Every month we take a look back at the best new releases from Northern Ireland in our featured playlist. A showcase for the sheer amount of talent coming out of the North, and a playlist worthy of repeat listening. This month’s cover artist is Ciara O’Neill. Words by Aaron Cunningham.
Ciara O’Neill – Le Soleil
“The first single from my new French inspired EP themed on the sun, moon and stars (entitled ‘La Lune’ out this Autumn). I’ve always had a real fascination with the vast expanse of space and likewise the sea so it was a natural progression to write songs based on these themes. I think subconsciously when writing the songs, the numerous mentions of changing tides and seasons brought me comforting thoughts of new hope for the post pandemic world. I work for the NHS and creating this project was such a welcome distraction from the day to day Covid reality we were all living. It was so much fun to create something upbeat and happy and I’m so delighted it got its summer release especially during the amazing weather we had!”
The folk songwriter’s first release in quite some time sees a welcome return. Sunnier production and songwriting, that reflects the French title, moves O’Neill into much more upbeat territory than we’re used to. A gorgeous sound altogether.
Laytha – What Will I Gain
Fermanagh duo Laytha have built up to this debut release for a couple of years, through a name change and various live shows. The result is a gentle folk song that weaves their perfectly pitched vocals into longing melodies.
Wynona Bleach – Drag
We expect nothing less than big tunes from alt rock five-piece Wynona Bleach, and the latest to precede their debut album and tick all the boxes, is ‘Drag’. Big shifting shoegazy riffs and Melyssa Shannon’s sweetened punk vocals; a band that plays to their strengths.
The Heathen Choir – Drunk on the Mourne
The latest from Darren Doherty aka The Heathen Choir, ‘Drunk on the Mourne’ is a downtrodden lament, teeming with folk and celtic melodies. ‘Drunk on the Mourne’ is direct and sombre, filled with biographical detail.
Owen Denvir – Redemption
One of Owen Denvir’s most epic sounding tracks to date. Backed by stirring strings, ‘Redemption’ has a cinematic quality and a big melody with Denvir giving it his all vocally.
Becky McNeice – Upside Down
Becky McNeice’s third single is cut from the cloth of smooth pop. A song with an easy flow and R&B production from the Dena Anuk$a collaborator.