Emma Langford hails from Limerick in the south-west of Ireland. Since first bursting onto the scene in 2016 she’s hardly taken her foot off the pedal, with an eye-watering ever-growing tour schedule and frequent collaborations up her sleeve. The artist has received consistent praise from national and international media and audiences alike, with The Irish Times describing her debut album Quiet Giant (2017) as ‘music that weaves a spell as you listen to it… An enduring piece of work’. Ireland’s state broadcaster RTÉ Radio 1 presented Emma with the Best Emerging Artist award at their inaugural Folk Awards in October 2018. In November 2019 she received inaugural Dolores O'Riordan bursary set up by the late singer's family with the help of Limerick City and County Council. This will help Langford finish her second album and start the work on the next one. Sowing Acorns is the title track of her second album.
Underneath the black hoodie of singer/songwriter The Hills Mover crouches Grégoire Fray, a French musician living in Brussels (also brain of post-rock/industrial gang THOT). Over the past years he has taken to the stage alone with his folk guitar. Now, synthetic and organic sounds form his new four-song EP “Before the Wind”. Released for this 40th birthday (6th of January), this EP witnesses Fray’s constant need for novelty and exploration, an echo of his several and endless lonely tours across Europe. This is where he feels at home, with his backpack and his guitar, ears wide open to peoplestories from which he draws his inspiration.
Moon Looks On is the musical project of Irish singer-songwriter Stephen Gormley. Originally a trance DJ from Sligo, Stephen picked up a guitar for the first time 10 years ago. So instant was his connection with the instrument, and so blatant was his talent as a musician, that in 2014 he decided to move to Dublin to study for a degree in Commercial Modern Music at BIMM Dublin. That was in 2015 and he hasn’t looked back since. Moon Looks On subsequently released an eponymous, five-track EP that garnered enough attention for the band to be booked to perform at Other Voices (2016), Electric Picnic (2017), Sligo Live (2017), Westport Arts Festival (2017) and Knockanstockan (2018) and Somerset House London (2017). With a debut album due for release later in the year, it’s looking like 2020 will be huge for Moon Looks On.
Although Martin McDonnell, singer/songwriter from Dublin, is just 18, he has already established himself among the rising stars on the Irish music scene. His mature songwriting and a remarkable voice has enchanted passers by on Grafton Street and gig bookers alike. Martin has played the famous Ruby sessions (previous performers include the likes of Glen Hansard or Hozier to name a few) and showcases at Wiley Fox, The International Bar, supported celebrater Irish songwriter Mick Hanley at DC Music Club. His previous single Like You Did Something Wrong showed the rock side to his songwriting and that led to a uniquely produced music video done by Picture Mode Films. Martin is now back with his third single ahead of his headline show which takes place in Whelan's on February 18th.
Hailing from Carrickmacross, County Monaghan, Barry Jay Hughes has that ability to immediately captivate the listeners and audiences. It's not only his ability as a classically trained musician, his passionate vocal that pulls the right strings in your soul but also his warm personality. He could serve as an inspiration for aspiring songwriters - he gave up his day job to pursue music full time and we have no doubt this was the best decision he has ever made. Of course it's not an easy thing to do but if you have a passion in your heart and you work hard to achieve it, nothing is impossible. Yes, we paraphrased a famous quote by Michael Flatley here but feels appropriate. Barry Jay Hughes released a couple of singles throughout last year and the latest EP Just Be Honest With Yourself could be considered a culmination of these efforts.
Do you believe in magic, in supernatural, in things that are hard to explained and often cannot be explained? Well, after listening to RUNAH, ambient folk artist based between Manchester and Dublin, you certainly will. There's something in her voice and the whole delivery of the songs that will get into you and you'll feel enchanted without even realizing it. Strange is her debut album, released through Beardfire Music.
The Lost Gecko are a band hailing from Cork, Ireland, formed in 2006 by Scottish-born singer-songwriter Malcolm Urquhart. Having recorded 9 EPs, with cellist Elaine McCarthy and percussionist John O'Connor, The Lost Gecko have released a new album, 'Solasta', meaning 'Luminous' in Scots-Gael. Between Malcolm's soaring vocals, intense lyrics, vibrant guitar playing, Elaine's emotive cello lines and John's atmospheric and enriching use of percussion, The Lost Gecko's music is outside the box; an intricate weaving of sound, melody and rhythms with spontaneous bursts of exploratory improvisation.
County Down singer/songwriter Brendan Monaghan performs his material at home and in many countries around the world. He has released eight albums to date, received very enthusiastic reviews as he continues to progress in his art form. His Christmas release is called " The snow fell down."
Black Bank Folk from Dublin burst onto Irish music scene in 2016 with their critically acclaimed debut album Rising.They spent 2016 and much of 2017 touring the country including 3 Vicar Street appearances supporting Damien Dempsey and performances at Electric Picnic 2016 and 2017. The band went back into the studio with Gavin Glass last year to begin recording Last Star Fall, the follow up to Rising. This album promises much. Recorded at Orphan Studios and featuring a collaboration track with Damien Dempsey, the album shows a musical progression from the band's first outing.
Anna Mieke is the musical project of Wicklow-born singer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Anna-Mieke Bishop, in which musical landscapes are weaved into song on Greek bouzouki, guitar and piano (and cello, in recordings). As a solo performer and collaborative artist, she has joined forces with a diverse mélange of other artists, most notably Brían Mac Gloinn (of folk duo Ye Vagabonds), who, as well as playing on all of the above, adds drones on Indian harmonium and fiddle accompaniment. Anna has supported the likes of Lisa Hannigan, Lankum or Ye Vagabonds to name a few, shared the stage with David Kitt, Landless and Rosie Carney. Idle Mind is her debut album.