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Country-pop singer Aoife Carton has released a new song ‘Capsule’

Having just graduated from the British and Irish Modern Music Institute (BIMM) with a degree in songwriting, Dubliner Aoife has spent the summer honing her craft. 

Capsule, the title track off her upcoming EP, is an expression of both anger and strength which highlights some of the issues that victims of sexual violence are forced to face in today’s society.

Aoife says that she wrote the song with the intention of highlighting how sexual violence stays with the victim and is near-impossible to bury. She also expresses anger for the way she thinks victims can be portrayed when they speak publicly about what they’ve been through.

Taking influence from a range of genres, Aoife Carton has developed her sound since she started writing songs at the age of fifteen. A writer before a songwriter, lyrics are at the heart of her music with themes ranging from love to depression too – in true country style – heartbreak. She cites country-era Taylor Swift and Una Healy’s latest sound as major influences. 

Aoife took a big step towards her music career in 2017 when she booked a solo flight to Nashville, Tennessee on her 21st birthday, determined to play at the famous Open Mic Night at the Bluebird Cafe – which she did. The following summer she returned to the States, this time to New York, where she played at the Rockwood Music Hall, opened for Mick Flannery at a private gig in New Jersey and gigged open mic nights every chance she got.

Recently, Aoife performed the late Mic Cristopher’s song Heyday on The Ray D’Arcy Show on RTÉ One television with a range of well-known Irish artists, for Aidlink for Turkana. “The fact that we were singing Mic’s songs made it really special,” says Aoife, as Mic was her second cousin and a major inspiration in her decision to become a musician. 

Follow Aoife Carton online

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Interview with indie soundscape songwriter Officer

London-based Indie soundscape songwriter  Officer AKA Dc Logan was born in Glasgow and brought up in Northern Ireland. Officer’s debut album entitled ‘Myriads’ was crowd-funded by his fan base and described as “Flawless & promising” by FAME, “Deliciously dark with huge atmospheric rollercoaster landscapes” by RKC and “Stratospheric and yet disarmingly intimate” by Right Chord Music.   

The indie songwriter Officer is a solo artist who is supported by a collective of different musical friends. Watch videos for singles ‘Can We Talk’ ‘Laughing Rafters’ ‘Glass Ceiling’ and ‘My Darling Defibrillator’ on YouTube. New album ‘Night Tennis’ will be released in February 2020, and is preceded by new single ‘Tilt The Clox.’ and ‘Heavening’ (Watch The Bottles). 

Looking back, what were some of your earliest entries into music appreciation? And music production?

Well, I was around a lot of religious and sectarian music as a kid in Northern Ireland and so discovering music that brought people together was really amazing for me. In my teens, I headed out anywhere I could find alternative live music, from local punk bands to ancient traditional Irish folk music at pub firesides. I grew up in a few different pretty sheltered and strict old school charismatic churches too which meant hearing a lot of old and often really beautiful spirituals and hymns being sung at high intensity, something my parents were a big part of, with my grandfather having been a traveling gospel preacher. It was odd that music would be either dangerously territorial and divisive or wonderfully embracing and uniting… in both directions you could feel its power. In the end, I was really captivated by artists like The Clash, Marley, Radiohead, PJ Harvey, Rage, Ash, Glen Hansard, Damien Rice, U2, R.E.M., The Verve…

Music production… you know, the first thing I ever remember doing was playing a guitar with only four strings on it, then beatboxing, and then singing straight into my neighbor’s aunt’s laptop mic, inspired by having just seen Ash and U2 play at my first ever real gig. It was a little poem-cum-song I’d written about my mum and dad’s divorce before ever having learned a single song by anyone else. I kind of went straight into writing cos I felt I had lots I wanted to write about or just express in some way. A couple of years later I moved to London into a flat with a couple of other musicians who had an old eight-track Akai and Garageband on their PC’s and we started experimenting with all that.

Take us through your songwriting process. Are there any particular steps you take when putting music together?

