Mark Duggan – Run Out the Distance🎸

Release date july 16th, 2021
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Mark Duggan is a singer-songwriter from Waterford, Ireland. From the age of nine years old he has been writing songs and playing guitar after borrowing his cousin’s guitar and learning some chords off of his father. At twelve he began recording his songs using an old USB headset microphone and has been producing his own music ever since. Over the years he has developed a sound which combines folk and indie with electronic elements, complete with clever lyricism and thoughtful songwriting. He is inspired by the writing of Bruce Springsteen, Joni Mitchel, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen. He is also influenced by a number of artists known for their willingness to play with sound such as Gorillaz and U2. Over the years he has also learned to play mandolin, bass and harmonica along with gaining more experience in recording engineering and production. As well as writing for his own releases he has also co-written the song The Road on Irish artist Dunluvly’s first EP along with performing at gigs with Dunluvly and queer-pop band Babylamb where he has been able to maintain an audience’s absolute attention for quiet songs and have them dancing around and singing along by the end. 

In September of 2018 he released his debut single Hey Blue, a song with a catchy melody and riff on top of a bed of guitars and percussion. The lyrics are an optimistic look towards the first night of the weekend where the chance of romance is bubbling away. The song has an infectious character that has kept it consistent in live gig setlists. 

In June of 2019 he released an EP titled Long Way Home which was also his final year project in college. The EP consists of twelve songs that join together to create one cohesive twenty minute piece of music. The story follows a protagonist who is making his way home to his partner after being away working for an extended period of time and what occurs on the drive home with a focus on radio. The EP focuses on the theme of longing, bouncing between multiples genres, styles and tones all while maintaining its cohesive nature.

In February of 2020 he released the single As The Sun Hits The Day Down which is a simple acoustic track that takes its influences from the folk traditions of songs utilising multiple verses to tell the story within the song. A guitar riff and the hook of the title closing each verse provide the song with a momentum that carries the track to its final note.

Later that year he began the release of his next EP Just For The Night by releasing the single Promenade Firework Show. The indie-rock tune featured layered guitars, a retro drum machine, and a nostalgic, 80’s rock feel. The song took influence from a memory of summer nights spent by the sea as a teenage applied to the context of a couple who have hit a rocky moment in their relationship. The song uses a lot of pairings in its composition to mirror the pair of the couple. The use of a drum machine and Mark’s new telecaster sound was inspired by Bruce Springsteen’s home demos from 1983 and showed the first glimpse of the sound that would be essential to the EP.

At the start of 2021 the next single off the EP Lullaby (I’ll Be There) was released. The song once again made use of a drum loop with the base of a simple descending chord progression and layers of sound textures. The song is about someone trying to comfort their partner who is struggling to sleep. The narrator promises to be there for their partner even if they cannot necessarily makes things better. Both the emotions of the vocal and the intensity of the instrumental build towards a climatic slide guitar solo which fades away to a glistening sound which represents morning breaking through and a bit of hope prevailing.

The next month the rest of the EP was released with tracks Just For The Night, Not Sure, Truly Beautiful Thing and Desperation Blues added to the singles. Not Sure follows the singles by being built on a drum machine loop and making use of a telecaster sound while the other three songs are acoustic based tracks with the likes of harmonium, mandolin, tambourine and organ used to flesh out the instrumental. The EP as a whole has thematic link between songs focusing on the connections we make in life with each song having a specific moment of this on show. The EP has gone on to be Duggan’s most successful release so far with features in Irish music media from HotPress to 2Xfm and a much further reach in audience than any of his previous releases. 

On July 16th, he will release a new single Run Out The Distance which is being paired with the b-side Dried Up Lovesick Blues (Swings And Roundabouts). The new single is a return to the use of a live drum sound which was recorded in February of last year. The song has been rewritten for over a year before being committed to the final recording. The song began with the title and the simple chord progression on an acoustic guitar. The opening lines had initially been part of an alternate version of As The Sun Hits The Day Down while the rest of the lyrics came out of multiple drafts taking up nearly ten pages in Duggan’s notebook full of completely different ideas or single word changes in a line. The song is about a character who has reached a moment of stasis in their life. They are trying to take stock of their position in life with a thought to what has been, what is and what will hopefully be. The narrator is trying to find their space in the world where they can make a good life and despite coming up short so far there is a sense of pushing through until they get there. There is a hope in the song that isn’t willing to give in too soon. The song has a laid back rhythm as the live drums carry along  a collection of strumming acoustic guitars and a leaping bass line. The song had originally been intended to only have acoustic guitars but eventually electric guitars were added to give the song some more grit and punch. They also propel the song along and prevent it from becoming too lackadaisical. The harmonica sound that has been prominent in nearly all of Duggan’s career returns to fill instrumental sections of the song. The vocal performance matches the sentiment of the lyrics and the use of double tracking adds an extra reach to the chorus which builds to the emotional climax of the narrator committing to trying to keep moving forward and continue the search.

