Galway’s Niamh Regan has been, unquestionably, one of the rising stars of the Irish music scene over the last couple of years. Considered by many to be a ‘surprise’ inclusion on the 2020 Choice Music Prize shortlist for her memorable debut album ‘Hemet’, she’s gone from strength to strength, delivering a delicate and poignant form of folk with clever, nuanced lyrics.
Since that debut, Regan did, eventually, manage to get out and tour the record, and appeared on one of those surreal versions of The Late Late Show that lacked the traditional audience, performing to both almost no one, and half the country, all at the same time. She’s back in 2022, both with a series of tour dates, and with a new EP entitled ‘In The Meantime’.
“The four songs on this EP were written during the first and second lockdown here in Ireland,” Regan explains. “I was listening, reading and watching a lot more so subconsciously that would have influenced the shape of the stories and themes in these songs.”
“More consciously I was intentionally trying to capture the atmosphere and thoughts around me during lockdown, dealing primarily with an appreciation for everyday and ordinary acts of love, frustration, lack of control and I guess worry and joy in spots, too.”
The debut single from the EP is entitled ‘Winter in Eden’, and centres on a collaboration with Ciaran Lavery, a Northern Irish musician whose vocal approach to music is as subtle and enchanting as Niamh’s.
“Ciaran is a dream to work with. He’s one of my favourite lyricists and I really admire his work ethic and music so it was a privilege to co-write ‘Winter in Eden’ with him,” Niamh says.
Work with Lavery, perhaps, is part of the new-found confidence that has flooded through Regan since her career-boosting Choice Prize nomination.
“The nomination helped my own self belief in my music which has made my musical life all that more colourful and fun,” she says, though the normal route to market for ‘Hemet’ unfolded slowly, with the tour finally coming much later than the record.