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Solo Sounds

Prim and poppier

Irish female musicians need to fill the gap, writes Shauna Rahman.

Irish music is legendary, from the traditional ‘diddleyidle’ tunes to the U2 anthems. Enter a pub in another country, say where you are from and within seconds someone will mention an Irish band, song, singer-songwriter, or how many times they have seen Riverdance. Music is synonymous with the culture and no doubt throughout the years and in the future Irish music will continue to be revered on the global music market.
However, fast forward to present day music where pop still attracts the masses and bands are having to succumb to adhering to the catchy lyrics/simple chords/repetitive chorus rules so they may have a chance at a sell-out record.
There are so many different genres of music that it’s difficult to pinpoint where one begins and another ends but when it comes to pop the rules are always the same. With this in mind their seems to be a surplus of the fairer sex jumping on the pop band wagon and receiving number one records for their efforts. Is anybody else finding this new found ‘girl power’ slightly irritating? If it’s not one Kate (Nash) it’s Katie (Tunstall) and now it’s Katy (Perry) whose new single ‘I Kissed A Girl’ is driving music charts across the world, hitting the top spots in most Western countries. Then there’s Beth Ditto and Lily Allen. Adele and Duffy. All from the UK and the US. Where are the Irish pop queens? Where are the Gaelic Kylies? Who is going to steal the pop tart crown from the rest of the world and put Irish female performers literally on top?
Ireland has so many musically talented women – Gemma Hayes, Eleanor McEvoy, Sinead O Connor and Cathy Davey to name a few, but all these women (and quite rightly so) are sticking to their principles and producing quality sounding tracks with deep lyrics, rich harmonies and pure melodies. Unfortunately this tact is not working when it comes to earning a ‘big buck’ in the materialistic music world. The average music audience will always go for the commercial option, preferring to listen to words relating to a ‘big black horse and a cherry tree’ rather than support a strong cast of untainted songs about life, love and loathing from genuine female musicians.
In due course, a strong balance will emerge and those listed above will receive the recognition, success, ticket and record sales that they deserve. In the meantime it wouldn’t go amiss for an Irish cailín to steal the pop princess title and remind the rest of the global tween queens that Westlife and Boyzone were the masters of the ‘catchy, simple and repetitive’ rules of the pop genre, hosting sell-out shows and experiencing record high sales. All the music market needs now is a taste of the Irish feminine touch going by the name of Cáit and the pop world is ours for the taking.


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  1. Nothing wrong with some lovely Kates. In fact to use an old phrase ‘Kate is great.’

    Congrats on the magazine girlies. It’s looking deadly. Well done. x K

    Posted by katehickey | September 15, 2008, 12:33 pm