Track Of The Day: Clara Byrne – ‘Conflict Bound’

A poignant reflection on the pressures and contradictions we encounter living under capitalism, Irish songwriter Clara Byrne has shared her debut single ‘Conflict Bound’. Lifted from her upcoming debut album Handstitched, Byrne finds refuge from these overwhelming thoughts via her atmospheric alt-folk guitar sounds and patient vocal delivery.

“In a world filled with juxtaposed opinions and clashing ideals, it is getting progressively harder to know where to stand,” Byrne explains about her new track. “It can be nearly impossible not to get bogged down in fighting the opposition or slaving towards winning small mercies. It all seems so vast, so utterly impossible to grasp. But there are rare occasions when a clearing appears through the density. These moments when everything is laid out in its most digestible form, are worth waiting for.”

Through her sincere lyrics and rich vocals, Byrne navigates through “sheltered point(s) of view” and appeals to her listeners, asking them not to turn away from “systemic flaws”, but to unite together to dismantle them. The track is also accompanied by a video created by Rachel Noble, formed of scenes from global protests, deprived buildings and busy urban landscapes.

Listen to ‘Conflict Bound’ below.


Follow Clara Byrne on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Facebook & Instagram for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: CMAT – ‘I Wanna Be A Cowboy Baby’ (Acoustic Version)

A wonderfully stripped-back rendition of her recent single, Irish pop star CMAT has shared a beautiful acoustic version of ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!’. Delivered with the same charm and melancholy as the original, CMAT’s captivating vocals soar above Americana-inspired guitar as she laments about urban isolation and wanting to be free from patriarchal shackles.

“[The song is] based around a VINE that was really popular from a couple of years ago of a load of guys drinking cans outside in a playground saying “I wanna be a cowboy baby!,” CMAT explained to us when we spoke to her about the single in September (read the full interview here). Much like her previous singles ‘Another Day (kfc)’ and ‘Rodney’ – an ode to Rodney Dangerfield – CMAT has a talent for taking obscure scenarios and molding them into intensely relatable, catchy pop tunes.

“Always the cowboy, never the cow / I hate the way my life turned out” she confesses during the song, her candid lyrics softened by the gentle twang of her acoustic guitar. Like most women, CMAT just wants to exist with the confidence of a cowboy, unafraid to down a whiskey at the bar and stagger home safely. “Wanna go to my first rodeo, what’s that cracked up to be? / I wanna stop relying on men who are bigger than me” she sings, pining for the freedom that’s naturally afforded to men, but rarely extended to women.

Knowing that CMAT is challenging these “norms” while providing us with a stellar soundtrack at the same time is making our 2020 slightly more bearable. We’re hopeful that one day soon we’ll meet her at the bar, where we can respectfully tilt our cowboy hats in her direction after she’s finished singing this sweet tune.

Listen to the acoustic version of ‘I Wanna Be a Cowboy, Baby!’ below.


Follow CMAT on bandcampInstagram, Twitter, Spotify and Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Sarah Doyle

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Looking Happy’

Transforming the crushing sadness that comes with seeing your ex “enjoying” their life on social media without you into a buoyant alt-folk gem, Ailbhe Reddy has shared her latest single ‘Looking Happy’. Lifted from her upcoming debut album Personal History, which is set for release on 2nd October, the track taps into the feelings of inadequacy we all experience when the FOMO unexpectedly hits us while scrolling through our ex’s newsfeed.

“We should all know by now that what people present online is a shiny happy version of events, but sometimes it’s impossible to have that logic when you’re hurting,” explains the Dublin-based musician. “Most people have probably ended up scrolling through the online profile of an ex and feeling like their life is full of fun parties and holidays, because that’s all people show of their life online.” Reddy’s willingness to expose these well known but often ignored behaviours is what makes ‘Looking Happy’ so painfully relatable.

Fortunately, Reddy has given fans a healthy dose of humour to offset the track’s sad context in the form of a child’s birthday party in the accompanying video for ‘Looking Happy’. “I’ve been to a lot of parties in my life where I feel bummed out but put on a happy face, so I thought it would be funny to have all these fun scenarios and look really glum,” she explains. “The blooper reel is definitely longer than the music video itself as it was incredibly difficult to keep a straight face on the bouncy castle!”

Watch the video for ‘Looking Happy’ below and follow Ailbhe Reddy on bandcampSpotify & Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Ailbhe Reddy – ‘Between Your Teeth’

A tentative rumination on the struggle to communicate your true feelings in a relationship, Ailbhe Reddy has shared her latest single ‘Between Your Teeth’. Lifted from her debut album Personal History, which is set for release on 2nd October via Friends of the Family, the Dublin alt-folk artist blends soft vocals with atmospheric guitars to overcome feelings of frustration and sadness on her new track.

“I think too much / I think for both of us” admits Reddy during the song, contemplating how or when to explain her complex feelings to her partner. Although the track is about a lack of communication between two people, Reddy clearly articulates this struggle with the intimate images in her lyrics – “I can’t hide it anymore / Just to hold her / on the bathroom floor / wait til it’s over” – and her delicately timed drop ins.

Speaking about her new track, Reddy explains: “It’s about the frustration of being unable to communicate in a relationship. Both people hold things back because they either don’t want, or don’t know, how to express themselves. While travelling alone, I always spent a lot of time thinking too much about past conversations and wondering what words were being held back between another person’s teeth.”

Listen to ‘Between Your Teeth’ below and follow Ailbhe Reddy on bandcamp, Spotify & Facebook for more updates.


Kate Crudgington