New Releases of the Week (12 November 2021)

The second single from Sive’s upcoming new album was released this month.

New Releases of the Week (12 November 2021)

A round-up of recent releases including Malachy Robinson, Lisa Hannigan, Xenia Pestova Bennett and Ed Bennett, Windings, Aidan Connolly, Aisling Lyons, and Sive. To submit your music for inclusion, please email [email protected].

Malachy Robinson – The Irish Double Bass
Double-bassist Malachy Robinson, known for his work as a member of Crash Ensemble, the Irish Chamber Orchestra, the Far Flung Trio, his own creation the Robinson Panoramic Quartet, and as a soloist, has just released a new solo album titled The Irish Double Bass. This unique album is a collection of works for the instrument that he has premiered or that he has arranged. Among them are the Sonata for Double Bass and Piano, an arrangement of his grandfather Joseph Groocock’s (1913–1997) cello sonata. Also included are compositions by the late John Kinsella, Eoghan Desmond, Ian Wilson, Kevin O’Connell, Deirdre Gribbin, Ryan Molloy and Judith Ring. Robinson turned 50 during the pandemic lockdown and he writes, ‘a universal period of reflection and re-evaluation was heightened by this mid-life milestone. In the absence of concerts, the risk for a performing musician was of falling into despondency… I felt I had to fight the melancholy… and it resulted in a deeply rewarding period with my bass.’ He describes the album as a personal retrospective, a look at a diverse set of composers through the medium of the instrument, and a celebration of what you can do with a double bass. Available to purchase from Bandcamp:

Lisa Hannigan – Live at the National Gallery of Ireland
Earlier this month, Lisa Hannigan released a new EP Live at the National Gallery of Ireland, a four-track record of songs performed during her Other Voices Courage concert last year. The EP follows a previous Other Voices release by Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill in April, Live From the Crawford Art Gallery. Hannigan’s record features ‘Undertow’, ‘Funeral Suit’, ‘Anahorish’ and ‘We the Drowned’ from her 2016 album At Swim and includes contributions by Loah and cellist and vocalist Kevin Murphy. Commenting on the record, she said ‘It felt so odd and magical to be out singing in the National Gallery during that very first lockdown phase. To be singing and playing with two such incredible musicians in that beautiful space after so long shut away, and knowing that there was an audience out there at home, felt joyous and almost overwhelming. The Other Voices crew are family at this stage so no better crew to be there with, navigating that strange new world of performance and connection.’ Visit: 

Xenia Pestova Bennett and Ed Bennett – Gold.Berg.Werk – J​.​S. Bach / Karlheinz Essl
Gold.Berg.Werk is a new album from Xenia Pestova Bennett and Ed Bennett, released on the Ergodos label. The work is a radical re-interpretation of Bach’s Goldberg Variations by Austrian composer Karlheinz Essl, performed by Xenia on piano, with live electronic diffusion by Ed. The work is manipulated in real time, played back through spatialised loudspeakers in between the piano variations, bringing together Baroque and contemporary sound worlds. The duo previously performed it as part of Music for Galway’s Goldberg festival last year, and recently at Cafe OTO and the Hugh Lane. Pestova Bennett writes: ‘The very idea of tackling the Goldberg Variations, places an enormous psychological “weight” of tradition on any keyboard player brave or foolish enough to do so. However, rather than presenting this work as a fixed artefact behind dusty museum glass, or trying to match existing interpretations, I find that it helps to view it as a living and evolving organism. Karlheinz Essl’s Gold.Berg.Werk (‘gold mine work’), a new piece in its own right, takes Bach’s music as a point of departure and offers a fresh perspective.’ Available to purchase from Bandcamp:

Windings Focus on the Past 5
Limerick alt-rock band Windings have today released a new album Focus on the Past 5, including previously released singles ‘The Ground’ and ‘Apocryphal’. The ten-track record – which was recorded and mixed by Daniel Fox of Girlband follows previous albums Be Honest and Fear Not (2016) and I am Not the Crow (2012), both of which were nominated for the RTÉ Choice Music Prize. Sliding guitar hooks, bouncing percussion and fuzzing bass contribute to the sound of the record which delves into themes of youth, confusion, doubt and fear. Commenting on Focus on the Past 5, the band said ‘The songs sat and matured like stinky cheese for all of that year, briefly getting an airing for one or two live streamed shows we were able to do over lockdown. While the music and arrangements didn’t change hugely over the course of the year, the lyrics and themes are very different to the 2019 versions, as life unfurled in many different ways for the different members of Windings.’ Purchase Focus on the Past 5 on Bandcamp:

Aidan Connolly The Portland Bow
The Portland Bow is fiddle-player Aidan Connolly’s second solo album, and follows his debut Be Off from 2016. From Rathfarnam in Dublin, Connolly is musically influenced in part by the Sliabh Luachra tradition and his fiddle-playing has a natural stylish swing. He has also spent time in Spain. The repertoire on The Portland Bow ranges from session standards such as ‘The Trip to Durrow’ to Spanish jotas such as ‘El Guitar’. There are also a number of tunes from Cape Breton composers and Gailicia. The title of the album refers to a bow that was gifted to the musician in Portland, USA. Released on Raelach Records, the album features Ruairí McGorman on bouzouki and Jack Talty on piano for a number of tracks. A result of the space and time created by the pandemic lockdown, the album was recorded live in the course of a day in the Raelach studios in Clare. To purchase The Portland Bow, visit

Aisling Lyons – Aistear 
Aistear is the debut album from Clare harper and concertina-player Aisling Lyons. The record is a collection of traditional pieces and tunes she composed herself. Among them is ‘Tune for Dad’, written for her father, the singer Tim Lyons, who passed away in 2019. She writes, ‘Music is an incredibly important part of my life and the compositional aspect has allowed me to express and explore emotion during difficult times. Aistear is an expression of my journey to date – including the death of my dad in 2019 and experiencing grief through the Covid pandemic. Aistear is also an expression of the fun and humour that I enjoy in music, the playful elements as well as the profound.’ Aistear follows the release of the first single from the album, ‘Buíochas’, which came out in August. Lyons is a multi-award winning musician and this album is an impressive collection of tunes with excellent playing on both instruments. Purchase Aistear on Bandcamp:

Sive – Winter
Singer-songwriter Sive has this month released a new single, ‘Winter’, following previous track ‘Think Before I Speak’, both of which will feature on her upcoming album due for release on VETA Records next year. The gentle and celestial sounding song with drones and plucked strings is about impermanence and takes inspiration from the cyclical quality of the natural world. It addresses the precious nature of life and looks at the idea of winter being a time that we can see more clearly, trusting that the light will come again. Visit:

To submit your music for inclusion, visit:

Published on 12 November 2021

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