New Releases of the Week (10 December 2021)

Kyoto Love Hotel’s new single ‘Fortune Tellers (December)’ is released this week.

New Releases of the Week (10 December 2021)

A round-up of recent releases including Kyoto Love Hotel, Soda Blonde, Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí, Na Píobairí Uilleann, Brenda Castles, Sam Perkin, and Enda Gallery. To submit your music for inclusion, please email [email protected]

Kyoto Love Hotel – Fortune Tellers (December)
Electronic pop duo Kyoto Love Hotel, comprising Joe Geaney and Laura Sheary, have this week released ‘Fortune Tellers (December)’, following previous release ‘Saithnín’ from February. The new song focuses on the winter month and explores ideas of returning home, old habits, and the intimate moments we experience at this time of year. Searing synths and repeating percussion support Sheary’s pop vocal line as she sings: ‘Tongues stuck out to taste the snow, red brick rooves, the pretence of more / More words we can’t sound out / to faces we see in December’. Purchase ‘Fortune Tellers (December)’ on Bandcamp:

Soda Blonde – I Still Have Feelings for You
I Still Have Feelings for You is the new EP from indie four-piece Soda Blonde, released on Velveteen Records last month. The record features four new versions of tracks from their debut album Small Talk, released in July, including dramatic and moving string versions of ‘Tiny Darkness’, and ‘Choices’, along with new renditions of ‘Swimming Through the Night’ and title track ‘I Still Have Feelings for You’, which has also been released as a single. ‘To put it simply, Small Talk is about life in our 20s. Every part of us is in here, both subliminally and literally,’ said singer Faye O’Rourke. I Still Have Feelings for You is a beautifully arranged extension of the album with its four tracks of compelling songwriting, moody and dramatic soundscapes and lush, layered instrumentation. The band were due to perform in Dublin and Belfast this month, but both shows have been postponed to February due to the recent restrictions on music venues. Visit:

Taisce Luachmhar (Valuable Treasure) – The Piping Album
Taisce Luachmhar (Valuable Treasure) – The Fiddle Album
In 1947, Bill Stapleton, a young man originally from Kilkenny, opened a recording studio on Moore Street in Dublin. As part of the studio’s operations, Stapleton set up a new record label, the Irish Recording Company. The label recorded many of the leading traditional musicians of the day and planned to commercially release the music. When his plans for the Irish music label didn’t work out, the master recordings were passed by Stapleton to Breandán Breathnach for safe-keeping. Breathnach subsequently gave the records to Harry Bradshaw and now, seven decades after they were made, two recordings have been released: Taisce Luachmhar (Valuable Treasure) – The Piping Album released by Na Píobairí Uillean, and Taisce Luachmhar (Valuable Treasure) – The Fiddle Album released by Cairdeas na bhFidiléirí. Both albums feature well-known names including fiddle-players Tommie Potts, Denis Murphy, John Kelly, Paddy Killoran and the only woman on the recordings Aggie Whyte, and pipers Séamus Ennis, Leo Rowsome, Tommy Reck and Willie Clancy. There are also a number of less well-known musicians. Fascinating listening all round.

Purchase the albums direct from the organisations or on Bandcamp.

Brenda Castles – The Light Side of the Tune
The Light Side of the Tune is the new album from Meath concertina-player Brenda Castles, and the follow-up to her 2016 recording Indeedin You Needn’t Bother. For this CD, Castles has researched and performed a range of quite different versions of common tunes. Among them are Liz Carroll’s beautifully inventive ‘Miss McLeod’s’, a four-part Meath version of ‘The Limerick Lasses’, Ed Reavy’s version of ‘The Irish Washerwoman’, and a Northern minor version of ‘The Connaughtman’s Rambles’. Various others come from nineteenth-century collections such as Ryan’s and Grier’s, and Castles has also added a third part to the common reel ‘Rolling the Ryegrass’. Her gentle, measured playing is ideal for absorbing these melodies. Like the Goodman Trio albums, it’s a recording that illustrates the richness of the tradition. Castles plays a lunchtime concert at Collins Barracks as part of the TradFest Temple Bar on 22 January. Purchase the album from Bandcamp:

Sam Perkin – Flow 
In recent years, Sam Perkin has emerged as one of Ireland’s most talented young composers and is currently composer-in-residence with Crash Ensemble. He has also written works for the Irish Chamber Orchestra, Finghin Collins and Miranda Cuckson, and most recently his piece Visualization was premiered by Luminosa orchestra. Flow, his debut album, released on the Louth Contemporary Music Society label, features two works, Flow and Suburban Distortion. The former, featuring violinist Mia Cooper, violist Joachim Roewer and cellist William Butt, is described as a ‘sound meditation’ and has resonances of an early music ensemble. The second, three-movement work is almost thirty minutes long, features Perkin on electric guitar, and has shades of Reich. He writes: ‘As an artist, I seek to create the presence of a feeling that the universe, in all its wonder, somehow makes sense. It took a long journey to get to a point where I can say that, with this piece, I have the presence of this feeling.’ The Cork composer’s crafted work is always worth a serious listen. Purchase the album on Bandcamp: 

Enda Gallery – Liberation
Liberation is the new EP by pop artist Enda Gallery. Following the release of his debut album The Journey to Zero in April 2020, this new four-track record, released on Welcome to the New World, is a compact and punchy collection of works blending pop, electronic, soul and hip hop. All four tracks are upbeat, including dance song ‘Old Fashioned’ which was inspired by Berlin, Gallery’s second home. In addition to his solo releases, Gallery has collaborated with artists such as Kid Simius, Dead Rabbit, and Nobody’s Face, and has written and produced for Tolü Makay, Wilzee and Strange Boy. Visit:

Laetare Vocal Ensemble and Roísín Blunnie (conductor) – Ghost Songs: Contemporary Music and Words from Ireland
Ghost Songs: Contemporary Music and Words from Ireland, released on the  Divine Art Métier label, is a 35-track album of music and poetry. Featuring the Laetare Vocal Ensemble conducted by Roísín Blunnie, and harper and singer Síle Denvir, the album is built around nine choral pieces by composers Seán Doherty, Rhona Clarke and Michael Holohan. Each piece is preceded by the poem on which it is based and these are interspersed with readings by Paula Meehan, Dairena Ní Chinnéide, and Marina Carr. Carl Corcoran reads texts by Yeats and Irish-American modernist Lola Ridge (1873–1941), while Ní Chinnéide reads Seán Ó Ríordáin. This is a diverse, atmospheric album produced by Blunnie, with excellent performances by Laetare, Denvir and the poets. Purchase the album here.

To submit your music for inclusion, visit:

Published on 10 December 2021

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