Originally hailing from Tipperary Ireland, Elaine Howley is a vocalist and producer who merges an expansive tapestry of experimental, analogue processes with a love of classic songwriting and melodic hooks, to create a sound world that is distinctly her own.
Immersed in both the experimental music scenes in her adopted home of Cork, and the DIY ethos of Ireland’s alternative rock community, Elaine’s music grew out of years of varied, extensive collaborative practise, performance and experimentation. She has toured across Europe and the UK as the singer in the acclaimed psychedelic rock group, The Altered Hours, sharing stages with the likes of Fontaines DC, Wooden Shjips, Clinic and the Brian Jonestown Massacre. Closer to home, she has played in ambient trio Crevice and folk group Morning Veils. It was through playing with these groups and performing with the improvisatory collectives The Dark Arts Orchestra and HEX and collaborating with composer Irene Buckley and musician Roslyn Steer that Elaine began to further explore vocal layering and manipulation, sampling, stretching and slowing things down to uncanny, enigmatic layers of sound.
After contributing to a host of critically acclaimed compilations, Howley released her first full length solo album ‘The Distance Between Heart and Mouth’ in 2022 through Touch Sensitive Records (David Holmes, Cherrystones, Documenta, Vox Populi). Pitchfork praised the album as “a spectral slow burn that refuses to trip over itself to get anywhere in particular. By absorbing the wisdom of the process, Howley permits her craft to resound deeper than ever”.
Elaine uses tape to process voice, drum machines and synthesizers, creating production that works in tandem with her songwriting to weave an intimate sonic tapestry that feels warm and esoteric all at once. The Distance Between Heart And Mouth was born out of a ritualistic practice of going to her home studio first thing in the morning, creating a daily audio-diary as soon as she woke. It’s unsurprising then that the resulting album emanates an intimate quality; blending deep synths, whisper-soft melodies, echoes, loops, beats and murmurs, recalling the likes of Trish Keenan, Tirzah and Leslie Weiner, while Elaine’s unmistakable voice cracks through the analogue gauze like a crystalline glint of daylight.
Electronic Sound Magazine praised The Distance Between Heart and Mouth describing the record as “nine detailed and hugely captivating vignette’s” while Backseat Mafia observed “The music bristles with experimental edginess but that doesn’t obscure the song craft or the clarity of the statements being made. Elaine Howley’s ‘The Distance Between Heart And Mouth’ bravely tells it like it is and we should be thankful that she does.”
The album, now in its second pressing, has received praise from The Sunday Times, The Examiner, The Thin Air and has been played by Mary Anne Hobbs and Tom Ravenscroft on BBC6 Music. Elaine has been playing live across Ireland in support of the record and made her London debut at the ICA gallery in May 2023.
Craic Boi Mental – rapper, producer and activist from Cork City, with a knack for lo-fi production and an innate ear for an inescapable hook.
His relentless work ethic and deeply idiosyncratic style have built him a Cult following worldwide. Now he’s fresh off the back of his sold Out US tour & looking forward to performing once again for his Irish fans.
In a genre defined by self-seriousness, A Burial At Sea are the outsiders of the outsiders. The usual rock n’ roll setup of guitar, bass, drums is bolstered by a mini two-man horn section, which has resulted in the band to be labeled as “trumpet-core” and “post-rock mariachi”.
In the spring of 2020, Aoife Nessa Frances packed up her things in Dublin and moved to rural County Clare on the west coast of Ireland. It was there, amidst the stillness, that she began to work on the songs that would become her second album, Protector: a personal, mystical journey of self-discovery through dislocation, transformation, and restoration. “I might have been running away from my problems,” she admits. “I was disconnected from myself and from nature, but I found peace far away from the city, where there were no distractions. I isolated myself with nothing to do but make music.”
