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Single Review: Rosie Carney – Winter

By on Tuesday, 21st November 2017 at 12:00 pm

Enigmatic and introspective Donegal-based singer/songwriter Rosie Carney has released a slow but steadily captivating stream of singles since signing to independent record label X Novo in 2016, including the acutely personal ‘Awake Me’, which TGTF reviewed back in the early part this year.  More recently, as we come to the close of 2017, Carney has unveiled a new track titled ‘Winter’, which captures both the fragile beauty of the upcoming season and the cold embrace of loneliness that sometimes accompanies it.

Carney’s ‘Winter’ is a stark and exquisitely executed metaphor for a broken relationship. Musically, its delicate acoustic guitar and bowed string instrumentation creates an intricate and shadowy harmonic backdrop for her brittle yet graceful vocal lines. Lyrically, Carney mingles poetry that clearly recalls the characteristic darkness and biting chill of winter with lines that are equally evocative of despair and desolation, as in the opening verse of the song: “I watch the leaves fall down at midnight / there is no sound but humming streetlights / I feel the cold that sleeps on my back”. Contemplating a solitary life without her lover, Carney sings, “I’ll count the days until they’re longer / but who said this haze would make me stronger?” Despite the haunting spectre of doubt, her musical accompaniment does gather courage in its dynamics, as the distant piano melody adds a shimmer of light in the sonic background, and a faint dusting of backing vocals provides depth behind the lingering lyric melody, “I’ll try forgetting you . . .” The final violin melody wraps around to reiterate the song’s introductory motif, leaving behind a poignant sense of longing even after the last strains of sound fade away.


‘Winter’ from Rosie Carney is out now. Carney will perform in London’s Notting Hill Arts Club on the 12th of December as part of CRC Music Presents, along with Night Flight and a secret headline act to be announced later. TGTF’s previous coverage of Rosie Carney, including an interview with her from last year at SXSW 2016, is collected right back here.


Video of the Moment #2293: Rosie Carney

By on Monday, 13th February 2017 at 6:00 pm

Donegal-based singer/songwriter Rosie Carney has been teasing us as of late about an upcoming EP. While this supposed EP hasn’t seen the light of day – yet – she has released one heck of a single from it. ‘Awake Me’, her latest single which Carrie reviewed late last month, has a haunting quality that seems to directly reflect the singer’s own battles with depression and anorexia. Still only of 20 years of age and yet with a voice that seems much wiser and richer beyond her actual years, there’s plenty of potential in Carney and we look forward to hearing her EP when it finally does make it out to the wild. Watch the promo for her single ‘Awake Me’ below. To read more of our past coverage on Rosie Carney here on TGTF, use this link.



Single Review: Rosie Carney – Awake Me

By on Monday, 30th January 2017 at 1:00 pm

We at TGTF first experienced the stark fragility of Donegal-based singer Rosie Carney’s songwriting about a year ago, when she appeared as a showcasing artist at SXSW 2016. Though her performances in Austin were breathtaking in their beauty, there was also a feeling of reluctance about her then, an air of uncertainty about her own ability and her place as an artist. Carney’s hesitation was undoubtedly due in part to a previous difficult record label experience, but in the intervening time, she has also revealed a personal blog which chronicles her simultaneous private struggle with depression and anorexia.

Now, at the still tender age of 20, Carney seems to have found surer footing with London indie label X Novo and a newly-released single dealing with the emotions surrounding her mental illness.Titled ‘Awake Me’, the new track is both an austere expression of self-awareness and an appeal for compassion from those around her. The song’s opening guitar ostinato is both rhythmically hypnotic and harmonically vague, and Carney cleverly exploits its tonal ambiguity as her intensely personal narrative unfolds through the key phrase “I’ve been a fool for more than half of my life / I’ve tried too hard”. The simple plea of the chorus, “awake me, don’t break me” then grows into a soaring bridge section, where the harmonic progression and stunning agility of Carney’s singing voice become suddenly, startlingly clear.