I make a lot of notes and record a lot of melodies as I go… I pick up and play something every day really and have, for as long as I can remember, been a constant scribbler of little poems, thoughts, stories, images, doodles, feelings. When it comes to actually focused writing I usually have a kernel of a poem or a beat or a melody or something that I feel is uniquely expressive of me or where I’m at or what I’m going through or grappling with in the world around me. But it happens in lots of different orders and methods for me… I find that just keeping open to whatever way things are coming is both a lot of fun and highly inspirational in terms of both initial inspiration and enough inspiration to keep you fresh and resolved to completion. So sometimes I write in a really loud live band setting, off the back of whatever noise we’re forming together, and then other times entirely on my own quietly on the acoustic or my little synth. Some songs come in minutes and are like precious little gifts being just given to you for nothing and others take huge amounts of perseverance, reworking, and focus. Something I have found helps me though is to only give very limited time to any given song in one go.

What gets your creative juices flowing?

It’s just in me, like a constant thing I can’t shut off, it’s hard to describe… but I guess just caring about people really, both up close and at a distance. Also things like the sea, swimming, a good book or film, a unique place or time, a good chat over a bottle of wine and a campfire… and actually, the really early morning hours are fuelling of creativity for me, they are something that gets my music bones moving… I’m not a great sleeper and have experienced some both first hand and secondary trauma and anxiety here and there that can at times keep me up, but then being awake and thinking and feeling through things in that relative silence brings some imperfect but beautiful things out. Loads of this new album was written at two, three and four in the morning.

As a musician, it becomes apparent that there is a huge difference between the art and the business. Is there anything about the music scene that you would personally change?

Honestly, I don’t know where to begin with that, it feels like an awfully unhealthy place such a lot of the time in all honesty. But then, you can look at one aspect and be really inspired, find inclusion, authenticity, togetherness, something really valuable, and then other times it’s like being caught in a bit of a tidal wave of something deeply uncreative, artistically and mentally paralysing, emotionally isolating, without integrity or any iota of peace or worth… guess it depends who you’re with and what you’re caught up in.

Studio work and music creation or performing and interacting with a live audience, which do you prefer?

I truly love it all. I love the live gigs though, that’s where it’s at for me, if I have to choose. But yeah, searching, pursuing, waiting for something completely honest and magical to come in the writing and recording process also gifts you some incredible moments of elation and deep satisfaction, even when it’s draining. With good friends, it’s all a joy and adventure.

What is the most memorable response you have had to your music?

I’ve had unexpected sing-alongs and encores in packed places which is incredible in what it does for your soul but I have to say I’ve had more than a few emails or other contacts from people now telling me my music has or is really helping them through something really tough for them and that has been something really dear to me and helps me keep going when the struggle of being an unsigned artist with very little resources from a working-class background has been too much to carry here and there.

What’s on your current playlist?

I don’t do playlists, I get obsessed with albums, devour them and move on, so my recent listening has been a lot of Big Thief mixed in with some Sharon van Etten, Nick Cave, Angel Olsen, Van Morrison, Idles, R.E.M., Black Pumas, The Cure, some traditional Irish folk of long ago. 

Breakdown the news for us: what can we expect from you in the near future?

A couple more singles, videos, live sessions, and then the new album, Night Tennis, in February, which is my second album – both albums have been fan-funded albums. The last little run of shows we did were all sold out but if I’m honest it’s been a real struggle to get gigs outside of London and I want to open it up more and get out on the road to other cities and music-loving places on a support tour or something. I’m looking for help and contacts with that. I have a third album pretty much written that I’m looking forward to recording, so hopefully that’s not years off either.

Famous last words?

Just never stop not don’t being you! – Something I, in drunken passion, advised a slightly more sober friend who was a bit down in the dumps in an attempt to encourage them. They laughed, so it worked.

Officer appeared in a feature on Exit Through Sound

Follow Officer online 

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Singer/songwriter Ed Tattersall releases new music video for ‘Delicate Mind’

An ever-evolving epic, the powerful ‘Delicate Mind’ uses emotive pianos, striking percussion, and a blazing guitar solo to launch the intense passion in Ed’s voice skyward. The song champions the importance of mental health, telling the tale of a struggling mind digging deep for something to ease the pain.

