Photography: York Tillyer.
Long-time Real World Records artist and member of the acclaimed Irish/American group The Gloaming, Iarla Ó Lionáird is the subject of a new documentary that will air on RTÉ One this Thursday, 4 February, at 11.15pm.
The documentary, entitled The Works Presents, is part of a special season of arts programmes on the Irish national broadcaster in which John Kelly meets five Irish artists on the cutting edge of their craft.
This week, John Kelly meets Irish singer Iarla Ó Lionáird whose career has led him to work with internationally acclaimed musicians and composers such as Nick Cave, Sinead O'Connor and Peter Gabriel as well as form groups such as Dublin's Crash Ensemble and Afro Celt Soundsystem. He has sung to audiences around the world including at New York's Carnegie Hall and Sydney's Opera House. O'Lionáird's voice has also been heard in films such as Calvary and most recently the Oscar nominated Brooklyn. His most recent collaboration, The Gloaming, has been particularly well received by audiences and critics alike and the group's second album is released by Real World Records on 26 February.
Other programmes in the season includes interviews with film director Lenny Abrahamsson; actor, writer and theatre artist Olwen Fouéré; theatre director Louise Lowe; and artist Brian Maguire.
The Works Presents: Iarla Ó Lionáird.
RTÉ One, Thursday 4 February, 11.15pm.
Supernatural Soul by Sidestepper is a feel-good tune with hints of gospel, soul, California sunshine and Latin boogaloo and it's available as a one track download now or delivered instantly if you pre-order the new album on iTunes.
The song tells of higher planes, spiritual paths and love that comes around, and around, and around … summing up the sentiments of Sidestepper's lovingly-crafted and groundbreaking new album Supernatural Love, released on 5 February 2016.
Supernatural Soul will also be released later on (on 15 April 2016) as a limited edition AA-sided coloured 7" vinyl with album track "Fuego Que Te Llama".
The Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound release for January is from East London newcomer Bee MC.
The album Cash is King is the result of an incredibly eclectic musical 'education' combined with prodigious talent and a barely constrained appetite for creativity.
Bee MC grew up listening to everything and anything: "Anything on radio, music played in people's cars or music played by family and friends." And he says that "Life" introduced him to the Blues. The introduction obviously hit home, because a modern British take on the Blues is the closest you can get to describing this hard to categorise offering.
The album is produced by Seb Roachford drummer, band leader and producer of Polar Bear, a multiple Mercury prize nominated experimental jazz band.
The second album by The Gloaming will be released on 26 February 2016 and available on CD and Double LP and as a Download.
The new album was recorded at Real World Studios over an intense and brilliant week in December 2015, and was produced by Thomas Bartlett from the group and engineered and mixed by Patrick Dillet.
The cover image comes once again from Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, the duo responsible for the group's first album cover (parkeharrison.com).
The twelve tracks on the album are a mixture of new compositions written by the group and newly arranged traditional pieces
The track listing is:
1. The Pilgrim's Song
2. Fáinleog (Wanderer)
3. The Hare
4. Oisin's Song
5. The Booley House
6. Repeal the Union
7. Casadh an tSúgáin
8. The Rolling Wave
10. Mrs Dwyer
11. Slán le Máighe
12. The Old Favourite
The CD and Download will be released on 26 February. The Double LP format will be released on 6 May.
If you Pre-Order the album via iTunes now, you will receive the track The Pilgrim's Song immediately as a download.
Hot on the heels of Youssou N'Dour et le Super Etoile de Dakar's Fatteliku winning Best Re-Issue/Compilation in the 2015 fRoots Critics Awards, the magazine is now running a 'Best of the Best' poll.
Every year since 1986, fRoots magazine has asked a large international panel of experts - over 300 in recent times - to nominate the album of the year.
They are now looking for us all to help them pick the very best one out of all the annual winners and runners-up since the poll began.
We're delighted that Real World Records has two albums in the running:
Aurelio - Lándini
JUJU - In Trance
If you'd like to vote for one of our releases to be the best folk, roots or world music album of the past 30 years you can do so here
The closing date is 31 January 2016
The December release from Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound comes from singer, songwriter, producer and storyteller Catherine Anne Davies, otherwise known as The Anchoress and is entitled Confessions Of A Romance Novelist.
Born in Wales, her parents took her to live in Australia at the tender age of 10 weeks old - the very moment she was old enough to fly. By the age of four she was back in Buckinghamshire, in a house that rang to the sounds of The Carpenters, The Beatles and Nilsson.
One band above all convinced her that it was possible to be fiercely intelligent, glamorously literary and, of course, Welsh: Manic Street Preachers. "Being a precocious, annoying, council estate girl who thought better of herself, I would literally write down every book and author that they had referenced in their old interviews," she says. "Then I'd go to the library and order Andrea Dworkin's 'Mercy' or Brett Easton Ellis' 'American Psycho'. The Manics changed my whole world."
