Derry, County Derry
Comrade Hat is Neil Burns, a shape shifting lounge wizard based in Derry/Donegal, whose work draws on experimental pop, jazz electronic 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 followed this with the 'Old Amsterdam' EP in 2017. The title track 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).
He finished last year with the highly experimental, darkly seasonal 'Ho Ho Hum' EP, described by The Thin Air as a 'singular, surrealistic, oneiric sonic tapestry".
Comrade Hat's growing profile has seen him (often with band) share a bill with the likes of Robocobra Quartet, Cal Folger Day, Adam Schatz (Landlady) and the Bonk. He is set to support O Emperor this February.
As well as planning to release an album in 2018, he will be collaborating with Phil Kieran and the Ulster Orchestra on a new piece, through Derry's Celtronic festival.
"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)