Carrick on Shannon, County Leitrim

Fresh from Whelan’s Ones To Watch 2018 and Templebar TradFest, Leitrim musician, Ailie Blunnie, is making waves in the new Irish music scene following the recent release of her début album, West to the Evening Sun (Nov 2017, Happy Out Records), and is gearing up for a busy 2018, with her biggest headline gig to date – Whelan’s main stage – on 8th April:

“One of the finest Irish albums of the year” Róisín Dwyer | Hot Press

“This album extends beyond innovative musical arrangements, even beyond the skill of poetic, expressive lyrics. Blunnie’s songs are transcendent and transporting.” Colleen Taylor| NY Irish Echo

With vocal hints of Sinéad Lohan and Agnes Obel, and a songwriting style that “pushes the boundaries, both sonically and lyrically” (Róisín Dwyer, Hotpress), Blunnie’s blend of experimental folktronica melds assured songcraft, inventive arrangements, and newly-expanded soundscapes developed in collaboration with producer Daragh Dukes (Headgear/Wyos/Asylum Speakers/RTÉ).

“A taster from the Leitrim singer-songwriter’s forthcoming début album shows a craftswoman who knows the right measure of guile and atmospherics which a soundscape of this majesty requires.” Jim Carroll | Irish Times

“..songs sound like they were spirited up from the landscape of her home in North-West Ireland” 4**** Alan Corr | RTÉ Entertainment

From Leitrim, Blunnie grew up steeped in the stillness and beauty of the north-west. Her college studies took her east – first music, and later, psychology and psychotherapy – and, now based in Dublin, she uses elements from her experiences, rural to city, arts to science, to craft an emotionally vibrant sound-world. Her 2013 EP, On love.. and other murder mysteries, was her first foray into independent musicianship. From it, the third track, How much do you love me?, won the UK International Songwriting Competition (2014: Love Songs), and her next single, ‘I Will Count my Blessings’, was included on the Samaritans release, Don’t be afraid of the light that shines within you.

Four years in the making, Blunnie’s début album, West to the Evening Sun, takes a critically-acclaimed journey through hope and loss, urban and celtic, myth and magic:

“‘West to the Evening Sun’ is not just music—it’s poetry too. Listening to these songs is like sitting alone in an archive, reading a collection of letters shared between the closest of friends. There is tragedy, confession, hope, love. Moreover, there is narrative as well as harmonic integrity.” Colleen Taylor | NY Irish Echo


4**** Review (Podcast) | RTE Radio One ARENA
4**** Review by Alan Corr | RTE Entertainment
Review by Colleen Taylor | New York IRISH ECHO

NY Irish Echo’s “top pick for best début album and best début artist in 2017”

“Ambient, hauntingly intimate and very moving, this is something rather special from the singer-songwriter from Carrick-on-Shannon” (Alan Corr, RTÉ Entertainment)

“a tour de force of masterful songwriting, which pushes the boundaries, both sonically and lyrically” (Róisín Dwyer, Hotpress)

“I hope people outside of Ireland get to hear this album….a serious talent” (4**** RTÉ Radio One ARENA)

“The Leitrim musician has been on the radar for a few years now and this fine assured début suggests she has spent her time judiciously.” (John Meagher, Irish Independent)

“‘Beat of Your Heart’ travels a wide musical range, from new age and Celtic, to folk, pop and rock, and even a slam poetry moment. It all somehow fits together in a perfectly cohesive, mesmerizing way.” (Colleen Taylor, Irish Echo, New York)

One of John Kelly’s “favourite up-and-coming Irish artists of 2017” (Mystery Train, RTÉ Lyric FM)

“Describe the Carrick-on-Shannon songwriter as a novelty at your peril […]; while songs like the cabaret-pop lilt of Coming to Get Ya and Monster are positively packed with idiosyncrasies, there is a tenderness and beauty to You Compare Her to a Rose, that lends weight to her sweet-natured compositions.” (Lauren Murphy, Irish Times)

“So new, so fresh, and so good” (Carl Corcoran, The Blue of the Night, RTÉ Lyric fm)

“One of the country’s leading young poets“ (Brian Lynch, writer)

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