Co. Down artist CeeV (pronounced like 'leave') is releasing her new single 'Twenty Three'. CeeV, who's real name is Caoimhe McAleavey, is based in Newry but began her music career in Manchester studying songwriting at BIMM. Although immersed in music in one of the most creative and music rich cities in the world, CeeV was reluctant to showcase her own songs and instead took a more backseat role while playing in several bands in some of the most recognisable venues in the city. Although she didn't perform her own songs live while in Manchester, CeeV plucked up the courage and shared her work with real live people on Soundcloud and was astonished when her music reached over 30,000 listens.
With her confidence growing, CeeV moved home to Newry and began performing her own songs, slowly building a loyal following. Now with her craft as a performer and songwriter improving, CeeV decided for an adventure away from the safety and security of home and moved to another city rich in music and creativity, Ottawa, Canada. Determined to improve her craft she performed in every bar, cafe and restaurant that she could, learning every time she stood on stage.
Now back at home CeeV is finally releasing her songs to the world. About her latest release, Twenty Three'. CeeV says... "Twenty Three is a story. But it’s also a lesson. It shows two different perspectives of leaving a relationship. One might think it’s the end of the world but the other knows there is a future out there for both of you even though it’s apart.
I wrote this song as a lighthearted reflection. With influences from musical storytellers like Picture This and The Jezebels, I felt this meaningful story was best told alongside uplifting melodies and heartwarming lyrics.".
This year will see CeeV support Liam Ó Maonlaí, Lisa Hannigan and Gloria Gaynor on Irish stages.
Dublin-based singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and producer Neolithic (Neo Morake) has just released 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.
He says, “Growing up with my name I’ve been referenced to the Matrix a lot. Neo’s task was to mess up the system so that’s what I’m gonna do. It's also a kind of post-introduction-intro into my rap side with Lithic as an alter ego of Neolithic. It’s my own way of saying “hey world, I’m ready. Let’s do this…” you know?”
He goes on to say, “This side of my music is really about letting loose and being free with yourself. The song really is about feeling goofy, it’s also about some odd moments, particular sessions that I’ve had in the past. Thoughts of those memories - even the freshest - get you feeling good.”
The song was recorded and produced by Neolithic in his home studio.
Bio: Neolithic has been active in the Irish music scene for over a decade both solo and with several projects including his band Nobody’s Heroes. A singer, songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and well-known busker, Neolithic’s music blends genres and influences to bring listeners a groove-heavy and truly engaging experience. His solo project satisfies his hunger for more flavours and experimenting and fuses genres such as rap, hip-hop, jazz, lo-fi & indie.
british alt pop quartet alesund release third ep 'a thread in the dark' alongside new single 'rhythm'
Following up on the 2020 release of their second EP ‘All Hail To Your Queen’, Bristol-based atmospheric Alt-Pop quartet Ålesund have just returned with her new EP ‘A Thread In The Dark’.
After the untimely curtailing of their European Tour in Spring 2020 due to the COVID-19 outbreak, Ålesund travelled back to the UK feeling uncertain. Although things were going so well with a new offering and an extensive touring and festival schedule to get stuck into, the timing of the unplanned hiatus was less than ideal. Rather than take it to heart, the group’s vocalist and songwriter Alba Torriset retreated to her hometown of Hastings to try and reconnect with music in a positive way.
“With all the negativity in the world, I wanted to create something uplifting and optimistic,” she says, and so the four track EP ‘A Thread In The Dark’ was created. Alba and guitarist Lloyd Starr started to put together demos with a euphoric and festival-tinged edge. They then engaged with long term collaborator and producer Jake Bright to help build the record.
This is the first time that a batch of songs have been created in this way for the band. Due to the inability to all be in the same room, Alba tried her hand at Logic and demoed her ideas to send to the others. She went back to basics creating rhythm and texture by layering up clapping and even using wooden spoons to get the percussive sounds she was after. She also layered up lots of backing vocals to flesh out her ideas. These all became features within the record and the rest of the band liked how the lockdown restrictions had actually pushed the sound forward in ways it perhaps wouldn’t have if they had all been able to jam the ideas in the same room.
