Wexford-based songwriter and composer Conor Miley shares his debut single ‘Father’s Day’ on Wednesday, 25th January, 2023 , examining the struggles faced by single parents in Ireland.
Following the breakup of his original project We Raise Bears , Miley discovered that he was to become a father a month after a relationship ended. Mired in a personal crisis, he threw himself into writing and recording music, including ‘Father’s Day’.
The song’s intricate musical arrangement reflects Miley’s years studying classical music and jazz, before he embarked on a career involving multiple bands and session work. ‘Father’s Day’ opens with warbling organ and angelic strings, underscored by Rhodes piano and shaggy acoustic guitar. Miley goes to unpredictable and enthralling places with the track, building up to a brassy maelstrom at the end.
Miley says of his debut solo single: “Originally written on an acoustic guitar, I set about making an arrangement high on drama and tension, using strings, brass, and dissonance to deliver the musical punch. The music complements the personal lyrics, reflecting my experience as a single parent in Ireland and the institutional and cultural obstacles where the expectation is still on one parent to do most of the child-rearing. This stone age version of parenting has added immense stress to my life where, as a responsible and loving parent, I have had to fight to be a father to my son. The lyrics were written at a time when I was not even a legal guardian to my child due to the outdated and obsolete establishment views and laws related to unmarried fathers. Being a single parent is not easy on either parent, but it should be a shared relationship with the expectation of equal responsibility. Ireland is stuck in another time when it comes to progressing this issue, one that goes against all research that confirms that children benefit most from equal access to both parents.”
The song is accompanied by a video directed by Michael-David McKernan (Elaine Mai, Daithí) . A father and daughter build and then gleefully tear apart a living room set in the heartwarming video, which is rife with symbolism, yet never saccharine.
“I was thrilled when Conor invited me to create a music video for his debut release,” McKernan says. “The song feels both epic and playful. I wanted to explore a ‘building metaphor’ to represent how fragile a process nurturing a relationship between father and daughter can be. Something that takes an incredible amount of delicate work, and that can be frustrating when met with obstacles. Ultimately this father and daughter decide that the mess and obstacles are just part of their relationship, and that they can live and thrive within these difficult moments. Plus it was incredibly fun to construct and destroy a living room in the middle of a field in Meath.”
‘Father’s Day’ marks a new beginning for the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer, who hails from Dublin and is currently based in Wexford. His former band, the folk outfit We Raise Bears, released a well-received debut EP that was played across BBC Radio , RTÉ Radio 1 , and RTÉ 2FM , as well as on regional Irish and UK stations. Miley headlined venues around the country and appeared at festivals including Hard Working Class Heroes, All Together Now, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, Vantastival, and Ones to Watch .