New Releases of the Week (12 March 2021)

Tara Erraught and Peter Whelan marking the launch of their new record with the Irish Baroque Orchestra, ‘The Trials of Tenducci’ (Photo: Mark Stedman)

New Releases of the Week (12 March 2021)

A round-up of recent releases, including Brian Finnegan, Irish Baroque Orchestra, Maria Somerville, Local Boy, Dan Trueman, Caitríona O’Leary, Rhiannon Giddens and Francesco Turrisi, Megan O'Neill, Mount Alaska, and 'In Nearly Every House: Irish Traditional Musicians of North Connacht'. To submit your music for inclusion, please email [email protected]

Brian Finnegan – Hunger of the Skin
Hunger of the Skin is the new album from whistle-player Brian Finnegan, also a member of the bands Flook and Kan. Featuring eight tracks of newly composed music, the album title refers to the experience of the pandemic. Finnegan writes: Hunger of the Skin ‘is a collection of music to honour the power of human touch, of shared mind, stories, music and dreams, of real connection, not virtual, and real embodied joy.’ The album also features 24 artists including poets Gearóid MacLochlainn and Morna Finnegan, Sheema Mukherjee on sitar, Niamh Dunne on fiddle, and more. The album also features ‘Flow, In The Year Of Wu Wei’, nominated for the RTE Radio 1 Folk Awards in 2020. Purchase the album on Bandcamp:

Click on the image below to listen.

Irish Baroque Orchestra – The Trials of Tenducci
The Trials of Tenducci: A Castrato in Ireland, released on Linn records, is the new album from the Irish Baroque Orchestra conducted by Peter Whelan and featuring mezzo-soprano Tara Erraught. All of the works are connected with the renowned eighteenth-century Italian castrato Giusto Ferdinando Tenducci (c. 1735–90) who spent a significant amount of time in Ireland. The ‘trials’ refer to his eventful life, including jail sentences and a secret marriage to a fifteen-year-old singer Dorothoea Maunsell. Tenducci was a friend of Johann Christian Bach and Mozart and came to prominence due to his performances in Thomas Arne’s opera Artaxerxes; two of the arias are sung by Erraught on the album. It also features a symphony by Belgian violinist Pierre (Peter) van Maldere (1729–68), who also lived and performed in Dublin. Following Welcome home, Mr Dubourg (2019) and the ‘Irish State Musik’ project (2017), The Trails of Tenducci continues Whelan’s work in bringing to light less well known work from the eighteenth century and in particular music in Ireland at that time. Purchase the CD here:

Maria Somerville – Seabird
Galway singer-songwriter Maria Somerville has recently signed with UK label 4AD and has just released ‘Seabird’ – a cover of the 1995 track by American indie band Air Miami – as part of a new compilation record by the label. Bills & Aches & Blues features 18 artists from the label’s roster, including The Breeders and Aldous Harding, covering a selection of songs from the label’s 41-year catalogue. Find out more:

Local Boy – Al Bundy
‘Al Bundy’ is the new track from Dublin-based musician and producer Local Boy, the musical moniker of Jake Hurley. The upbeat, lo-fi indie song is the first from his upcoming EP, Local Boy Helps Himself, due for release this summer. ‘Al Bundy’ references the 1990s sitcom Married With Children and was written about the negative side to self-help culture. ‘The song is primarily a critique of the often-toxic self-help culture found online that can treat mental health interventions like a business’, says Local Boy. ‘The chorus focuses on how we can take comfort in the support of friends.’ Visit:

Dan Trueman – Fifty Five
Fifty Five is a new album from Hardanger d’Amore player and composer Dan Trueman. The Hardanger d’Amore is a cross between the 5-string fiddle and the Hardanger fiddle. Fifty Five is a collection of thirteen original tunes composed by Dan Trueman, and the download comes with a PDF of the sheet music. Trueman previously released Laghdú with Caoimhín Ó Raghallaigh and the pair were set to launch another album, The Fate of Bones, before the pandemic hit. Trueman’s opera, Olagón, featuring Iarla Ó Lionáird with a text by Paul Muldoon, will be premiered at the National Concert Hall with Crash Ensemble in 2022. Purchase Fifty Five on Bandcamp:

Caitríona O’Leary – StampHaikuSong
StampHaikuSong is a new work composed and performed by singer Caitríona O’Leary and released on Heresy Records. It is a 7-minute composition and video using a text of bilingual haikus by Gabriel Rosenstock that are inspired by images on Irish postage stamps. Subjects range from Constance Markievicz to Louis Le Brocquy. Art direction is by graphic designer Gareth Jones. View the video below. Visit

Rhiannon Giddens with Francesco Turrisi – Waterbound
‘Waterbound’ is the new track from American folk artist Rhiannon Giddens, accompanied by multi-instrumentalist Franceso Turrisi. The song will feature on Giddens’ upcoming album They’re Calling Me Home, out on 9 April on Nonesuch Records. The song focuses on the concept of isolation and loneliness, with the lyrics ‘waterbound and I can’t get home’ repeated throughout. They’re Calling Me Home was written and recorded in just six days and draws on the experience of the pandemic, and the music of Ireland, America and Italy, as inspiration. Visit: 

Megan O’Neill – Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty
Kildare singer-songwriter Megan O’Neill today releases her second album Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty, the follow-up to Ghost of You from 2018. Speaking about the album, O’Neill said ‘the more I learn about life the less I actually know about anything. That is where the title came from – Getting Comfortable with Uncertainty. I’ve had a lot of change in my life in the past two years and I’ve felt pretty battered by the whole process to be honest. But I do believe that all those tough times bring about growth…’. The soft, acoustic-rock sound of the album is complemented by Joe and Dave Dunwell – of Leeds pop-rock band The Dunwells – on vocals, with whom O’Neill has collaborated in the past. Visit:

Gregory Daly and James Fraher – In Nearly Every House: Irish Traditional Musicians of North Connacht
In Nearly Every House: Irish Traditional Musicians of North Connacht is a new book by Gregory Daly with photographs by James Fraher. It contains biographies of over one hundred traditional musicians from counties Sligo, Leitrim, Roscommon and Mayo, including Ben Lennon, Helen Crehan, The Hernon family and Gerry Harrington. Fintan Vallely writes in the foreword: ‘As the story of the music self-identity of this region is tenderly revealed through a respectful, unhurried text and clear, contemplative images, the reader slips into step with the mutually complementary, researched, written words and the eye of the camera.’ Available from the Irish Traditional Music Archive:

Mount Alaska – Terrain
‘Terrain’, the new work by ambient electronic duo from Dublin, Mount Alaska, is a melodic piece centring on an arrangement played on piano, surrounded by a backdrop of gentle synths. It follows previous releases from the pair, including ‘Contours’ and ‘Undulate’ from last year, and their 2019 album Wave Atlas: Season One. Visit: 

Click on the image below to listen.

To submit your music for inclusion, visit:

Published on 12 March 2021

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