Wednesday, January 17, 2007
I’ve heard a few good mutterings about Irish singer-songwriter Julie Feeney recently. Can’t remember where exactly, but Time Out certainly seems to be on her case. And there’s a big spread about her in today’s Independent arts section which I read at lunchtime. It’s probably because her album 13 songs has just come out in the UK, after being around in her native Ireland for a while, where it won a Choice Music Prize award (which I think is kinda the Irish Mercury prize) for her last year.
What’s more, to call Feeney merely a singer-songwriter would be doing her a bit of a disservice. She’s a one-woman producing, promoting and financing machine. That means that she wrote arranged, performed all parts, produced, and promoted her album, all at her own expense. Initially at least. Looks like it’s paid off though.
So it’s with some acclaim that she comes to these shores. Not with a box of CDs in her hands though – she’s now bagged a record deal with Sony BMG and now she’s even gone as far as getting a manager and someone to book her gigs.
My first chance to hear her properly came last night when she was a guest on Tom Robinson’s BBC 6 Music show. She performed three songs live in the studio, and they’re pretty good. On the evidence of these at least, she’s not your average singer with guitar strapped on. She uses keyboard sounds to fine effect on Aching (which apparently features her holding a note for 30 seconds. Don’t know if she did this on the live version (I didn’t time it), but there is a cough from Tom about halfway though. Wastin’ is a more standard piano and voice number, but nice all the same. My favourite is Wind Out of My Sails, which Julie sings with an accordion, one of the many instruments she can play. I always had a soft spot for accordions.
Download: Julie Feeney – Aching (live on 6 Music)
Download: Julie Feeney – Wastin' (live on 6 Music)
Download: Julie Feeney – Wind Out Of My Sails (live on 6 Music)
Buy Julie's album 13 Songs.