Recording took place in a small house in County Kerry, at the foothills of the Annascaul, along with Brendan Jenkinson (producer, keys, bass, synth, clarinet) and Brendan Doherty (drums). “We’d wake up early every day and swim at Inch Beach before making music,” Frances describes. “This ritual was crucial for our process. There was an unexplainable joy happening between the three of us.” The arrangements grew with later contributions from Ailbhe Nic Oiroictaigh (strings), Meabh McKenna (harp), and Conor O’Brien (horns). No matter how it expanded in scope and involvement, Frances never let it stray from a central focus on deep truths. “For me, Protector acknowledges the part of myself that steers me towards a brighter path. The almost psychotropic power of nature gave me a connection I never felt before. As the countryside seeped into me and lines of communication opened up with my family, I developed an ability to perceive myself and my choices within an expanded world.”
Protector builds pastoral landscapes through light flourishes and open spaces. Songs float along effortlessly, remaining anchored by Frances’ deep voice. Contemplative tempos tug along atmospheric synths, minimal bass, and shimmering guitar notes, conveying a serenity like early morning. “Writing and recording this album was a spiritual experience,” Frances explains. “I experienced love for my family on a level I didn’t know existed, while slowly putting myself back together and watching the ‘protector’ in me grow much bigger.”
Gemma Hayes is a much loved and respected Irish singer songwriter. Her debut album, Night On My Side, was released in 2002, for which she won Best Female Artist at the Hot Press Awards and a Mercury Prize nomination. Since then she has released 4 critically acclaimed studio albums and a limited-edition live album. Gemma is constantly in demand for film and television placements – her version of Chris Isaak’s Wicked Game, recorded for the US TV series Pretty Little Liars, is now close to 19 million streams on Spotify alone.
Gemma is currently working on a new album which she herself describes as deconstructed folk-pop. Gemma will be releasing a song called High and Low at the end of February with her new album coming in September 2023.
Gwenifer Raymond began playing guitar at the age of eight shortly after having been first exposed to punk and grunge. After years of playing around the Welsh valleys in various punk outfits she began listening more to pre-war blues musicians as well as Appalachian folk players, eventually leading into the guitar players of the American Primitive genre.
In 2018 she signed to the American label ‘Tompkins Square’ and released her first album ‘You Never Were Much of a Dancer’ to widespread acclaim. In 2020 her second album ‘Strange Lights Over Garth Mountain’ shifted somewhat from straight Americana and started to take more of a spiritual influence from the landscape of her homeland of Wales. Recalling from her childhood memories of spooky trees, black against the grey sky and breath misting in cold air there is present a style of guitar playing that could be referred to as ‘Welsh Primitive’.
Gwenifer has toured extensively throughout the UK and the Europe and has established herself as one of the leading lights of the scene, and not to be missed under any circumstances.
The Busquitos are an energetic and versatile entertainment all-genre swing quartet (guitar, saxophone, violin, bass/vocals) for all ages. They play their music and improvisations with astonishing ease and contagious joy, actively involving the listeners in the show. With an eclectic repertoire ranging from the Roaring Twenties to modern pop hits, The Busquitos perform a mix of Hot Club, Jazz, Country, Rock & Roll, and more. Their songs include hits from Django Reinhardt, Louis Prima, Sonny Rollins, Irving Berlin, and even recognizable TV tunes like those of Benny Hill and Walt Disney. The band also writes and performs their own catchy and hilarious songs. The Busquitos are known for their ability to connect with the audience and get them involved in the show. They mingle with the crowd, spontaneously start line dances and limbo contests, and even play serenades. Their performances are a surprising mix of humor and great music, leaving audiences unable to sit still. The band has recorded several albums and has performed at festivals across Europe and beyond, earning international recognition for their lively and entertaining shows. Join Jelle Van Tongeren on violin, Thomas Streutgers on saxophone, Lex Reerink on guitar, and Matthieu Cleijne on bass/vocals for a fun-filled and unforgettable musical journey full of laughter, surprises, and great music.
They will be all over town: Catch them at the following gigs: