Fast rising star Conor Marcus excels on new track ‘No More Broken Hearts’, as he takes us through a journey of loss and acceptance. The young performer who is regarded as one of Northern Ireland’s most promising young singer/songwriters follows his previous release ‘Hold Me Close Again’ with another emotive pop focused single.
Writing his own material since he was nine years old, it wasn’t until inspiration struck at 12 with ‘The Girl I Met’ that Conor acknowledged his song-writing ability. A year later, he performed the song on ITV’s The Voice Kids UK during the blind auditions, where along with his mentor Danny Jones from McFly he went on to reach the semi-finals.
Having already conquered so many achievements Conor is also currently the youngest participant of the renowned ‘Scratch My Progress’ programme. All of which has helped him build a fervent following as he continues to reach new heights of success.
‘No More Broken Hearts’ signals a more mature approach to song-writing as Conor makes moves into new ambitious themes and music. With each of Conor’s releases comes an indication that this is a newcomer to be taken seriously. A breezy moving melody combined with a charming vocal that is supported by animated pop beats helps give the track a cool and effortless vibe.
Speaking about the track, Conor said; “This song is about dealing with the loss of someone close to you. It was inspired by the passing of my granny, many years before I was born, when my mother was just 15. I’ve been working on the song for a long time and I’m really happy with how it’s turned out.”
You can check Conor Marcus’s new track ‘No More Broken Hearts’ here.
Northern Irish singer-songwriter and producer Jessica Hammond’s debut single ‘Ugly’ is a savvy, confident pop hit with a cool charm. Working alongside co-producer Matty Graham the pair have created a lively summer earworm filled with modern sensibilities.
The presence of exciting and slick production elements has anchored the song as an irresistible holiday nightclub groove. Throughout the track Hammond reflects about falling in love with someone that does not possess the best characteristics, a relatively relatable concept.
Hammond’s sound presents all the makings of a contemporary emerging pop artist with their finger on the pulse. A track to enjoy and dance to through isolation, Hammond’s debut helps to position her as one to watch with‘Ugly’sure to appeal to a wide demographic.
Innovative queer pop artist Jack Rua and Dublin based producer LOGUOShave released the video to their pulsating pop song ‘Ego’. Merging the performative flair of Jack Rua with the effortlessly slick production of LOGUOS the duo have managed to create an utterly infectious summer dance floor filler.
Released just after Gay Pride festival in Dublin on July 5th, ‘Ego’has already elicited an excited response from industry with airplay on 2fm with Tara Stewart and Dan Hegarty. The video which has been developed by PureGrand (Luke Faulkner) is crisp and contemporary matching the sultry tone and vibe of the track.
Embracing theatrics in his performance and musical stylings, Jack Rua has been carving his own space in the music industry that is inherently authentic. After graduating from BIMM Dublin in 2016, Jack immersed himself in the music, drag, burlesque and art scenes of New York City, absorbing them and allowing them to inform his own art.
High energy, euphoric electronics and bountiful vocals has helped to make ‘Ego’ a lusciously seductive track from a pop music match made in heaven.
Alternative pop chanter Alice LA’s brand new single ‘Flowers and Florentines’has provided the perfect step into spring. Having certainly secured a reputation for producing inspired content the Banbridge native has been a welcomed breath of fresh air in a sometimes-predictable musical landscape. Currently a part of The Oh Yeah Music Centre’s prestigious Scratch My Progress programme which focuses on talent development it has been energising watching Alice progress over the year.
A refreshing and joyous opening the overtly pop vocal feels like a warm friendly breeze before reaching the grandeur of the chorus As with Alice’s previous singles there is a thrilling high with sharp expressive lyrics supporting a song that will resonate long after you’ve finished listening to it. The expanded sound and pulsating beat along with the gale force power of LA’s vocal has truly cemented ‘Flowers and Florentines’ as a modern pop presence.
A cornerstone of Belfast’s arts and music scene right in the heart of the Cathedral Quarter, performing at ‘The Mac’ for many artists represents a distant dream. For burgeoning alt pop starlet,Rebekah Fitch not only did she achieve her goal in what many would still describe as the infancy of her career, but she made it look easy. That is not to discredit all the months of hard work leading up to Tuesday’s career defining performance but one that many would have found difficult. A bold move by an any artist Rebekah Fitch proved that for some, taking a risk and refusing to let anyone tell you what you can achieve is exactly what the moment called for.
