Music from the Heart

CD Reviews

An Early Bird - Diviner

Growing up in Naples, south of Italy, Stefano De Stefano (this is the name behind the project) cut his teeth on the Italian music circuit with a local band before going solo: the debut album „Of Ghosts & Marvels“ was released in October 2018 followed by the EP „In Depths“ in September 2019. An Early Bird has been touring extensively across Europe sharing stages alongside artists like Joshua Radin, Jake Bugg, S. Carey, Stu Larsen, Grant-Lee Phillips and Dan Owen. The album „Echoes Of Unspoken Words“ (2020), featuring a bunch of songs of which some have been included in editorial Spotify playlists, continues a path of exploring that has progressively moved the songwriter from the early folk sounds to a richer and multilayered sonic dimension. With the pandemic making touring impossible, this album has had a short life, so the idea to record a new one has come suddenly but with urgency. It was the hour of birth of "Diviner", the artist's third album, which was produced by Stefano Bruno. On this album An Early Bird stops being afraid of showing his pop side when creating folk songs.

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Jenny Hallahan quartet - This Life (EP)

Jenny Hallahan is composer and bass player from Kildare, Ireland. She has performed as a bass player throughout Ireland over the last 10-12 years, sharing the stage with some of Ireland’s finest. Throughout her career, Jenny has worked as a side-woman for various original artists in Ireland including Zrazy, Mystic Tears, Dorotha Konchevska, Propeller Palms, and Talking Waves. Jenny has a BA in Music from Waterford Institute of Technology, as well as BA in Jazz performance from New Park Music centre, Ireland’s primary centre for jazz. She has studied under major figures such as Eric Sweeney and Ronan Guilfoyle.

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BK Pepper - From An Empty Castle (EP)

After a truly amazing reception to his debut album 'Territories' late last year, BK Pepper is announcing another magical project, in a 4 song live EP and accompanying video in the unique picturesque setting of the 16th Century Rathfarnham Castle in South Dublin. About the project Pepper says “I grew up in this area of Dublin and my parents still live around the corner from the castle. So I have a strong connection to the castle and the area. I would pass it 3 or 4 times a day growing up so filming a performance here has been really special.We haven't had the opportunity to perform the album live at all since its release. When you record something and release it, it's time stamped, no going back to change it. Music is a living thing that develops and changes when you perform it. So it was great to record live versions in beautiful surroundings and acoustics. We had access to the whole castle so filmed in different rooms for different tracks and this all added to the dynamic of the performance. The castle's squeaky floor also makes an appearance which adds to it too.”

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Jack Joyce - Voodoo Belladonna (single)

Jack Joyce a 19 year old, Dublin based up  and coming unsigned Irish multi instrumentalist singer-songwriter first embarked on his music career at the age of sixteen when he began booking and performing gigs in local pubs and clubs. From a young age, Jack has been composing his own songs and released his debut demo EP, Get Down, in October 2018. Jack Joyce’s sound delivers a unique acoustic, indie-pop style. His cleverly crafted lyrics blend wit and poetry to create a perfect balance between insight and humour. Drawing influence from the epic works of Arctic Monkeys, Pulp and Leonard Cohen, Jack Joyce’s song-writing is something to be experienced. Jack spent the beginning of the summer of 2019 busking and backpacking around Europe, seeking out new inspirations and sounds for his futher music releases.. Following his return he sold out The Vintage Room in the Workman's Club. He followed this by opening for Cassia upstairs in Whelan’s and playing a slot at the New Year’s Festival in Dublin.

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Trouble Pilgrims - 21st Century Girl (single)

Formed in 2013 with the intention of continuing the legacy of The Radiators from Space but with a main focus on recording and performing brand new material the band have certainly lived up to that mantra. To date Trouble Pilgrims have released two singles, the much-lauded double A side debut of Animal Gang Blues c/w Who Do You Love?  Which was followed in 2015 by Instant Polaroid (The Man on The Bridge). The band recorded their debut album over the summer of 2017 and the resulting work ‘Dark Shadows and Rust’ received its worldwide release to widespread acclaim on Chiswick Records via Ace on 27th October 2017 with a limited edition 180g red vinyl version released in January 2018.

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Lonesome George - The Lying Devil (single)

Lonesome George are a four-piece ensemble of songwriters and traditional musicians from Belfast with a talent for weaving activism and social philosophy into their wholesome and engaging version of folk-fusion. Having always recorded and released their own music at home, the summer of 2021 sees them gradually releasing tracks from a new album as we all wait for live music to re-enter the building. At the heart of the project are the two songwriters, Joe Campbell-McArdle and Myles McCormack; two old friends who approached traditional music at the same time and have learned alongside one another. They are joined by Stephen Loughran, a flute player and prolific composer, and Dermot Moynagh, whose contemporary style on the bodhran has brought him all round the world and established him as one of the best percussionists in Belfast.

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Marie Conniffe - The Door (single)

Cork-based folk singer-songwriter Marie Conniffe began her artistic ventures as a performer, paying homage to the greats, namely Joni Mitchell, Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Janis Joplin, and Neil Young. It was a long time before Conniffe actually began to find her own creative voice. Absorbing from the best, she began experimenting with song-writing in her teens and early twenties but lacked inspiration. It was during her travels that she hit her creative stride.

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Neolithic - Thots (single)

Dublin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Neolithic (Neo Morake) is set to release his second solo single, “Thots.” He has been active in the Irish music scene for over a decade with several projects including his band Nobody’s Heroes, as a well known busker, and now his solo project. A laid back beat made up of layered guitars and vocals meets Neolithics’s signature playful swagger. His quick and clever flow amplifies the groove as he raps and sings about experiences he’s had as well as his evolving identity as an artist.

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Emperor of Ice Cream - High Rise Low Rise (single)

Since Cork-based Emperor of Ice Cream announced their return from a twenty-five-year hiatus in May 2020 and with the release of their long-awaited debut album 'No Sound Ever Dies' last August, they have embarked on a chapter that very few, if any, expected would be written. The acclaimed debut entered the official Irish album charts upon release while also taking the No.1 spot in the indie album charts. Due to the wide acclaim for the album and the associated singles the band have not only appeased their long-established cult following but have garnered a new legion of supporters around the globe, which in turn has created a renewed demand for the band's back catalogue.

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Greenshine - Lift the Ceiling (single)

Greenshine is a Cork based trio consisting of Mary Greene, Noel Shine and their daughter Ellie. Their songs have featured on Irish airwaves for many years and their tracks have travelled far beyond their homeland and into the waiting ears of music lovers worldwide. Noel and Mary have appeared on the recordings of multiple artists including Christy Moore, The Republic of Loose and John Spillane. Upcoming Concerts include The Dock Arts Centre, Carrick-On-Shannon, Bobstock Online Fest, The Clifden Arts Festival, The Cork Folk Festival.

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