp and write my music, which I find is a huge relief and escape.”
BRÍDÍN has developed her own style influenced by her natural surroundings and rooted in her background in traditional Irish music. Her contemporary folk EP titled ‘Ocean of Stars’ features five tracks, ‘Wysteria’, ‘Floating’, ‘North West’, ‘Ocean of Stars’ and ‘The Salmon’s Tale, featuring Colm Mac Con Iomaire. Once covid restrictions allow, BRÍDÍN plans to celebrate the launch of her EP with a live show from the cockpit of a decommissioned Boeing 767 plane, located at their “Quirky Nights Glamping Village” in Enniscrone Co. Sligo.
Wysteria is the ultimate summary of how much can music play with your imagination. Bright harp tones in combination with the violin (played by Clare Sands), is something that needs to be experienced to be soaked in. .
Floating shows the power of vocal and percussion. Certain resemblance to Basciville's "Shall we gather " comes to mind at the start of the track. It's mystical, you imagine a foggy morning somewhere in the heart of ancient Ireland. Deeply spiritual number embraced by the piano. Even if BRÍDÍN wasn't singing words, just letting sounds out of her mouth, this track wouldn't lose anything from its impact.
North-West is another intriguing instrumental offering created by the harp and guitar. Once again Clare Sands''violin brings in something extra. This is the most evocative track from the collection. The great effect comes when there's nothing else but the violin. Maybe a few second yet it's enough to leave an impression.
The vocal on the title track is a cross between Enya and Saint Sister. Another example of the important part the violin plays on the whole EP. Haunting hugely atmospheric track, ideal for a sound healing session.
The Salmon's Tale is upbeat at first, it slows down a bit as the song reaches its peak and from there it's quiet, making the evocative violin, masterfully played by Colm Mac Con Iomaire, do its magic. Mac Con Iomaire's remarkable soulful touch elevates the track.
Ocean of Stars is a well-crafted collection of healing sounds. Exciting discovery for all the Celtic music lovers.