Music from the Heart

CD Reviews

Les SalAmandas - Now Is The Time (single)

Les SalAmandas, a new singing-songwriting act on the Irish music scene, are Julie O'Sullivan (Ballydehob, West Cork, Ireland) and Colyne Laverriere (Huston, France).They met in late 2018 in Ballydehob, West Cork. Les SalAmandas made their live debut at Levis Corner House, an award-winning Irish venue, as part of  ‘Secret Song Festival’ (2019).  On 1st September 2020, they performed at a sold out gig in Levis Corner House and revealed a maturity of song-writing well beyond their years.

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Jim McHugh - Pretending to Wake Up

Pretending To Wake Up is the new album from Co. Monaghan singer songwriter Jim McHugh. For his third album, McHugh lets us hear how he has progressed his rock sound in an organic way, never wavering from his roots in crunchy guitars and anthemic riffs but always developing as a songwriter and raising his game sonically. Working alongside producer Alex Borwick (Parliament Funkadelic, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Niamh O'Regan, Lankum) and session musicians Paul McCabe (bass) Paul Sherry (Eelectric Guitar) and Butch McNeill (Drums), McHugh brings a new dynamic and alluring sound to the rock genre. 

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Soda Blonde - Holy Roses (single)

Soda Blonde was formed last year by four members of the critically acclaimed Little Green Cars, whose debut album (produced by Marcus Dravs) hit the Number One spot in Ireland and saw them gain a coveted spot on the BBC Sound Of poll. Their debut EP, Terrible Hands which was released at the end of last year. All four band members (O’Rourke, guitarist Adam O’Regan, drummer Dylan Lynch and bassist Donagh Seaver-O’Leary) are seasoned musicians, despite their youth. O’Rourke is the first to admit that when Little Green Cars called it a day, she felt lost. But a career shift for the four musicians wasn’t in the cards – and Small Talk is self-evident proof, different than anything the group have released before, but carrying on its back all the things they’ve learned.

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Graham Davy - Fear (single)

Graham Davy are songwriting duo Patrick O'Keeffe (vocals, guitar and keys) and David Ruth (bass and backing vocals). Their lyrics try to find humour and hope in harsh places. Their style draws on a broad set of influences such as Tame Impala,Blur, David Bowie and The Doors, to name a very few. The duo released two singles this year, garnering the attention of John Barker at 98fm, and becoming featured Irish Artist of the week on Ed Smith’s Song of Praise on Today FM.

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Andrea Black - Harvest Gold

Born in Sherwood, Nottingham, United Kingdom and mentored by the late blues legend, John Lee Hooker, and Benny Gallagher of Gallagher & Lyle,  Andrea Black has worked with industry renowned artists like Narada Michael Walden to appearing on stage in Frankfurt with Skatman John to an audience of 350,000. Highlights include writing and performing songs for the launch of The Mazda MX5 sports car in Japan playing Glastonbury, representing the UK in Romania, opening for Eric Burdon in San Francisco, apart from her long list of acting credits. To highlight her early creativity her paintings were hung in The Royal Academy of Art when she was eleven. Andrea is just as at home on stage as in the studio, and has inspired audiences in some of the UK’s leading venues including, Bush Hall, Jazz Café and The Purcell Rooms at The Queen Elizabeth Hall. With 9 previous albums to her credit, her music continues to inspire audiences around the Globe defining her as a cross-genre artist with a unique and distinct style on piano and guitar, woven by her unmistakable dynamic vocals.Her collaborations and solo albums show a prolific body of work that continues to flow and evolve through musicianship and expressive spirit.

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Jamie McDonald & The Number Nein - We Be Miracles

We all know Ireland is a well containing diverse talents. There are some we are familiar with, others are less known although they deserve wider audience. This is the case of Jamie McDonald, a singer/songwriter from Carlow who is now based in Sofia, Bulgaria. Jamie sings with such a contagious passion and energy that would even awake the dead, as they say. His career spans 3 decades and 10 albums.

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Ali Comerford - Knots (single)

Born and raised in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, Ali Comerford started playing and studying classical music at the age of 4. After obtaining a Masters of Violin Performance from London's Royal College of Music, she relocated to New York, completing a Masters of Music in Viola Performance at the Manhattan School of Music on scholarship. Ali’s journey in music has seen her grace the likes of New York’s Carnegie Hall, London’s Royal Albert Hall and Dublin’s National Concert Hall. She has toured the world with Lincoln Center Stage, playing sold out shows around Australia, New Zealand and the United States. After years as a freelance musician for various string ensembles and chamber orchestras in New York, January 2020 saw Ali come home to her native Jenkinstown in Co. Kilkenny. Faced with her biggest stretch of free time in 14 years, Ali used her artistry to process and bring closure to the various ups and downs oflife she experienced during her time traveling the world with her craft.

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Kandemic - Control (single)

In the midst of a global pandemic, and what we can only call a crushing year for so many, four musicians got together to kill some time by making music. It had been their passion individually for decades. And with what felt like never-ending lockdowns, the one thing they had was time. With diverse experience and backgrounds in folk, rock, hip hop and reggae, the music started to take shape, and Kandemic was born. With everything going on in the world, it became clear from the very start that Kandemic had a lot to say and a story to tell. As one lockdown was followed by another, the band kept writing and recording music. And six months and thousands of cans of beer later, Kandemic realised they had an album in their hands and a message from far beyond the stars. Rock, punk, hip hop and reggae, and swapping between English and Italian languages, Kandemic's sound picks from the past and sets out to make something new. Band members from Helsinki, Milan, Rome and Venice now call Dublin their home.

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Strange Boy - Prayers (single)

Strange Boy is a 1000-year-old poet channeling through the body of a young man from Limerick. With hard-hitting, thought-provoking lyrics, Strange Boy’s unique mastery of flow renders him one of the most important rappers of our time. With genius and poetry, Strange Boy paints a living picture of the raw truth country’s youth - Waiting. Unfiltered and nuanced, it's a slow scene of the rapper's inner life and the lives of those in his community. Strange Boy combines hip-hop and Irish traditional music, the old and new cultural influences dominant in this country. The music was composed and produced by Enda Gallery in Kilfenora, Co. Clare during lockdown. A master of multitudes of genres, Enda also releases music under his own name, and is currently writing and producing debut albums for not only Strange Boy, but also Tolü Makay and Willzee.

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A Choir of Ghosts - Oceans (single)

We must first make our way into the wilderness through the deep, dense Scandinavian forest before we come across A Choir of Ghosts. There you can find him singing his energetic, modern and longing folk songs.A Choir of Ghosts' musical foundation is: A solid ground consisting of a reminiscence of Kurt Cobain, covered with the water, the sun and the air of bands like The Tallest Man On Earth and the Hollow Coves, which give you a feeling of various shades of nostalgia. A Choir of Ghosts has had a few singles since 2016 - "Morning Light" currently has over 1.4 million streams on Spotify, and the trend is rising - and released an EP that received international media coverage and carried him across the borders of the Swedish wilderness, among others on extensive tours through Central Europe. With the release of his widely acclaimed debut album “An Ounce of Gold” in April 2020, the Swede by choice was once again able to secure euphoric international press praise. After a spring European tour that was canceled due to Covid-19, “Oceans” is the second musical sign of life from A Choir of Ghosts.

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