Opening the evening’s event is Derry’s resident songbird,Reevah. Earnestly taking her place at the front of the stage she begins her set with ‘Spaces’. Tender lyrics and even softer vocal tones are delivered in a calmly iridescent hue to a very receptive audience. A relatively new song, ‘Older Now’ is performed in a lower register than we are used to hearing Reevah sing. Proving a welcomed change, it helps to highlight Reevah’s impressive vocal range and intensify her dreamy aesthetic. Often, it seems as though acts feel pressure to move hurriedly through their set but Reevah has this ability to make it feel as though time is standing still with her pensively poised performance.
Inviting the rest of her band to the stage they begin with the ever atmospheric and riveting ‘Nights’. Instantly changing the dynamic, we are treated to amplified adaptations of Reevah’s songs, enhancing the folky simplicity. A culmination of both Reevah’s pop and country instincts, ‘Runaway’is elevated with dynamic drums and crooning guitar. The openness of the Mac’s downstairs theatre provides the perfect space for Reevah’s amplified voice to float through the audience. New song ‘26’ which will be released at the end of the month is particularly poignant and I believe marks the new era of Reevah’s journey as a songwriter. Closing her set with ‘Daydreamer’the song builds to its dramatic conclusion with Reevah’s typical high and haunting vocal melodies.
A brief break ensures the audience return eager for the performance to begin. The stage shrouded in darkness adds to the suspense as playful lights bounce across the theatre and set the scene. Emerging onto the stage with her trademark soaring vocal, Rebekah both looks and acts every bit the self- assured popstar. Moving with coolness towards the front of the stage she takes her position at the keyboard. Starting her set with ‘Another Show’it is immediately obvious that this is anything but another typical performance. An explosion of pop perfection the sound begins to swell, flooding the auditorium with the assistance of her impressive band.
Gliding through her set to ‘Fake Smiles’ the high drama and quintessential pop drum beat all serve to emphasise her defining emotional vocal. Brand new song‘Poison’considers all those outside influences that have managed to gain power over our true purpose. A creatively charged rendition of the song the ominous undertones add a little darkness to the otherwise bright affair. Surprising the audience by surging into ‘Gimme Shelter’ by the Rolling Stones the song is sustained by rumbling drums and roaring vocals.
Introducing new track ‘Enigma’ Rebekah moves away from her keyboard weaving in and around the stage. A visceral force of nature it’s not hard to imagine her holding down even bigger venues with her fiery stage presence. With the band briefly leaving the stage we are left with just Rebekah and her string ensemble. A poignant performance of‘Afraid of the Light’ there is a profound passion in her vocal which along with the strings is simply beautiful. Similar to a lot of Rebekah’s songs the lyrics are introspective and carry a raw sentiment through to the audience. The band return just in time for‘Need to Feel’ and again we are re-introduced to the beguiling stage show.
Leaving the stage in darkness the same way she began the reaction from the audience is a crowd desperate for more. Returning for an encore Rebekah sincerely thanks the audience for one of the best nights of her life. Leaving us with a message of hope, she begins ‘Hosanna’ and has a similar feel to being present at a religious homily both musically and lyrically. Ending in epic fashion with ‘Love So Crazy’, Rebekah receives a much-deserved standing ovation from the audience for her whole performance. A majestic affair with one of Northern Ireland’s most auspicious hopefuls, it is a triumph in every sense of the word. There is always a moment in an artist’s career when it becomes clear that they are destined for bigger things, tonight in the Mac was Rebekah Fitch’s.
It’s my first gig of the year and while initially only attending the event as a faithful gig-goer I am so impressed by the end of the evening I decide to put together a review. Starting off my 2019 by attending one of my favourite musical venues, Belfast’s ‘The Empire’ there is a palpable buzz. The crowd gathered all drawn to see an amazing line-up of female led talent featuring Jess Edlin, Gemma Bradley, Reevah and for their very first show Problem Patterns. Organised by Shizznigh Promotion’s, Jonny McKee, Gifted has deservedly earned its reputation as one of Belfast’s prominent gig nights.
