IMRO Award Presented to CMAT

June 16, 2022

CMAT joined us today for the presentation of an IMRO Award in recognition of her album If My Wife New I’d Be Dead.

The IMRO Number 1 Award was introduced to acknowledge IMRO members who reach number 1 in the album charts here in Ireland.

Few artists manage to blend bountiful hooks with such humour and wit; the 12 songs that make up this idiosyncratic, captivating and rather extraordinary debut album reveal an artist brimming with confidence and verve. It has been quite a year for Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, one of the year’s breakout stars, earning critical recognition as well as a legion of new fans.

You’d be forgiven for finding it confusing that Ciara’s disparate tastes — an encyclopedic knowledge of modern pop, a passion for British post-punk outfits like Orange Juice and Television, a desire and strong belief that Robbie Williams is her real dad — can come together and somehow all make sense in CMAT’s music, but it all makes sense to Ciara, and it makes even more sense when you hear her debut album. Which is probably why Ciara’s a popstar and the rest of us aren’t. “All the former versions of myself have Play-Doh-balled themselves into one big lump,” is her way of describing her sound. The golden thread in all this is Ciara’s voice, which sits her somewhere between Kate Bush and, most importantly, country turns like Dolly Parton. “I learned how to sing through country music: it’s the number one influence on how I sing,” she explains. “So while I’m not a country musician, I do think I’m a country singer. It’s glam. It’s tacky. It’s beautiful. It’s fun. It’s vibrant. Lyrically those artists like to have fun.”

The invention of CMAT came about after Ciara strong-armed her way into a private song-writing masterclass hosted by Charli XCX, who played unreleased music to assembled hopefuls. Ciara was the only attendee to offer a critique of the demos; afterwards Charli sought her out, heard her story and advised Ciara to “blow my entire life up”. She knocked Manchester on the head and went back to Dublin. 2019 was spent on YouTube, where she set herself the challenge of writing a song a week for six months, posting new songs each Friday from the only venue she could afford to book: a yoga studio. By 2020 her DIY ethic was bearing fruit with a run of self-released singles such as ‘Another Day (KFC)’, ‘Rodney’, ‘I Don’t Really Care For You’ and ‘I Wanna Be A Cowboy, Baby!’, scoring coverage in the UK from Wonderland, ClashSunday TimesThe Guardian, DorkDIYThe Line Of Best FitThe Fader and more, plus radio support from BBC Radio 1 & BBC 6Music.

At the heart of all this, beneath what CMAT describes as “the singing and the being witty and all the ‘whatever’ that comes with the smoke and mirrors of being a musician”, is a belief in the power of songwriting. “Other stuff needs work,” she declares. “I can’t do production, I can barely play guitar, and I should probably do more to look after my voice. But I’m really, really good at writing songs.”

Live, CMAT’s biggest shows to date for next year – The Academy, Dublin on March 11, and Omeara, London on April 8 – sold out in three days. Today, she announces a 13-date Ireland and UK run (including a second London date, at Colours on April 09) and her first US solo shows. Tickets for these dates go on sale on November 05 at 10am. After recently supporting Declan McKenna on his UK run, her Covid-rescheduled debut solo headliner dates in Dublin and London will (finally!) take place in November. She’ll be bringing her full band to Eurosonic and Primavera 2022.

CMAT’s album If My Wife New I’d Be Dead is out now on AWAL Recordings.

See CMAT live at the following dates:

18 | Westmeath, IE – Body & Soul Festival
23 | Halifax, UK – The Piece Hall –
24 | Margate, UK – Leisure Festival

02 | Copenhagen, DK – Roskilde Festival
03 | Dublin, IE – Trinity College ^
07 | Montreux, CH – Montreux Jazz Festival
09 | Glasgow, UK – TRNSMT Festival
24 | Hertfordshire, UK – Standon Calling Festival
30| Leeds, UK – Deer Shed Festival
31 | County Waterford, IE – All Together Now Festival

12 | Oslo, NO – Oya Festival
14 | Winterthur, CH – Winterthurer

04 | Stradbally, IE – Electric Picnic Festival
29 | Los Angeles, CA – Cafe Du Nord
30 | Los Angeles, CA – The Moroccan

01 | Dana Point, CA – Ohana Festival
03 | Chicago, IL – Empty Bottle
04 | Toronto, ON – Monarch Tavern
06 | New York, NY – Mercury Lounge

13 | Rotterdam, NL – Rotown
15 | Stockholm, SE – Bar Brooklyn
16 | Copenhagen, DK – Ideal Bar
17 | Berlin, DE – Marie Antoinette
21 | Amsterdam, NL – Melkweg Upstairs
22 | Brussels, BE – Witloof Bar
25 | Manchester, UK – Gorilla
26 | Oxford, UK – O2 Academy 2
27 | Bristol, UK – Thekla
28 | Nottingham, UK – Rescue Rooms
30 | London, UK – Islington Assembly Hall

01 | Brighton, UK – Komedia
02 | Norwich, UK – Norwich Arts Centre
04 | Leeds, UK – Brudenell Social Club
05 | Glasgow, UK – Oran Mor
07 | Belfast, UK – Limelight 1
09 | Dublin, IE – Olympia Theatre SOLD OUT
10 | Cork, IE – Live at St. Luke’s SOLD OUT

– = w/ First Aid Kit
^ = w/ Beck

Tickets Available at

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