Music from the Heart

CD Reviews

Soda Blonde - Small Talk

The debut album from Soda Blonde may be called Small Talk, but if there’s one thing the Dubliners do not do, it’s mince words.The entirely self-produced album sees the group reflecting on their twenty-something experiences with refreshingly honest transparency. To put it simply, Small Talk is about life in our 20’s,” says Faye O’Rourke, Soda Blonde’s enigmatic front woman. “Every part of us is in here, both subliminally and literally. Lyrically, this record is like a collection of my flaws and insecurities. They’re lingering awkwardly by the bar at a crowded social gathering, waiting to integrate with the wider world”.

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Rónán Ó Snodaigh - Tá Go Maith

The pandemic has taught us a lot. We all learnt to adapt, use the time given the best way we could, appreciate the little things that make our life complete. For Rónán Ó Snodaigh, frontman of world music band Kíla, this meant getting back to where he comes from. The creativity kept flowing and Ó Snodaigh found the best companion in a friend and collaborator Myles O'Reilly, aka Indistinct Chatter. During the challenging period which some found hard to express themselves, these two filled a car with musical instruments and decamped to a remote cottage in Maynooth. Bringing with him a canon of new lyrics, inspired by deep and newfound connections with time, place, family, friends and… gratitude, Rónán found a nest in O'Reilly's minimal ambient textures.

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Ali Comerford - Knots

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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Niamh Regan - Happy Again (single)

With the release of her debut album ‘Hemet’ on Black Gate Records in September 2020, Galway singer-songwriter Niamh Regan delivered an emotionally rich and sonically textured delight that has effectively put her at the table besides some of the biggest names in Irish folk music. Despite the challenges in releasing new music during a pandemic, breakthrough artist Niamh scooped up nominations for ‘Best Album’ at both the prestigious RTÉ Choice Awards and the RTÉ Folk Awards, played a series of live stream shows around the country, performed for national television (Other Voices, The Late Late Show), received substantial radio play on (RTÉ Radio 1, BBC NI, BBC 2, RTÉ 2FM), and collaborated and performed with singer songwriter David Kitt and the RTÉ Concert Orchestra for a Bank Holiday Special with RTÉ Radio One.

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Lisa O’Neill & Colm Mac Con Iomaire - Peggy Gordon (single)

Peggy Gordon by Lisa O’Neill & Colm Mac Con Iomaire is the second single taken from In The Echo: Field Recordings from Earlsfort Terrace, due for release on the Ergodos label on 30th September 2021. The eight-track concept compilation album was curated and produced by Ross Turner. Recorded in various locations in the historic National Concert Hall building in Earlsfort Terrace, Dublin – ranging from old lecture theatres to dis-used stairwells, to a former morgue – this record features collaborations between a number of diverse Irish musicians including: Lisa O’Neill & Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Katie Kim & Seán Mac Erlaine, Paul Noonan & Roger Moffatt, Eileen Carpio & Sean Carpio, Conor O’Brien & Cian Nugent, Brigid Mae Power & Adrian Crowley, Saileóg Ní Cheannabháin & Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh, & Lisa Hannigan & Crash Ensemble. 

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BECAH - Reminders (single)

BECAH is an indie - alternative artist based in Lurgan, Northern Ireland. Having cultivated her art playing the local scene over the last number of years, BECAH has in that time secured support slots for renowned acts including that of Aslan, The Four of Us, and Brian Kennedy, most recently playing on the same bill as Brian Houston, Sam Wickens and Amy Montgomery. With inspiration drawn from the likes of Jeff Buckley and MUSE, BECAH has found her own unique sound - with a hypnotically tender vocal backed up by loud electronic synths and electric guitar. Lyrically vulnerable, BECAH sings of her life experiences, digging deep and drawing into those darker parts of us we like to keep hidden away. ‘Reminders’ is the second single release from her upcoming debut EP ‘Freak’.

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Kenan Flannery - Manchester Streets (single)

Kenan Flannery is a 22 year old award winning folk songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. Kenan’s unique sound stems from his childhood roots of Irish folk music and his passion for deep storytelling from his influences such as Townes Van Zandt, Bob Dylan and Luke Kelly. Kenan stands out with his distinctive north Dublin accent. His music has been described as poetic and the “embodiment of an old soul in a young heart.” and that it “hits you with the intensity of a hundred Irish poets and musicians that came before this man.”

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Micko Roche - Sióg (EP)

Micko Roche is emerging as one of Ireland's most unique artists and producers on the scene today already supported by Jose Padilla, Chris, Coco, Pete Gooding, Blank & Jones. Hailing from Waterford, his unique blend of chilled out grooves and live instruments come together beautifully to create a soul soothing Balearic experience. Micko's background lies in live performance, touring most of his life throughout Ireland, the UK, Central Europe and Scandinavia with Irish traditional cross over group "The Butterfly Band" and earlier on in the psychedelic Rock band The Madrigal. Micko found his passion for studio production and sound engineering, and pursuing his love for writing and production released several successful projects under his solo artist project, gaining attention from media as well the international Balearic music community. His new  EP Sióg  is a collection of five tracks, which includes  four reworks or indeed interpretations of the EP’s title track.

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Pete and Tom on Song - When I Gave You My Heart (single)

Pete and Tom are two gentlemen, living and working in Dublin, Ireland. Tom has worked as an actor, songwriter, playwright, producer and theatre director over the years while Pete has written songs, played in various bar bands. Back in the 80’s Pete played bass in Tom’s spectacularly unsuccessful band. The band failed on such a scale that even in the age of the internet its name remains unrecorded and forgotten.

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Mick Flannery & Susan O'Neill - Trouble (single)

Trouble is the new single from double platinum selling Mick Flannery, one of Ireland’s most acclaimed artists and newcomer Susan O’Neill, currently one of the country’s best kept secrets. The track is taken from the pair’s upcoming collaborative album ‘In The Game’, which charts the coming together and falling apart of a relationship. Instantly timeless, universally relatable and genuinely moving, the record is the sound of two truly unique artists working in complete harmony. Produced ‘virtually’ by LA based, Australian producer Tony Buchen (Courtney Barnett, Smashing Pumpkins, Tim Finn) it features musicians from both Ireland and America including ‘Death Cab for Cuties’ Zac Rae on Wurlitzer duties.

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