RTE Radio1 folk award nominee Ciara O’Neill has been on quite the musical journey over the last six plus years. Originally from Co Armagh and now based in Belfast her debut album ‘The Ebony Trail,’ (2016) set the foundations of a career notching up praise from BBC 6 Music’s Tom Robinson, Hot Press magazine and more along the way.
But it wasn’t just the press that sat up and took notice of her haunting folk songs; music lovers and industry folk from across the Atlantic saw something special in both Ciara’s songwriting and her ability to silence a room with her voice. Receiving publishing interest after a chance meeting at the Belfast Nashville Songwriting Festival she found herself flying back and forth to the USA working with some of the finest songwriters Music City had to offer. It was there she sowed the seeds of what was to become her second album ‘Arrow’ (2018).
Just as Ciara was starting to think about her third album, the world locked down due to the pandemic and finding comfort once again in her guitar she began creating an EP ‘La Lune’ (2022). Supported by the Arts Council of Northern Ireland, Ciara’s most recent single ‘La Lune’ reached No1 on BBC Radio Ulster, No2 on RTE Radio1 and was included on BBC Radio Ulster’s ‘Where Music Matters’ playlist and RTE Radio1 recommends list. It was also this song which led to Ciara being nominated for best emerging artist at the 2022 RTE Radio1 Folk awards.
In addition to writing solo, Ciara is also a keen collaborator and has worked with many world class songwriters and artists over the past few years including Grammy winner Don Henry, Grammy nominated Drew Ramsey and Gary Burr as well as Northern Irelands Ryan McMullan, Gareth Dunlop and Ciaran Lavery.
On the live front Ciara has lots of highlights too, most notably playing in front of a US TV audience of 60 million for Music City Roots, showcasing at Folk Alliance in Kansas City, representing Northern Ireland in Brussels for culture night and her numerous performances at the iconic Nashville venue the Bluebird Cafe. Her recent sold out headline shows for the Cathedral Quarter Arts Festival and Sound of Belfast also rank high among her ever growing list of achievements.
With a focus on her beautiful vocals and raw, poetic songwriting Ciara’s music is sure to appeal to music lovers across the board including fans of other Irish artists Saint Sister and Lisa Hannigan.
She is currently working on new music for release in 2023.
Praise for ‘La Lune’
‘Mesmerising, it takes you away like all good music should’ Ralph McLean, BBC Radio Ulster
‘Beautiful, Beautiful song’ Marie-Louise Muir, BBC Radio Ulster
Absolutely stunning’ Joe Lindsay, BBC Radio Ulster
‘Love this song’ Shay Byrne, RTE Radio 1
Praise for ‘Le Soleil’
‘Le Soleil has a true shimmery summery sixties feel to it with vocals as crystal clear as ice’ Americana UK
‘A sonic tonic driven by Beatle-esque drums and Ciara’s unmistakeable croon’ Edwin McFee, The Sunday Life
‘Emotion, a great voice and a story that’s well told’ Stuart Bailie, The Belfast Telegraph
Praise for ‘Arrow’
‘Ciara and her songs carry everything with such conviction, it makes her almost transparent.’ Folk Radio UK
‘timeless, noirish and understated folk’ Dancing About Architecture
‘Your new favourite, beautiful album.. 9/10’ Americana UK
‘A must listen for folk fans’ Hotpress Magazine