The critics have been forming an orderly queue to heap praise on Brona McVittie’s shoulders ever since her debut album We Are the Wildlife (2018). Lauren Laverne named it among her best-of-2018 picks, while The Guardian decided that this outwardly delicate record “has a bite behind it, showing you the stuff under the skin”. Mojo had a go at defining the gauzy folk of this harpist/singer, deciding that “McVittie takes inspiration from WB Yeats's idea of a kind of Celtic phantasmagoria which can be felt but remains essentially ineffable”. With subtle electronica drawing out additional colours, these songs have a quality to them that’s both misty and translucent at the same time. If music that occupies a broad triangle between Virginia Astley, Joanna Newsom and The Unthanks appeals to your ears and heart, then County Down native Brona is your new favourite artist.
Brona returned to Northern Ireland after several years in London performing with numerous bands at venues ranging from The 12Bar Club to The Roundhouse. Musical director for Celtic acapella outfit Rún, lead singer and harper for the London Lasses, she even briefly even ran her own folk club. She has graced stages at numerous festivals including Glastonbury, Celtic Connections and Cambridge Folk Festival. In 2019 her trio played Dublin’s National Concert Hall, Glasgow Royal Concert Hall, London’s Kings Place and Womad festival. She champions folk songs and tales from her homeland both in her own work and as leader of the Mourne Community Choir.
The Butterfly Sessions
Music Network has commissioned 24 musicians and composers to premiere new music in The Butterfly Sessions, an online performance series.
The 10-week series will feature two premieres each week broadcast on Wednesdays and Fridays at 7.30pm. Performances will be hosted on Music Network's YouTube channel and shared across all of the organisation's social media platforms.
This new initiative is one of a number of ways in which Music Network is supporting Irish and Ireland-based artists in the coming weeks during the Covid-19 outbreak.