Niamh Dunne of “Beoga” fame is releasing her first solo project of self penned songs. The single “The Raven” will be released on Friday 19th August and is the first to be taken from her upcoming album “Tides” due for release in September.
This is Niamh’s first solo project in ten years and her first ever album made up entirely of self penned songs. The album is in 2 halves; one based on story songs inspired by traditional Irish songs and the other half based on singer-songwriter style, introspective songs that look at lived experience, feminism, family, history and connection. Both halves are a reflection on her life as a musician, from her traditional roots with the Traveller family The Dunne’s right up to writing with contemporary acts like Foy Vance and Ed Sheeran in recent years. This album is a chance to lend her own voice, with all its contradictions and nuances, to the musical landscape.
“The Raven” draws on traditional song in its makeup and delivery, and its inception was inspired by Celtic mythology and Folklore. It loosely tells the story of The Morrigan and Cu Chulainn. The Morrigan is the Celtic Goddess of War, a triple Goddess, the Queen of Death and Destiny. She is a shapeshifter and here takes the shape of a Raven who ultimately forewarns Cu Chulainn that he will be slain in battle. The warrior pays no heed, and when The Morrigan shape-shifts into an old woman and washes his armour in the sea his fate is sealed.
Niamh says of writing the song; “I wanted to write something that was very much of the female spirit and perspective. I have written a few songs based on characters from mythology and as a subject matter it is a gift that provides complex female characters that have agency and power, as well as vulnerabilities and flaws. As Irish people these stories are in our bones and there seems to be a cultural shift at the moment to re-engage and get a deeper understanding of our collective Irish history and language and identity. Of all the goddesses The Morrigan is the one I’m most fascinated by.”
After Beoga’s six albums, a shortlist for a Grammy and numerous international tours, Niamh is no stranger to reaching a wider international audience as a result of a chance encounter with Ed Sheeran, Foy Vance and Johnny McDaid. This led to the band co-writing Ed’s massive hit ‘Galway Girl’ and ‘Nancy Mulligan’ from his album Divide. They also performed as Ed Sheeran’s only special guest on his headlining Glastonbury 2017 performance and supported him on his record-breaking Irish stadium tour in 2018.
Niamh’s debut solo album ‘Tides’ is released on September 29th 2022