If ‘Awake Me’ represents a fresh start for Rosie Carney after the difficult first years of her singing career, she would seem to be taking bold and very deliberate strides in a positive direction. Her understated lyricism and ethereally ambiguous musical style were well-established (as incongruous as that statement may sound) in her youth, but ‘Awake Me’ demonstrates an added element of maturity in her songwriting, and it serves as a promising pivot point for her future artistic endeavours.


Rosie Carney’s new single ‘Awake Me’ is available now via X Novo and, according to Carney’s official Facebook, will appear on her forthcoming EP release. TGTF’s previous coverage of Rosie Carney is back through here.


Hard Working Class Heroes 2016: editor Mary’s best band bets

By on Friday, 30th September 2016 at 11:00 am

Please note: as we recommend with all of our festival previews, the information we post here on TGTF on Hard Working Class Heroes 2016, including my past preview of the event, is current at the time of posting. But we encourage you to check in at the event’s official Web site closer to the start of the event to confirm venues and set times. Weekend tickets are still on sale for €45, with nightly and individual venue tickets priced at €20 and €10, respectively. Weekend student tickets will be available for purchase for €25 upon proof of photo ID on Thursday 6th October from the box office at Film Base, Curved Street. To purchase your tickets, visit this page on the official HWCH Web site.

2016 North American emerging music festival alums: We’d be missing a trick not to give a shoutout to the artists we’ve already covered and enjoyed at this year’s SXSW 2016 in Austin (March) and CMW 2016 in Toronto (May):
Comrade Hat (Derry; 10:10 PM Thursday, Tengu Upstairs)
Elm (Dublin; 9:40 PM Saturday, Workman’s Club)
Fangclub (Dublin; 9:30 PM Thursday, Hub)
Jealous of the Birds (Portadown; 9:00 PM Friday, Tengu Downstairs)
Rosie Carney (Downings via Portsmouth; 10:00 PM Saturday, City Hall)
Rusangano Family (Limerick; 9:30 PM Saturday, Chocolate Factory Stage 2)
Search Party Animal (Dublin; 8:30 PM Thursday, Workman’s Club)

Let me introduce you to a lucky seven acts that caught my eyes and ears upon my research of the 100+ strong bill for Hard Working Class Heroes this year:

Orchid Collective (folk / Dublin; 1:30 PM Thursday, Accents Café Lounge [free show]; 10:30 PM Thursday, Wigwam)

The incredible success of Fleet Foxes in the late Noughties opened the door for the march of the alt-folk genre, paving the way for artists like Bon Iver, Family of the Year and Of Monsters and Men to garner global popularity. From one of the traditional bosoms of folk music of the world, Ireland, and with new EP ‘Courage’ out in late October, Orchid Collective look to be the next stars of indie folk.

New Pope (folk / Galway; 3:30 PM Thursday, Gutter Bookshop [free show]; 9:40 PM Thursday, Tengu Downstairs)

It’s easy to suffer from electronic overload and overproduction. So let’s take a step back and strip back to the basics of folk. New Pope is West Country singer/songwriter David Boland, proving that as long as you keep things simple during a thoughtful writing process, it’s possible to write a compelling song. Close your eyes for a fuller sense of the power of ‘Love’ below.

Update 16/05/2020: ‘Love’ is no longer on New Pope’s Soundcloud.

Exiles (electronic / Carlow/Kilkenny; 10:50 PM Thursday, Tengu Upstairs)

Anyone who knows me knows I’m a sucker for synthpop, so Exiles are a no-brainer on my Hard Working Class Heroes schedule. This month, they released a new EP ‘Red Lights’, already receiving loads of attention from domestic radio. Given the current music climate for everything synthy, I can see this band going far beyond the ‘80s influences that have been so important to them.

Slow Riot (post-punk / Limerick; 8:10 PM Friday, Hub)

Naming themselves after a Godspeed You! Black Emperor EP, Slow Riot takes the best of those who have come before and puts a unique Irish stamp on it. Having already played a sold-out show in the Capital, they will return to gig in London on the 10th of November at the Sebright Arms after this appearance at Hard Working Class Heroes.