Throughout the EP Alba’s intoxicating vocals take on totally different auras that interchange based on the musical landscapes they’re placed against; soaring atmospheric synth-laden soundscapes, shimmering guitars and tantalising grooves.
Lyrically, the songs were inspired by being so still and so quiet in lockdown and being able to hear and see things that would have previously passed you by. “The usual hustle and bustle of life can drown things out, but with everything and everyone stopping, it brought a magnificent clarity. Hearing the birds sing, watching the trees blossom, following the cycles of the full moon. Thinking more about what is real, what is important, human instincts, human interactions, the natural world and how we all work together within it”, states Alba.
Prior to the EP’s release comes their next single Rhythm, which was released on 2n July 2021. “I had read a beautiful poem called In A Northern Bay by Arthur Symons, about how life is held together by natural rhythms and it fascinated me. I researched it more and found that the idea was also an ancient Korean concept of how the earth came to be. It's called YullYeo and it literally means "The rhythms of the Universe."
These ideas inspired the song into existence and it felt incredibly poignant as I was writing it in lockdown. When I was feeling lost, restless or unproductive, I could look to the patterns and rhythms nature is always presenting us, they help us find our place in the world and make us feel more content within it too”, explains lyricist Alba Torriset.
“I’ll be honest. I recorded the idea for this song at 4am, drunk, in a bathroom at a party with my friends.” Honesty is always a feature with Ger, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Cork, Ireland. This summer sees him release luminous summer pop single, “Love Tattoo”, and it’s the fusion of forthright personality and unabashed fun on offer which makes this track feel special.
About the song, Ger says it came from a desire to write a love song – but one which would resonate with where he’s at, and where he wants to be. “I’m not gonna write a sad love song. That’s not me,” he says. About the lyrics, he goes on to say, “It’s about when you meet someone you can’t get out of your head. When it’s a practically physical feeling, and you can’t remove them from you. Like a tattoo.”
“I felt nearly infatuated with someone,” Ger shares. “And he was playing with me.”
Ger smiles as he discusses a small detail in the song: a Dua Lipa reference, “dance to Dua til we hallucinate”. “He was obsessed with her. I wanted that to be in there too.” The track winds its way through smart and gorgeous synth melodies, wrapped up with Ger’s own unmistakeable world-class vocal performance. Through it all, Ger’s highly personal brand of lyrics and melodies shine, amidst the glitter of a rich production.
Once Ger had listened back to his recording of the melody for ‘Love Tattoo’, captured hurriedly in a bathroom, he knew he had something. “It’s catchy. It’s a song for when you’re driving in your car with the sun blaring down on you.” He wrote and performed the song, with Cian O’Donoghue producing and mixing the track, and mastering done by F.O.B (Matthew Nolan, uppbeat).
Ger (née Gerard O’Hanlon) is a 22-year-old singer-songwriter from Cork, Ireland, currently based in Greece. He moved into a foster home at a young age, after the passing of his mother at 33. “Music was the one thing which always brought us together.” Ger decided to study music at the University of Limerick in 2017. In 2018, he gained the online attention of British singer Jessie J for his vocal ability, and 6-octave vocal range, and moved to the noted commercial music institute BIMM Dublin in 2019 to focus his studies.
Since his debut in 2020, Ger has secured 5 Top 10 Hits on the Irish iTunes Charts. “To Be With Him” and “Suffocating” took No. 1 on the Top 100 Singles and Top 100 Pop Singles charts respectively, and his latest single, “When Ash Turns Into Diamonds” achieved a No. 1 position on the Top 100 Alternative Singles chart in January. Ger is a powerhouse of positivity, and one of the most exciting songwriters to emerge from the art city of Cork in recent years.
Ger’s music is inspired by a long-time love of iconic vocalists like Mariah Carey, Christina Aguilera and Whitney Houston. Traces of Dua Lipa can also be found in his songs, as well as nods to 2010s-era pop in the vein of Katy Perry and Ke$ha. His personal and powerful delivery has drawn comparisons with Sam Smith and Adele.
Pop Wallace, R&B/pop artist from Carlow, Ireland, just released his latest single, “Out Sick”, in collaboration with Dublin synth-pop artist Boyfrens. The song is a smooth blend of pop and R&B, with nods to early electronica, and a dreamy, trance-inducing feeling throughout.
“I left space. I wanted a feature on this,” Wallace says of the track. As for how he met his collaborator, it was when Soft Boy Records producer Gaptoof ran a series of ‘beat battles’ on Instagram in early 2021, to bring Irish musicians together online in the midst of lockdown. Gaptoof issued a sample, and producers had one week to reimagine it as a new song. The tracks were played on the night, with the best being placed on a mixtape sold on Bandcamp, with proceeds going to MASI (Movement of Asylum Seekers in Ireland). The event was a success, and brought together many unlikely new friends – including an R&B artist from Carlow based in Arizona, and a synth-pop singer from Dublin.
“Out Sick” features effortlessly smooth production, by Pop Wallace himself, and further developed by Shaun Hennessy (Poxy Records). The song’s lyrics deal with self-sabotage, excess, and self-worth. “My portion of the lyrics are really about binging – being aware of the damage I’m doing, and going through with it anyway.” “I know I’ve done this to myself, always picking from the bottom shelf”.
Boyfrens’ verse hides a heart-wrenching reflection on the reality of self-loathing (“if I could I would leave me”). Wallace says of the track’s raw themes, “this song, though hard, is really beautiful for me, because I know it’s real. It’s been therapeutic.”
Pop Wallace is a singer/producer from Co. Carlow, currently based in Phoenix, Arizona. In 2013, he moved to the US, after meeting his American wife in Ireland. “I used to write and play a lot. And then I moved to America and… did nothing for eight years. But the pandemic made my friends start making new music. Soon we’re thinking of starting up a label, and last year, I started learning to produce music.”
He co-founded Poxy Records in 2020, alongside hip-hop producer Willhouse and songwriter/producer Lenny Melon. “Link Up”, Wallace’s debut single, was released in June 2020. It was popular enough to warrant a successful crowdfund for an entire full-length album for Pop Wallace, “Good Boy”, whose limited edition vinyl record became Poxy Records’ first physical release in less than half a year of its existence.
He has received airplay on Cork’s RedFM, John Barker’s Totally Irish Show. on 98FM, and KCLR, and been featured by outlets including Nialler9 and Pop On Down. Wallace has gone on to collaborate prolifically, with other artists on the Irish scene including Cheesmore, Absentee, Sam Healy, Mila Moonlight and WIllhouse. As part of Poxy Records intelligent approach to crafting top-tier Irish R&B and hip-hop, he is fast proving them a force to be reckoned with on the Irish and international scene.
Pop Wallace’s influences include Joji, Frank Ocean, Brockhampton, D’Angelo, Kelis, Justin Timberlake, Blue Hawaii and Craig David. His work thus far has drawn comparisons with artists such as No Rome, Crumb, DIIV, Joji, Frank Ocean and Kean Kavanagh. His music is a blend of emotionally-charged pop and contemporary R&B, most often with a dash of dark wit.
Classical violist turned folk troubadour Ali Comerford is releasing her third and final single 'Come Home' on 8th July 2021, before her eagerly awaited debut album 'Knots' drops on 29th July 2021. Having toured the world performing viola in classical ensembles for 14 years, Ali moved back to Kilkenny in 2020 and has recorded her debut album of original folk based but classical influenced songs.
About the song 'Come Home' Comerford says "I wrote this song with someone in mind, but really it’s for anyone who wants to return home but feels that they can’t because too much has happened or too much time has passed. It is a reminder that home will always be there for them. The lyrics are filled with a hopeful longing, “Your bed’s still made, Your place is all set” but as the song continues with the persistent plea of “Come home”, the message gets lost in a sea of turbulent strings".
Born and raised in Co. Kilkenny, Ireland, Ali 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 of life she experienced during her time traveling the world with her craft. Ali has spent the last decade of her life playing other peoples' music and the time has come to share some of her own. She wrote, sang, played and produced every note on the album, finally exploring the full scope of her musicality. The single was recorded at Crossroads studio Kilkenny with recording and mixing engineer Shane Tobler.
'white oil' is drum and bass rallying call by kinetix for listeners to retake initiative within their lives
The third single released by the Offaly trio (consisting of brothers Arthur, Theodore, and Ademar Stones), “White Oil” is drum and bass rallying call by KinetiX for listeners to retake the initiative within their lives.
