Friday, 22 April 2016

EP: Niamh Crowther - Niamh Crowther

Niamh Crowther Niamh Crowther EP

Niamh Crowther - I'll Be

Info: Niamh Crowther came to prominence aged 16, when she beat over 15,000 other young people to claim the prestigious Youth Music Awards. The accompanying rave reviews and talk about town earned her "one to watch" accolades from the media. A succession of well received singles further enhanced her reputation. Supported by an extensive radio tour, the last single "Little by Little" was one of the most played independent Irish tracks on Irish radio last summer. That success continued into the autumn as the song made its way to the US and Europe, getting support countless stations including Janice Long on BBC Radio 2. A success made even more remarkable given Niamh is combining her burgeoning music career whilst studying full time in Dublin.

My introduction to Dublin singer-songwriter Niamh Crowther came at this years Ones To Watch festival in Whelans in January and her live impact on me and the rest of the audience was instantaneous. One of the biggest draws of Crowther's music is undoubtedly her voice, there's a power yet timidity to it, and she thankfully lets her vocals come across as naturally as possible. 

This is displayed perfectly on the opening track of her self-titled debut EP, 'I'll Be', a solo vocal start is swiftly accompanied by piano and guitar, the pitch see-saws through it's verses and is crystal clear, the power then releases itself assuredly as the chorus gains momentum. A hugely endearing surge with strings brings us up a notch in the final third and we're off to a great start, an obvious but worthy choice for a single as well which has unsurprisingly hit the radio airwaves with ease.

Niamh Crowther Whelans Ones To Watch
Photo: Remy Connolly

The EP's second single, 'Little By Little' oozes charm and energy, the upbeat folk-country melody supported by a high tempo banjo intro and locomotive drumming. "Little by little this will grow, this will grow and overthrow us, if we let it" she opens, a line that could easily be coming from the listener, and it doesn't take much for us to fall under her spell to be fair. 'Painkillers' brings us back down to earth, like a young Sandy Denny, Crowther embraces her folk leanings fully on this track and it certainly feels like a nice throwback to mid-60's American or British folk. 

Niamh Crowther - Origins

We sign-off with final track 'Origins', another strong showcase for her exceptional vocals, but also an added emotional edge to the music, the movement of the piano and strings are powerful to round off a very impressive debut release. I don't like making reference to age or any other circumstantial characteristics when reviewing music, but I do think that it's difficult not to observe that at such an early stage in her career, Niamh Crowther has opened the door to a very promising future in music, which will certainly see her win a lot of hearts along the way.

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