Derry, County Derry
Comrade Hat is Neil Burns, a shape shifting lounge wizard based in Derry/Donegal, whose work draws on electronica, experimental pop, jazz and classical influences.
Since releasing The Winter Takes it All EP in 2015, he has enjoyed a snowballing success which has led to appearances at 2 consecutive Hard Working Class Heroes festivals, at Canadian Music Week (among only a handful of Irish Acts selected), and frequent airplay, (An Taobh Tuathail (RTE RnaG), Electric Mainline - BBC Radio Foyle, Across the Line - BBC Radio Ulster, 98FM, RTE 2XM and others), as well as a flurry of critical acclaim. (Nialler9, The Thin Air, Louder Than Words, Obscure Sound and others).
He released a new EP this January, which has again been enjoying airplay and acclaim. The title track, Old Amsterdam, premiered on The Thin Air and made Nialler9's songs of the week in the Irish Times, as well as his top Irish songs of 2016 playlist. The follow-up single, Go To Waste, was recently selected as 'Track of the Day' by Across the Line (BBC Radio Ulster).
Comrade Hat has evolved into an impressive live act, in a range of configurations from duo (vocals, synths & sax) to a sonically rich 6-piece featuring some of the NW's finest jazz musicians. This growing live profile has seen them support the likes of Robocobra Quartet and the Bonk in 2016, at home and away, with more dates in the pipeline for the coming months for Galway, Dublin and Derry.
"a suavely engineered atmospheric success that shines bright" Obscure Sound
"a drippy slice of hazed nostalgia in the form of a song" Nialler9
"uniquely dreamlike" The Thin Air
"An incredibly fresh approach to songwriting...surreality but intense beauty" Stephen McCauley, BBC Radio Foyle
"a cool slice of after-dark jazz pop... The glass-smooth production shimmers with the essence of ‘80s yacht rock, albeit with a modern soft-focus feeling...utterly fresh throughout and not a hint of ungainly irony." Across the Line (BBC Radio Ulster)