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Songs & Stories: Declan Guckian // Ailie Blunnie. [Dublin]
Thu 27 April 2017, 20:00 – 23:00 IST
A double-bill performance: two musicians, both from Leitirm, both navigating the world of the working singer-songwriter. Two different stories.
“Music born in the seeds of Grunge and watered with Irish Whiskey” (Ofen Bar, Berlin)
Declan Guckian is an Irish singer songwriter and musician based in Prague; but no great storyteller ever had the best tales from staying in one place - and so this nomadic artist is always on the move.
"Traveling troubadour Declan Guckian continues to grow and prosper with each show he plays." (Lost in the Manor Records, UK)
Influences found in the realms of Eddie Vedder, Jeff Buckley and Chris Cornell, combined with an intense appreciation for the music of his own culture, encompasses a writing style of beautiful flavour.
2013 saw the release of his debut E.P ‘Gone From Here’ which has been received passionately by critics in the UK, Ireland and Germany. In 2016 he released a live CD recorded in Berlin, followed by relentless gigging and multiple European tours covering the UK, Germany, Austria, and the Netherlands.
The next EP promises a darker direction with new material ready to record for September 2017.
“Terrific performer that knows how to silence a room” (Sofar Sounds, Berlin)
From Leitrim, Ailie grew up on the banks of the Shannon: a playground of lakes and woodlands, and a stone’s throw from the rugged coastlines of North Leitrim and Sligo.
Her forthcoming album 'West to the Evening Sun', is, at its heart, a love letter to her native home patch, with the title track described as "a highly imaginative evocation of a sense of place and time." (John Buckley, composer)
Her début EP, ‘On love.. and other murder mysteries’ (2013), marked her first tentative foray into the forests of independent musicianship. From it, her wistful love song ‘How much do you love me?‘, and the stark ‘You Compare Her to a Rose’, were selected as winner and finalist, respectively, in the UK Songwriting Competition (2014).
A recent song, ‘I Will Count my Blessings’ – a commitment to honouring core values (‘I will count my blessings/I will speak my heart and my mind/I will not be more or less than I am for you’), was included on the 2015 release, ‘Don’t be afraid of the light that shines within you’ – a CD produced by, and in aid of, Samaritans Ireland.
Ailie’s début album is the crystallisation of a quiet drive to transmute bare human emotion into full-colour sensory experience. With vocal hints of Sinéad O’Connor, Michael Stipe, and Stina Nordenstam, a nod towards Ger Wolfe’s tender storytelling, a splash of Steve Reich, a shameless sense of fun (think Flann O’Brien’s love of bicycles), and the dueling distant thump of early-90s grunge and late-90s electro, ‘West to the Evening Sun’ will be released in mid-2017, with the title track available from February 10th.
“So new, so fresh, and so good” (Carl Corcoran, The Blue of the Night, RTÉ Lyric fm)
“A taster from the Leitrim singer-songwriter’s forthcoming début album shows a craftswoman who knows the right measure of guile and atmospherics which a soundscape of this majesty requires.” (Jim Carroll, Irish Times, on the first single, ‘West to the Evening Sun’)