After a substantial crowd had gathered Jess Edlin opens the evening, my first time seeing her perform. There are definite hints of nervousness as she begins which is understandable giving the quietness of the room. The contemporary singer songwriter seems to find her stride and along with a grungy guitar we are treated to a very fragile and delicate vocal. Edlin has a charming vulnerability to her performance and provides an enjoyable start to the evening.
Songstress Gemma Bradley is next to the Empire stage bringing her eclectic fusion of RnB and pop. Having already built a remarkable repertoire Bradley’s aptitude to coin soul baring pop songs has helped influence her ever growing following. Performing her most recent single ‘Hollow Heartbeat’ it was impossible not to nod my head to the enchantingly catchy and pop-soaked tune. Often with some singer-songwriters their set can become a little lacklustre however Bradley possesses enough power as a performer to keep the audience constantly engaged.
Dreamy folk singer Reevah is up next, taking her place on the Empire stage and beginning her set with just herself. Performing new song ‘Bee’s’ the delicate vocal delivery exposes a darkness and despair to some of her lyrics and is tinged with a sweet melancholy. Joined for the second half of her set by her band the extra additions give another level of depth to Reevah’s songs. Accompanied by her band ‘Nights’ is a palliative and immersive song with an entrancing and calming melody. Whether Reevah is performing solo or accompanied by her band she maintains the ability to hold the audience in the palm of her hand.
Finally, for their very first performance five-piece feminist punk outfit Problem Patterns are ready to show us what they are all about. There is a huge surge in energy in ‘The Empire’ with the group having a considerable crowd of supporters who occupy the front of the stage. Originally forming as part of Girls Rock School NI, there had been talk for them to write originals for the better part of a year. Finally, in Autumn 2018, they got it together, and haven’t stopped screaming since.
Performing their debut track ‘Allegedly’ the song is a formidably charged and derisive reproach against a society that has become tolerant to sexual assault and even more powerful live. Sometimes amid uncertainty a band like Problem Patterns come along who are not only able to soliloquise certain issues but make you feel like change is possible. What also makes this group so interesting aside from their topical lyricism is the fact they do not have a clear front-woman but instead switch roles and instruments making it an exhilarating watch. Setting the bar for their future performances insanely high, Problem Patterns debut gig was an overwhelming success for a band at any stage of their career.
Announcing their brand-new name, Derry based trio Sugarwolf are rapidly building anticipation and intrigue around upcoming shows. Rising from the ashes of former band Making Monsters the band have returned with a new name, sound and attitude. Originally formed in 2011 the band navigated their way through several line-up changes before finding success both locally and throughout the UK.
No strangers to the DIY graft of the Irish and UK rock scenes, Sugarwolf previously released all their music independently. Juxtaposing the two sides of their new distinctive sound, Sugarwolf, represents both the rock-oriented side as well as having a melodic and pop base. Led by front woman Emma Gallagher the band previously secured a reputation as one of Ireland’s most exciting rock outfits and plan to continue to do so.
Following a multitude of successful releases, they received extensive airplay on BBC Radio One, Across the Line, Kerrang Radio and others. In support of their last record ‘Bad Blood’ in 2016 the band performed at Camden Rocks Festival in London and the BBC Introducing Stage at T in The Park. Sharing the stage with the likes of Black Peaks, Young Guns, Fightstar, We Came As Romans, andSkindred helped earn the band the reputation as one of the best live acts in Ireland.
Before going on hiatus their last E.P ‘Bad Blood’ surpassed all expectation, receiving gushing praise from the likes of BBC Radio 1, Kerrang! Magazine, Rock Sound, Metal Hammer, Team Rock, Scuzz TV and many more. With debut single ‘Better’ picking up spins from Daniel P Carter and Phil Taggart with their video also being to the main playlists for both Kerrang! TV and Scuzz TV.
Sugarwolf are set to release their brand-new single at the beginning of 2019 accompanied by an even bigger and better live sound and set-up.