The b-side Dried Up Lovesick Blues (Swings And Roundabouts) is a simple blues song that builds over the course of three verses from a single electric guitar strumming gently to stomping bass drum and overdriven chords. The lyrics tell of a relationship that has fizzled out but not yet ended and is told with a resignation of the situation that fades away at the end of the song in a similar way to the relationship. 


Jo

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Toby Charlesworth – To Say Goodbye🎤

Release date 26th March, 2021
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Toby is a 23 year old indie folk/pop songwriter from London.

About his new single, Toby says

“This song carries a lot of meaning for me. It asks the question “is there an easy way to say goodbye?” In short, the answer is no, there never really is. I’m sure everyone at some point in their lives has had to say goodbye. That could be saying goodbye to a lover or a friend or even your pet goldfish! What I mean is that no matter what the situation, it still carries personal meaning for each individual. In my case, the lyrics apply to losing a girl I loved, but also more importantly, to the loss of my best friend to suicide. I hope that this song can help anyone who has been in a tough circumstance, and to understand that the struggle is all just part of the healing process. I wrote the lyrics during Lockdown at a particularly low point with the help of one of my best friends. I contacted a couple of my other friends to help with adding a bass guitar, cello and drums into the track, and the song just developed from there. It definitely became a much more impactful song then I had expected, and although it may seem like a “sad song”, really the chorus conveys that sense of hope, “find your path and stay strong”. But that’s the best part about collaborating with musicians, each perspective adds more and more detail to the music. It’s like a piece of art you know, people say a painting is never truly finished, well it’s the same with music, there’s always a new angle or a new layer you can add to create a track, and only when you decide to stop tweaking the details then the final product is produced. The whole experience of creating the single has been great, and after a long time waiting, I’m excited for people to listen. This is my Debut Single, and I hope that people can really relate to it on a greater scale and find some sort of comfort and inspiration behind the lyrics.”


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Pastiche- Heaven🎤

Release date 5th February 2021
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Pastiche, a 22 year old pop singer songwriter from Dublin, releases her second single “Heaven” on Friday February 5th 2021 on all streaming services. With tones of Robyn about her, Pastiche has a fire in her for pop music which explodes in her brand new single that is edgy with a dash of badass female pop empowerment added!

Pastiche cut her experience from an early age for performance. Her love of performing started in stage school at the age of 4 where she developed a love of musical theatre and practiced singing, tap dancing, jazz and modern contemporary dance. When the time came to make a decision about a career, Pastiche wasted no time and enrolled in BIMM where she studied Vocal Performance and it was there where she decided exactly the Artist she wanted to be!

Speaking about the Irish pop scene, Pastiche says, “…it always seemed to be imported. There are very few successful female true Irish pop artists. The scene just isn’t here – so we have created it! I want to help break that barrier. It’s not about down playing Irish male musicians successes either. It’s about female representation here in Ireland and allowing us a platform. ” 

Pastiche’s sound combines dark pop, electronic pop, a rebellious club kid sound, and theatrical influences. Her explosive electro-pop sound features driving synths, energetic drums, and powerful vocals.

The engaging production and layered vocals create a dynamic track that establishes Pastiche as a force to be reckoned with in the Dublin pop scene.

Produced with Fergal Mullen, tracked, mixed and mastered with Beard Fire Music.


Jo

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Wild Tibetan Monks- Cartoons🎸

Release date October 30th, 2020. Dublin, Ireland
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Three-piece Dublin-based indie-rock band Wild Tibetan Monks are set to release a reflective, guitar driven single, “Cartoons.” The song juxtaposes spacious, ambient verses with a full, defiant chorus’. The song creates a feeling of nostalgia, through wailing guitars and playing with tension and release. 

Frontman Sean says, “The song is about going through life doing all the things you feel you should have done, things people or society tell us to do. Then you get there, and you wonder if it’s what you really want, if it’s really what’s gonna make you happy. We also explore the pressures of modern life, the tension that builds and then becoming unstuck.” 

He goes on to say, “We wanted to create a feeling, not just through the lyrics, of longing to go back to a simpler time, of sitting with someone and watching cartoons.” 

The song was recorded in Rada Studios when the band was living in Perth, Australia.

Wild Tibetan Monks are Sean (bass, vocals), Ringo (guitar), and Liam (drums). They met and banded in college in 2011 and performed together for several years, playing covers as well as original material. In 2018 the band traded Dublin for Perth, Australia for a two-year journey of music and exploration. The band toured around Western Australia, and had a varied lineup over the years, including different singers and a horn section. They also began recording their original music. The global pandemic caused them to cancel the single launch for their debut release “Liam,” and forced the band to move back to Ireland. They are now focused on recording and releasing their original material.


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0Stella- Fire💿

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Apple music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/0stella/1466658825

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0Stella [oh-Stella] is the project of Edmonton-based, Irish-Canadian artist Liz
Pomeroy. Reminiscent of Garbage, The Beaches and The Waterboys, ‘Fire’ is an
anthemic declaration of imperfection. Callistan has taken 0Stella’s alt-rock Irish
fusion and reimagined it as an infectious feel-good dance track.

Callistan is an Irish multi-instrumentalist, songwriter, producer. Previously of bands
Janey Mac, Fierce Mild and most recently ELM who showcased at Canadian Music
Week. The two Dubliners met in 2005 when 0Stella joined House Of Cosy Cushions,
Callistan’s first signing to his record label, SeaDog Records. This will be Callistan’s
first solo release under his new moniker.

On the artists’ long-standing friendship: “I managed to catch up with Callistan last
year when I was on tour in Ireland. I had just released the ‘LYLK’ EP and ‘Fire’ was
the stand-out track for him. We discovered a lot of similarities to our stories spanning
the decade since we’d last seen each other. This EP deals with some heavy
subjects, so it was really fun to reimagine this track with a lighter vibe.”

“I’ve always loved Callistan’s energy and outlook on the world. We’ve both struggled
with identity – he as a trans man and me as an Irish immigrant and dealing with
steroetypes of drinking that come along with that. I had difficulty detaching myself
from it. While ‘Fire’ touches on the darker side of substance abuse, Callistan’s
treatment gives that brazen song a sense of self-forgiveness that transforms it into a dance anthem.”

IN THEIR OWN WORDS
0Stella
“As an Irish immigrant in Canada, I’ve often struggled to find my own identity. We can all feel
pressured to live up to a stereotype. ‘Fire’ is a brazen declaration of your own imperfections.
When Callistan and I reconnected and discovered so many similarities in our stories, it felt right to
reimagine ‘Fire’ in a lighter, more upbeat way. It takes courage to find out who you really are. The
process can be messy and ugly, so you might as well lighten up and have a dance”

Callistan
“I love the origins of the song; a “declaration of imperfection”. Everyone has their own struggle with
that. As a Trans man, I’ve struggled silently for most of my life with that.
I try to remind myself constantly that imperfection is something that can be prized. It can be what
gives us empathy or keeps us human. In that sense, I feel that the reimagining of the song celebrates the imperfection we all feel and brings us a bit closer in doing so”


Jo

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Elise-Cowboy🎸

Release date 16th October, Ireland
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Apple Music: https://music.apple.com/us/artist/elise/1470988660

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Recorded right before the lockdown, Cowboy is the first track of 2020 from Independent artist Elise.

Cowboy is a dreamy folk/pop track that emits a sense of nostalgia. It’s a song that journeys through childhood memories. Memories of running around the garden with cowboy hats, cap guns and being with the people who cared for you the most. The song touches off the feeling of regret and guilt from growing up and not being around those who were there for you in the past. Cowboy ultimately is about how time is the biggest healer, and helps reconnect you to your roots. 

Cowboy was recorded in Sun Studios, Temple bar at the end of February this year and was mastered by grammy award winner Joe LaPorta known for mastering artists such as Solange, Shawn Mendes and David Bowie. The track will be released October 16 on all music platforms. 

Elise is a singer-songwriter from Kilkenny. In October 2019, Elise released her Debut EP These Thoughts. As part of launching the EP, with her band, Elise played three successful nights in the Set Theatre Kilkenny, Bello Bar Dublin and Crane Lane Cork having cork band Jordan Run support and Dublin’s ELKAE.Elise has received attention from radio stations including KCLR and Dublin City FM. She is featured in many Irish playlists such as Golden Plec’s – Under The Influence, Mnásome – Antidote and Vamp & Fade’s – Irish Indie.