On the collaboration with CALM, Ed comments, “I feel really honored to be aligning my efforts with CALM for this ‘Delicate Mind’ single. Mental health has been something that myself and a lot of my friends have had to deal with. For me, music has been my antidepressant. I’m on a journey that is filled with constant failure and am constantly confronted with the negative effects of social media, especially when comparing my own success to other artists.

 “There have been times on this journey when I would blame music for the burden of anxiety and at times depression. But it’s not. Music is my parachute, picking up an instrument and writing a song is my way of getting my overactive mind out on paper. ‘Delicate Mind’ means so much to me because we wrote it during one of the hardest times of my life, I just hope it helps other people as it helped me. That’s why working with CALM on this one is perfect, they’re an amazing Charity that is right on the front line of the world’s battle with mental health. And for that, they will always have my eternal gratitude and support.”

 The new single comes with the elegant B-side ‘Write It On The Wall (Beautiful Life)’ and follows the previous releases ‘Never Believe’ and ‘Clint Eastwood’, the former being the first single from his upcoming debut album. Ed created them alongside hit songwriter/record producer Jamie Petrie (JP), who discovered his early tracks and approached him.

 JP has also directed the ‘Clint Eastwood’ and ‘Never Believe’ videos, which were produced by Movies Darling.

 ‘Delicate Mind’ and ‘Write It On The Wall (Beautiful Life)’ are out now via Hertford Records/Believe Digital and showcase what a striking new talent multi-instrumentalist Ed Tattersall is, with a rasping, soulful voice and a truly atmospheric approach to melody.

 He also has a number of special live performances lined up in December, as well as more new music on the horizon – stay tuned.

Ed Tattersall appeared in a feature on Sound Juicer

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Singer/songwriter Shenna shared new EP ‘Blue Memories’

Pop-artist Shenna’s bright singles have consistently glimmered and caught the eyes of many in the music industry. Color and fantasy are a part of Shenna’s identity as an artist. Blue Memories is the latest to continue this trend, this time bringing a gloomy, honest retrospective on her career.

Tracks from the EP have already received acclaim from a variety of publications. “Conversation” was premiered with Popdust and its video with Billboard. “I feel that people are so distracted by the media and technology that we are not having real face-to-face conversations anymore because of the many distractions around us,” she says to Billboard.

At the beginning of Shenna’s career, she found placements on a variety of shows with MTV, Oxygen, Netflix, and Fox. Past projects including her debut EP, Dream in Color, debut LP, Made of Gold and single “Magenta” have all attributed to her achievements. Through these releases, Shenna found a sweet spot in crafting colorful, vibrant tracks that blend identity and genre.

Now, “Blue Memories” reflects and preserves this momentum, recognizing the struggles it took to get to define herself. As a seasoned performer, Shenna understands what artists do to establish an identity. Being both Black and Syrian, Shenna was encouraged to go into different genres, craft a fake persona and ultimately not be herself.

“When I started, many people in the music industry wanted to sell a sexualized image of me and refined me to only slow R&B jams. Nothing is wrong with being sexy, but being put into that role wasn’t me and I felt forced into a box. Blue Memories is my process in expressing myself through my own voice, instead of those around me.”

“Blue Memories” speaks out against that influence and finds solace in her ability to be proud of her own identity and style, “For a lot of artists they will change their identities in order to get attention for their career rather than the music itself.”

Being both African-American and Syrian, Shenna possesses a multi-cultural style of music that blends all of her interests in one. The Arabic-inspired instruments and vocal runs used in “Blue Memories” were an accident that had felt natural to her. She chooses to make her identity a part of her music naturally, rather than exploit it.

The six songs of Blue Memories are all reflective of the different aspects of depression and the way society and social media perpetuate false selves that lead to low self-worth. Blue Memories offers another raw emotional side that comes from the success of the industry, now Shenna is hoping to change it and be self-assured in her future as an artist.

Follow Shenna online

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