Callum Stewart (pop / Belfast; 12:30 PM Friday, Nine Crows [free show]; 8:40 PM Friday, City Hall) – as of 2020, Callum Stewart now goes by the name JC Stewart

You know that feeling you get when you listen to a new artist and the chills run down your spine? Like I felt with Liverpool’s BANNERS in my SXSW 2016 research, I got that same kind of moment upon hearing Callum Stewart’s pop single ‘Parachute’. Despite being only 19, Stewart has already managed to achieve a poignancy in his songs that much older songwriters have difficulty with. Expect a major label snap-up in the coming months.

Hiva Oa (electronic/rock / Belfast; 8:20 PM Saturday, Tengu Downstairs)

Stephen Houlihan and Christine Tubridy have returned to Ireland after a spell in Edinburgh, and they’ve just released a new EP. ‘mk2 (part 1)’ illustrates well their sound described on a press release as “marrying primal, dizzying electronica and a swelling bass hum, with minimal guitar patterns to create a tightly wound, suffocating and intense atmosphere”. Intrigued? Check them out on Saturday night.

Kid Karate (punk / Dublin; 8:30 PM Saturday, Chocolate Factory Stage 2; our past coverage on them on TGTF here)

Kid Karate are veterans of past SXSW events and this year, the noiseniks really have something to shout about. Their newest and also self-titled album was released in April. Single ‘Louder’, with its unrelenting, thudding backbeat and punky swagger, should give you a good clue what you’re in for if you pop into the Chocolate Factory’s Stage 2 Saturday night.


SXSW 2016: Friday daytime at B.D. Riley’s for the Full Irish Breakfast – 18th March 2016

By on Monday, 11th April 2016 at 2:00 pm

Over the past 3 years, it’s become my personal SXSW tradition to spend the Friday at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub for the Full Irish Breakfast, hosted by Music From Ireland. Indeed, Music From Ireland has an even longer history of hosting the showcase, as event coordinator Angela Dorgan related to me in this Friday afternoon interview. My chat with Ms. Dorgan was one of several interviews that I would conduct during the course of the day, between sets by a wide variety of Irish artists spanning genres from sweet acoustic folk to hardcore hip-hop.


The first artist on Friday’s bill was Donegal singer/songwriter Rosie Carney, who faced the difficult task of playing her sensitive and subtle songs to a rather groggy crowd who were perhaps more focused on their eggs and coffee than the activity onstage. Her singing voice was in fine form for so early in the day, and though the open stage at BD Riley’s isn’t the optimal venue for acoustic singer/songwriter types, her lilting tones provided a gentle introduction to a showcase that would gain momentum with each successive act.


I stepped outside to have this brief chat with Carney after she played, and when I returned, Silences’ frontman Conchúr White had taken the stage. I’d seen White play the day before on the Thursday afternoon Output Belfast showcase at Latitude 30, and his set once again the demonstrated the vast difference between the two venues. While the rowdier crowd and open windows behind the stage at B.D. Riley’s were slightly less receptive to White’s solo set, he managed to make a favorable impression on his audience.


Following Silences’ rather lonely solo set, the stage at B.D. Riley’s became abruptly more crowded with the entrance of Dublin garage rock quintet September Girls. I was glad to catch them this time around, as I missed them previously in 2014, and I’d been tipped off earlier in the week that their new album ‘Age of Indignation’ was not to be missed. As a fan of the Bangles from my early music listening days, I’m naturally intrigued by a band named after their famous Big Star cover, and I’ll be delving more deeply into September Girls’ sound in my upcoming review of the LP. They played an animated set laced with new songs on their Friday afternoon set, and afterward, two of their number graciously gave this interview for your listening pleasure.


Also filling the stage to capacity at B.D. Riley’s were David C Clements and his crew of bandmates, who followed the brash rock of September Girls with an equally intense set of their own. Along with the aforementioned Silences, I’d heard Clements play at the British Music Embassy the day before, and though he played largely the same set list at B.D. Riley’s, I was once again captivated by his heartfelt lyricism and expansive musical style.