Elise began 2020 on a high note as a headline act upstairs at Whelan’s Ones To Watch. Elise has been recently featured in the new We’ve Only Just Begun Directory alongside hundreds of Irelands female and non-binary musicians. 

After her cancelled, May 2020, UK and Irish tour, with singer-songwriter Gary O’Neill, Elise focused on the release of her next single Cowboy. 


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Honas- I Can Get You Out of This🥁


For Release 23rd October, 2020

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https://www.honas-music.com/

Dublin-based singer/ songwriter Honas is set to release a powerful indie/folk/pop tune, “I Can Get You Out of This.” With reverby guitars, ambient synths, and energetic drums, Honas creates a cinematic soundscape complete with a compelling vocal performance.

Honas says, “The song is about having a friend or loved one thats having a hard time mentally. It’s about standing on the outside, wishing you could help but not quite sure how. It’s about feeling helpless.

He goes on to say, “I started writing the song about five years ago, but then moved away from it. I had an experience in a similar vein that brought the song back into my head. As I started living it again, I completed the song in a new light.” 

Sonically, he says, “The hypnotic acoustic riff carries the whole way through the song. I wanted to create an atmosphere that conveyed the song’s meaning. I’ve always been drawn to ambient sounds, swells and evolving tones, to create something really immersive. We wanted an energetic, aggressive, chaotic drum sound, the result being a mix of programmed sounds and real drums.”

The song was recorded by Adam Redmond in Flaked Studios, where Adam helped sonically bring the song to life. The pair were inspired by the likes of Bon Iver, Dermot Kennedy, and Ben Howard.

The Irish singer-songwriter combines honest, raw songwriting with an ambient sonic palette. He has written and produced with several artists, as well as being a key part of Irish indie-outfit Orchid Collective playing bass and songwriting. The band was the outlet for his music for many years, though he was still writing on his own. He ended up with a group of songs he was happy with, and came across producer Adam Redmond. In 2019 he turned his attention to his own debut album. His first three singles have amassed over 1.7 million streams on Spotify, landed on several Spotify editorial playlists, and gained acclaim from several major blogs and publications.


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Rachel Grace- Cry Me an Ocean🎸

For Release 30th October, 2020
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Youtube: https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCGrN-oNrSj-cM_Bsh81yKvw?view_as=subscriber

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Rachel Grace’s latest single ‘Cry Me An Ocean’ the first release of new music since the release of her debut EP ‘Routes’ in 2018. Recorded live with a band in Orphan Studios, ‘Cry Me An Ocean’ is a fusion of pop and soul with nostalgic 80’s sitcom vibes.

This song is about that one person you know that just takes instead of gives, I’m sure we’ve all encountered one or two of these people in our lives! 

Rachel Grace is an 18 year-old singer/songwriter from Wexford town. The young singer has most recently been crowned the winner of Four Star Nation Pizza’s Star Nation Competition in which she has won a slot to play the coveted Ruby Sessions and a day of recording in the infamous Windmill Lane Recording Studios. 


Jo

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Rock Werchter🤘

This time two years ago, my best friend and I went to Rock Werchter (pronounced Vercher). Not many people know about this festival but it is one I would highly recommend. We went on the Sunday but if I were to go again I would go for the weekend🏕️ My friends brother had been there several times and goes every year but she had never been💃

Werchter is a small village in Belgium. A shuttle bus took us from Leuven and brought us to Werchter which was only 15 minutes away. So ideal! We spent the morning getting ready and prepping ourselves💅🎒🍋 We arrived around 12pm just in time for George Ezra (🤩). The weather was scorching ☀️ so we bought some coupons 🤙 which we required for beverages at a later stage🥤 and we were much excité 💯

At the festival, there were loads of great acts, including George Ezra, Post Malone, Sigrid, Kaleo, The Academic, Warbly Jets, Noel’s High Flying Birds 🎵 Arctic Monkeys were last to perform and there were fireworks. The whole day was amazing ⚡Festivals in Europe are much better than in Ireland 🎆 here was lots of other fun things to see there such as a bean bag area and ballpit. I would definitely go again🎵 By 12am we were covered in glitter and talking ráiméis to Flemish dudes.

I look forward to attending Rock Werchter again in the future 🤟🇧🇪

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https://www.rockwerchter.be/en/


Jo

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