Quite literally ‘Unearthed’ – #sRated #nafianna #irishmusic

If you have ever been to a gig where your feet and legs start to take on lives of their own, tapping and moving uncontrollably, a little like Michael Flately has just morphed his way into your lower half then you will understand the absolute energy that kicked in at the launch of Irish band Na Fianna ‘s new album #Unearthed.

Thanks to Hotpress I was lucky enough to get an invite for myself and a guest to attend the launch last Wednesday night at the Opium Rooms, Wexford Street. It started off at 6pm with outside entertainment by The Hit Machine Drummers – they were unreal. Talk about getting the energy levels going. Anyways, I have to admit I didn’t know what to expect from the evening and even though I had heard of Na Fianna, I didn’t really know what I was going to experience.

What I did experience was well beyond my expectations. These guys are on the pulse when it comes to bringing those classic Irish songs that must never be lost to a whole other level. They look just as good as they sound and have a great selection of instruments and vocals between them. Their  original stuff was really great too but hearing songs like ‘Step it out Mary’  done with such class and cleverness is where they will excel against any bands that are out there getting gigs, jamming out the big ballads and old favourites. There’s an edge to how they do it and as someone who loves playing trad piano with a twist and writing songs that include classical and trad fusions, I really appreciated the way they presented the songs.

If I was to call it, I’d say they are going to be huge all over the world. Keep an eye and ear out for them. It’s great to see old Irish music being pumped up and energised the way they do it! They release their album #Unearthed today. Here’s the link if you would like to go get it! Unearthed Album Link

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Studio Stings and Stairways – #sRated

As I typically do on a recording day, I made myself late with excitement. Yesterday was my first day back in the studio since last December to build some content for online marketing, demo a new track and get the ball rolling on what’s coming up for release in the next few months!! Days in the studio remind me of the days in primary school when I waited months for the school tour to come around, planning my outfit and the filling for my sambo’s and of course collecting money to spend on sweets and presents in the novelty shop at the end of the tour! With all that prepared, I’d wake up way too early and spend the morning flapping around with excitement only to realise I had just five minutes to be at the school gates, dressed, washed and packed!!

index

After a delayed start, we got cracking on stings for Matthews.ie. It’s a bit surreal hearing my music on their radio ads that are currently running on LMFM and NorthernSound but I am so proud everytime I hear the ads come on! After that, we made a showreel of a selection of the music I have recorded and released to date, which is really handy to have for online marketing and showcasing my work up to now. It’s actually lovely to hear short snippets of the songs back to back and reminds me how much work has gone on up to this point in my career. I’d advise any artist to do that just for a little boost as well as it being a very useful soundbyte.

Finally we worked on a demo of a song that I have co-written with a girl in America who I have never met personally but we connected online and decided to try working together. The song is called ‘Standing Right Here’. Lynda wrote the lyrics and I wrote the music. It’s exciting working out of my comfort zone. The song is not something I would write for myself or sing myself so I’m working in a very different way, quite a methodical way asking questions like what sort of vocalist would suit the sentiment of the track, what genre will it sit into best, where do we position it etc.

First thing I did was put down the guide piano track. Played it fairly well and thought, that didn’t take long, I’m happy with that only for Martin the studio engineer and producer to tell me that my intro came pretty close to being a rip off of Led Zepplin’s Stairway to Heaven both melodically and in chord sequence! Well that was the end of that intro and it was a case of re-writing on the spot. I was more annoyed with myself for not spotting the similarities! A risky little business this songwriting is!!

Other than that near miss, it was great to be back in my own little sweet shop and of course now I have the bug back so badly that I’m just waiting on confirming my dates to record a new track for release in October/November. I’ll leave you with the track that I had a very close shave with.. Enjoy and chat soon!

Stairway to Heaven

Website Revamp!! #sRated

http://sineadmcnally.com/

With everything that’s happening at the moment, including a whole new outlook on the music end of things, it was inevitable that my little personal space on the world wide web badly needed a revamp!! I bought my .ie and .com webspace back in 2012 when I launched my debut EP ‘10,000’ and Ross at Electric Kiwi http://electrickiwi.co.uk/ designed the site for me. I called on Ross again this time round as he is super efficient and I love the looks he creates.. He spends time getting to know what it is his clients and customers do and works on creating something that really suits them!

So within a matter of days, after I supplied some content and imagery, it was all done and dusted. From this, we will build a site with different pages but for now, hope you like the new and improved site!!

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“By those arcade lights, I sailed away that night”… #songsisters #fionabevan #kallavelle #amazing

So last Sunday morning my alarm went off at 4.30am and off I went to Dublin airport to catch a plane to London. I was on my way to Brighton to attend a songwriting masterclass hosted by two UK based female songwriters ‘Fiona Bevan’ and ‘Kal Lavelle’ after discovering that they were on their ‘Songsisters’ tour of the UK. Not only were they performing on the tour each night, bringing in local female artists and guests at each venue but they were also giving other female songwriters a chance to meet with them and chat about songwriting, the music industry and all things related at a special masterclass ahead of each gig.

For me, it was a no-brainer to get myself over the pond to attend one of their events. As much as I love my little village of Knockbridge and Ireland in general, it can be a lonely little existence at times as a songwriter! Buying my ticket to go and be a part of this event was very exciting, knowing I was going to be surrounded by other girls and women working for the love of their craft. More often than not, I have to explain my songwriting lifestyle to most people, (understandably) but just sitting in that room that afternoon as Fiona, Kal and their guest Stephanie spoke, I knew they ‘got it’, their difficulties were my difficulties too, their concerns the same as mine and the love for what they do, equally the same. So it was a real breath of fresh air to have that space and time to just let it all out and have extremely gifted and successful independent ladies remind you that mistakes are there to be made and not to worry about them, to learn from putting yourself out of your comfort zone and to create whatever it is you want especially if it is not already out there! Everything they said reminded me of conversations I regularly have with myself but it was good to hear them out loud!

Later that evening, I returned to the venue to hear the girls perform along with Stephanie O’Brien and Emily Baker. (See links below) The whole evening was captivating. I genuinely felt transported somewhere else.. The combination of the stunning performances, the warmth of the evening in such a beautiful sea-side city and giving myself this lovely opportunity to be alone and just listen, absorbing that magic that exists when artists put themselves out there, sharing their thoughts and melodies and just doing what they love. I practically ran out of the venue when the gig was over to grab a pen and paper and write, such was the impact that the gig and the encouragement had on me. (Although I made sure not to leave without a CD from each artist) and everytime I listen to those CD’s, I’ll be reminded of the night I wrote ‘Ship Street’ and the night that a lot of musical colours came back to life for me.. Thanks so much to Fiona Bevan, Kal Lavelle, Stephanie O’Brien and Emily Baker for a lovely evening. Here’s a little a link to a little chorus snippet of ‘Ship Street’! Enjoy x

Ship Street Clip – Soundcloud

“By those arcade lights, I sailed away that night

On melodies that glistened in the haze,

To Ship Street I will go, when love is lost or low

I’ll sip on wine and dance in Summer shoes, that’s what I’ll do”

Fiona Bevan Website

Kal Lavelle Website

Stephanie O’Brien Facebook

Emily Baker Website