When it came time to record her debut album, The Anchoress went into Hugh Padgham's studio in Acton along with her co-producer Paul Draper, and expected to finish it in five weekends. That was three-and-a-half years ago.
"The record felt like it didn't want to be finished," she says.
Confessions Of A Romance Novelist is a record that has been deliberated on. It is richer for the time it has taken, and that fact lends weight and meaning to every near-catastrophe that led here. Every trip and fall, even the literal ones, were obstacles for our protagonist to hurdle. Now they're stories to tell and you can hear them this month on Society of Sound.
Youssou N'Dour's Fatteliku album has been voted album of the year in the Compilation, Reissue and Historical category of the fRoots Magazine Critics Poll 2015.
On announcing their winners for this year fRoots call the album "a great, previously unreleased archive recording of Senegalese superstar Youssou N'Dour and his band in full flight back in 1987."
A panel of almost 300 local and international experts votes in the Critics Poll and any albums that fit into fRoots' loose remit - "anything from anywhere with roots in a tradition" - are eligible for consideration.
So, we're rather chuffed!
Totó La Momposina also featured in the top ten of the same 'historical' category coming in at number 8 for her Tambolero album, whilst Spiro's Welcome Joy and Welcome Sorrow gained a notable mention in the category of Album of the Year.
Many congratulations to Greg Lawson and all of the musicians involved in the GRIT ORCHESTRA on winning Event of the Year at The Scottish Traditional Music Awards 2015 on Saturday night (5 December).
The award recognizes the impact that Nae Regrets - the opening concert of Celtic Connections 2015 - made on the start of the year as a hand-picked orchestra of folk, jazz and classical players performed Martyn Bennett's GRIT at the Glasgow Royal Concert Hall.
It is the second year running that Martyn Bennett events have won the award after last years success of GRIT the stage show directed and written by Cora Bisset and Kieran Hurley.
Huge congratulations and thanks to all involved, especially all the Celtic Connections team who hosted the concert, the BBC team who beautifully captured the event and to everyone who voted.
Photo courtesy of Sean Purser.
The November release on Bowers & Wilkins Society of Sound is an early preview of the forthcoming album on Real World Records by Sidestepper, entitled Supernatural Love.
The stunning new album marks a radical change in direction for the acclaimed collective. Long acknowledged as the original progenitors of electro-cumbia, the cutting-edge blend of electronica and Afro-Colombian rhythms that has torn up dancefloors from Medellin to London and New York, the band's sound has spawned such young groups as Chocquibtown, Bomba Estereo and more -- many of whose members have played in Sidestepper over the group's evolution. The new album befits the band's reputation as innovators: organic, potent, rhythmic, and irresistibly danceable.
"It felt like the right time to go back to basics. A song and a beat, warm sounds and magic players," says British DJ/producer Richard Blair, who co-founded Sidestepper in 1996 and spawned a phenomenon. "Global club culture has become totally mainstream; I've grown bored of hearing the same kick, snare and hi-hat. I wanted to try something new, to see if it was possible to make a record with just hand drums and traditional instrumentation like shakers, sticks and flutes."
Real World Records is delighted to announce that the new album from The Gloaming will be released on Friday 26 February 2016.
Recording will take place in December at Real World Studios.
We will reveal the album title and cover image shortly but The Gloaming's music will again be beautifully presented with another cover image from Robert and Shana ParkeHarrison, the duo responsible for their now iconic first album.
The CD and download will be released on 26 February. The LP release will follow on 6 May. However, if you pre-order the vinyl format via the Real World Store you will receive a download of the audio on 26 February, so you won't have to wait until May before you hear the album.
The Gloaming: Martin Hayes, Dennis Cahill, Iarla Ó Lionáird, Caoimhin Ó Raghallaigh and Thomas Bartlett, have had a hugely successful year of touring in 2015 performing at some of the most prestigious venues in the world. Much of the material that will make up the band's second album has been honed and refined throughout this year of touring.
The Irish Times culture journalist & pop critic Jim Carroll on the magic to be found in the group's fusion of sounds: "You've still the same powerful, instinctive understanding between the players. It's what has changed, though, which holds the most promise … The Gloaming have discovered a new momentum by digging into the space between the notes … they've turned their heads to bringing in fresh material and applying a forensic lens to what they can do with these new tracts."
In 2016, five shows at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and one at London's Union Chapel have already sold out. All within days, some within hours. Hopefully you are one of the 7,000+ lucky people set to see The Gloaming perform at one of these shows in February/March next year? If not, never fear:
Newly announced concerts in the UK for 2016.
Shows go on sale from today, Thursday 12 November, at 10am
21 September Bristol - Colston Hall
22 September London - Royal Festival Hall
23 September Manchester - Bridgewater Hall
24 September Edinburgh - Usher Hall
25 September Birmingham - Symphony Hall
More live shows in Portugal and the USA are already on sale.
Full list of all confirmed shows