Announcing… my debut EP, “An Introduction”.

Forget everything else that’s happening in the world for a moment, there’s something new to celebrate. That’s right, it’s the announcement of my debut EP, “An Introduction”. Coming at you on digital platforms from 14th April along with an accompanying national tour.

I’ve been squirrelled away in various studios for the past few years, writing and recording and searching for sounds that feel like mine. While my first long-player is still a wee while away, I’m proud to bring you a 3-track taster of that collection.

Introducing, “An Introduction”.

Featuring, “Give Me A Chance”, “Work For It” and “Old Loves”, this is the very first time I’m releasing music as a solo artist and I can’t wait for you to hear it.

Me, requesting even more awesome drum takes from the master, Dennis Cassidy. (Photo by Les Keye).
Aside from a wonderful contribution by my good buddy Dennis Cassidy (SelkMixtapes from the Underground) who played drums on “Give Me A Chance”, every instrument, every voice, every sound on this recording was written, performed, recorded and produced by little old me. I’ve spent long hours in the studio to bring you this and truly, it is both exciting and nerve-wracking to finally release it.

The EP will be available through all the usual digital channels (Spotify, Bandcamp, iTunes etc.) from 14th April. There are gorgeous physical copies too, but you’ll need to come see me to get your mitts on one of them.

Returning to the road.

And even better than simply putting out a record, I’m getting out onto stages around Ireland to promote the release.

Throughout April, I’ll be making my way around the country, hoping to meet and play to as many new people as possible. For now, the tour shapes up as follows:

  • Brú Bar, Cork, 18th April.
  • Empire Music Hall, Belfast, 19th April.
  • Róisín Dubh, Galway, 23rd April.
  • Official Launch Show @ Whelans (Upstairs), Dublin, 26th April.

I’ll also be out playing around Dublin during April, at various singer/songwriter nights so keep an eye out for me and don’t be afraid to say hello.

As for the Dublin launch show, I’m ecstatic to be getting back on the stage in Whelans once more. I’ll have some special announcements about that show nearer the time but for the moment, please put it in your diaries and come join me for what I promise will be a special, special show.

A new chapter.

I cannot describe how excited I am for people to hear this EP. The songs represent a turning point for me as a songwriter, performer and producer. This is the start of a brand new chapter in my musical life. In some ways, it feels like I’ve never done it before. In others, it feels like I’m getting back into the most comfortable pair of trousers I ever owned.

I am so proud of these recordings and I’m delighted to be able to share them with you, as well as visit stages and new people all over the country. Here’s to a wonderful April and hopefully see you soon!

March 30, 2017

Posted In: MBF Video Updates, Videos

Out Of Touch With The Realities Of The Music Industry

The first of my video updates, my hope is to talk directly to the audience, removing as many barriers as possible. As much as I like to write, it can remove the spontaneity and direct nature of the message. By mixing a little bit of direct-to-camera monologuing with live music performance, I’m hoping this is an enjoyable and entertaining way to keep up to date with that I’m up to.

The song.

The song I played in this episode, “It’s Time To Say Goodbye”, is an odd one. The best songs are usually those that seem to fall out of you in one piece. This is one that came out in two attempts, years apart.

The main parts of the song came to me years ago, while sitting at my parents’ piano. I really loved the piano hook and over time, I tried to force it into various different songs without success – on guitar, on piano, it never seemed to fit anywhere. But I never forgot the original context for that melody.

This is the best part of song-writing and the most difficult thing to either describe to non-songwriters or replicate when you want.

Years later, I was sitting down and sketching out ideas as I felt my way around the piano. My recollection is that I started to play the original idea for this song – it never really had a finished chorus and my impression of it was that it was another of my many, many unfinished verse ideas.

This time however, the song just started to click. I realised that one of the reasons I had left the song unfinished was that it was dealing with something quite painful, a subject-matter for which I did not know if I wanted to commit to a particular viewpoint.

Remembering a friend and a difficult time.

A friend and former flat-mate of mine died in 2009. It was a tumultuous and difficult time for many people I knew – his death just blasted a hole in a lot of peoples’ lives. The last time I remember seeing him, he was in the crowd at a Dead Flags show and it’s an image that I return to in my brain whenever I think of him.

A while after he died, I had a conversation with a very close friend of his that sparked the content for this song. Whether the song is specifically about these events, I never really know but I know that by revisiting my feelings about that time in my life a long time later, the song seemed to finish itself. I made myself face those feelings and then began to play.

The best part of song-writing.

The chorus came together, the words came flowing out and new counter-melodies to the original started appearing on the keyboard. This is the best part of song-writing and the most difficult thing to either describe to non-songwriters or replicate when you want.

So the song appears to be about saying goodbye to a friend and admitting that sometimes, what is happening to others is not something you can understand or help with. As a complete control freak, this is an uncomfortable realisation. This song is one that helped me put long-dormant feelings in perspective. It didn’t resolve the issues, it just helped me look at them in a different way and evolve my thinking about them.

March 4, 2017

Posted In: MBF Video Updates, Videos