Somadrone internal

Next on the schedule was electro/acoustic act Somadrone, aka Neil O’Connor, who Mary had caught earlier in the week at the official Music From Ireland showcase at Maggie Mae’s on the Wednesday night. Though soft-spoken in manner, O’Connor and his drummer Gareth Averill managed to crank up the volume a notch or two during their extended set, which they graciously agreed to play when rapper Rejjie Snow had to pull out of the showcase lineup.


Math rock band Enemies were next to take the stage, and I was so concentrated on their rather consciously intellectual sound that I didn’t immediately recognize drummer Micheál Quinn, who I’d met in this very same place last year when he had appeared in a different context with avant/experimental group Meltybrains? It was revealed during the course of Enemies’ set that Micheál was celebrating his birthday that day, and naturally a chorus of singing and birthday cake ensued. But make no mistake, their pop-tinged single ‘Play Fire’ was equally memorable and upbeat.


The afternoon’s trajectory changed slightly with duo act Saint Sister, whose very aptly termed “atmosfolk” gave our ears a welcome moment of respite, switching gears from live drums and wailing guitars to a combination of sweetly-tuned vocals, traditional Celtic harp and modern electronic rhythms. The novelty of seeing a harp on the stage at B.D. Riley’s would have been memorable enough in itself, but the hypnotic quality of Saint Sister’s seemingly anachronous juxtaposition of sounds proved that they are more than just a gimmick. Their music might have been a bit more laid-back than the other acts surrounding them on the Irish Breakfast docket, but as you can hear in my interview with them, they were in high spirits, and the animated energy came through in their performance.

The final act on the Full Irish Breakfast afternoon showcase was Limerick hip-hop trio Rusangano Family (pictured at top), whose new LP ‘Let the Dead Bury the Dead’ was released just last week, along with the video for jazz-tinged album track ‘Lights On’. Their sensational performance in Austin on the Friday of SXSW couldn’t be contained on the small B.D. Riley’s stage, as frontman God Knows leapt out the open window to preach his gospel to the throngs of people on 6th Street, while his bandmates MuRli and DJ mynameisjOhn were left to entertain the madding crowd inside. As you can see in the photos below, even aforementioned Enemies’ drummer Quinn couldn’t resist the urge to snap a few shots of the ecstatic festivities that ended the 2016 Full Irish Breakfast on another epic high.


Rusangano Family internal 3


SXSW 2016 Interview: Rosie Carney

By on Wednesday, 6th April 2016 at 11:00 am

By the time Friday rolls around at SXSW, musicians and spectators alike are typically beginning to show signs of wearing down after several nights in a row of near constant gigging. The traditional Friday morning Full Irish Breakfast at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub is a bit of a respite for those of us in the audience, starting with a lovely brunch and coffee (or tea, or even a Guinness if you prefer) but it’s another day on the job for the artists performing there.

First on the bill at this year’s Full Irish Breakfast was 18-year-old Donegal singer/songwriter Rosie Carney, whose warm and delicate tones were a decidedly gentle introduction to the long day of music ahead. As I’ve noted in the past, the venue at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub isn’t perhaps the ideal location for soft and subtle music, but Carney seemed determined to make it work, and in the end her performance was well-appreciated by the crowd of patrons who listened as they noshed on their eggs and sausages.


In the interview clip below, the soft-spoken Ms. Carney and I stepped outside B.D. Riley’s for a brief chat about her two already released singles ‘Winter’ and ‘Better Man’, both of which she had regaled us with inside, as well as her still-tentative plans for an upcoming EP release. She was lucky enough to have a pair of bandmates accompanying her to Austin on this trip, and they hoped to make a lasting impression on their American audiences with her folk-tinged songwriting and gracefully nuanced singing voice. If Carney seemed a bit dazed by the chaos and commotion of her first trip to SXSW, she could perhaps be forgiven at this late point in the week, as she’d already played quite a list of shows and still had one more ahead of her on the Saturday’s Women to Watch showcase. Thankfully, her lovely voice had shown no sign of fatigue at the Full Irish Breakfast, despite the early start to her Friday morning.


About Us

There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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