Upon first listen, “White Oil” draws immediate comparisons to British drum and bass quartet Rudimental, specifically their 2012 hit single “Feel the Love”. Both songs functionally serve the same singular purpose; to be uplifting. However, where “White Oil” differs from a track like “Feel the Love” and many others in the drum and bass genre is entirely down to the context in which the former was written.
A by-product of the ongoing pandemic, “White Oil” lyrically tries to look beyond this unprecedented period and encourages listeners not only maintain connections with people however they can, but to use the easing of lockdown restrictions as a launchpad to start living in a way that makes life worthwhile:
“We are trying to convey a simple message in this song…it's time to open up your arms again and let people in. If you have had any negative thoughts or were being hard on yourself for the last few months, it is time to let that all go and start living your life again…get out there and start living your life for you.”
The message alone makes “White Oil” a timely track, especially as it appears that the reopening of society is intended to just not be fleeting but is meant to last.
Sonically, “White Oil” contains almost all the major hallmarks expected of a modern drum and bass/pop song, with the instrumental serving primarily as a backdrop to allow the song's message to be communicated clearly. However, the track can feel a little formulaic structurally, and does underplay the group’s willingness to venture out into other forms within the genre. For context, check out 2020’s “Strive”, piano-based, ambient-inflected track.
Before KinetiX formed in 2017, the Offaly trio started out as traditional musicians to great success, winning 23 All-Ireland at various Fleadh Cheoil na nÉireann competitions, as well as appearing on The Late Late Toy Show in 2010.
Arthur would go on to have the most success prior to KinetiX, going on to form Ruaile Buaile, which would release two studio albums, extensively tour North America, Europe, the UAE, and New Zealand, and gain a viral hit with a cover of Mark McCabe’s cult classic “Maniac 2000” in 2017.
As KinetiX, the trio work out of their studio in Offaly, having previously worked in Diffusion Lab Studios alongside producers Chris Bubenzer and Marcin Ciszczon.
The trio plan to release up to a dozen singles before the end of 2021, while continuing to perform gigs via live stream, with the aim of returning to physical gigs at the first opportunity ahead of the 2022 festival season.
Ambient folk collective Pine the Pilcrow (Kevin Murray, Rob Campbell, Shay Sweeney & Hannah Ryan) present their latest track “Black Hills”. It follows the bands April 2020 single “If It’s True”, a postcard from their journey into seismic sonic territory.
As a further departure from the quartet’s minimal beginnings, a host of new instruments and techniques are deployed in Black Hills. Peppered generously with producer Alex Borwick’s impish wizardry, the piece is alive with percussive pulsing rhythms from pizzicato strings to foot stomps, sparkles of piano to banging hunks of metal… like a tapestry woven from nature's chaotic fabric.
About his first contribution to the group as singer and songwriter, cellist Rob Campbell had this to say….
"Most people have a place, or places they go for head space. Ardgillan Castle is one of mine. I’d often walk its boundaries, off the beaten track… this area is called Black Hills. The song is about going there as my therapy when life feels shitty. I just pass through and watch nature carry on regardless of the world around… life in full voice. It breaks the walls down, resets perspective, reminds me that I’m just a tiny part of something incredible and unfathomable. There’s comfort for me in that."
It is the second of three songs recorded in late 2019 with the acclaimed Alex Borwick (Parliament Funkadelic, Catfish & The Bottlemen, Niamh Regan, Lankum) as producer. The songs were set for consecutive releases in late spring / early summer 2020 but amidst the unfolding uncertainty, the band postponed the release of all but the first song from these sessions. “If It’s True” was met with overwhelmingly positive reviews and reaction.
Despite the cancellation of their summer tour dates and further 2020 bookings, Pine the Pilcrow remained as active as possible, recording a selection of covers including John Lennon’s “Isolation” which they used to raise money for charity and having their music featured in the Donal Moloney documentary “Let The Rest Of The World Go By”, airing on RTE television on January 11th. It included a version of the Willie Nelson track of the same name recorded especially for the film. The brief easing of restrictions in 2020 allowed Pine the Pilcrow to complete work on their sessions from 2019, paving the way for further releases later this year. Like all artists they look forward to the eventual resumption of live performance and future appearances around the island.