There are some things you can always count on. The comfort of a hot drink on a cold day, everything resolving itself after a good night’s sleep, and Maria Doyle Kennedy providing an impressive collection of songs with each new album release. Her newest album, Maria Doyle Kennedy, is her ninth release by her own indie label – Mermaid Records – and it certainly lives up to expectations.
The album kicks off with “Ladies of Bohane” – a song inspired by the book City of Bohane by Kevin Barry. The music and lyrics paint such a vivid image in my mind. I immediately downloaded the novel to see if what I was imagining fit the world of Bohane. No spoilers, but Kennedy’s song completely captures the essence of Barry’s story. Now, I am left to hope for a badass Bohane TV show featuring Kennedy’s song as the theme. Someone make this happen!
The album definitely offers songs to completely get lost in the groove. I love a song that offers the ability to take me away and completely make me float above the world around me. Songs that make me want to grab a whiskey, close my eyes and do a strange little quasi-dance while only holding onto the soundscape and words floating around me. For me, “Little Bee” fits this bill perfectly.
While there are the songs that allow me to escape, there are a few songs that drag me right back to earth and anchor me down until the very last note plays. One of these tracks is “Pride” – a song written during the campaign for the marriage equality referendum in Ireland. “Pride” makes my heart swell, and I have been incessantly sharing the single with my friends. This song is a constant reminder of how far we are moving forward.
On the other hand, the song “Colour Code / These Streets Are Always Blue“ reminds me of how far we have yet to go. It is a song about racial injustice, written in response to the death of Sandra Bland and others in the United States. “Colour Code” turns the swell of my heart from “Pride” to a vibrant ache as I hear the names of souls that have been lost. I have yet to not be stunned into silence after listening to that song; it is the masterpiece of this album.
Maria Doyle Kennedy is an acclaimed singer and actor. She has spent the past 5 years wandering the globe with her family preparing songs for the new album gigging constantly and filming cult TV show Orphan Black. The new self-titled album was released in Sept 2017 on her own label Mermaid Records.
Maria has just collaborated with Feist & Jarvis Cocker on a video for the song *Century* from Feist’s new album. The project was a crazy mashup of Westside story and Thriller and featured Maria & Feist as dance-off gang leaders….
Maria writes and performs with husband Kieran Kennedy and along with the new album they have also completed their first short film *A Different Kind Of Day* written and directed by Maria, produced and scored by Kieran. They also raise 4 children together, although occasionally, when things are particularly frantic, they just throw packets of crisps at them.
Recent acting credits include *Outlander*, *Orphan Black*, *The Conjuring 2* and *Sing Street*.