- 21 Apr 22
Revisit Abby Butler's performance on the Hot Press Y&E Series below - supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Live 95 Limerick’s pick for ‘A New Local Hero’, the 22-year-old singer-songwriter has a beautiful voice with a raw edge to it that grips audiences immediately. Butler is a perfect Y&E Series candidate, equally at ease with covers and original tracks.
Performing in Limerick's Launchpad Studios surrounded by fairy lights, Abby made fine use of her acoustic guitar skills. Opening with 'Planet Unknown', Abby says. "I wrote it at a time in my life where I was really thinking a lot about why we're on this mad floating rock in the middle of nowhere. It's just a load of random thoughts."
Original track ‘Planet Unknown’ is an excellent first step on her road to more single releases, though we’ll never fail to support her powerful covers. Hers is an unvarnished, untapped talent with endless potential for achingly forthcoming pop vulnerability. Her live rendition has a distinctive gravelly quality to her vocals, adding to the DIY feel.
Butler shouts out her friend Pierce O'Rahilly, who she created recent 2022 track 'Make Me' with. He's watching the performance, as a loyal follower should. For her second offering, the musician launches into the broody track 'Oasis'. "I'm getting it produced at the moment by Ben Wanders, he's class. I wrote it not too long ago. I can imagine it in a desert!" Abby informs her virtual crowd. With rock riffs and emotion-driven lyrics, the single is about searching for answers when you've lost your way. Falsetto notes over a soaring melody add to the infectious nature of the track. "Fairly passionate song!" she tells her audience. "Thanks for all the love hearts, lads."
Up next is a stunning, down-tempo track that hasn't been released as of yet. "I wrote it on a beach in the Aran Islands. It's quite an emotional song to me, and I want to shout out my friend Kev - who's mentioned in it," she explains. With delicate chords and a soft, empathetic energy, it's one of her most compelling.
Butler progresses into new single 'Deja Vu', her friends made a beautiful music video over in Tenerife. "I'm so proud of it," Abby beams. As she should be, it's a belter.
“Deja vu is a song about making mistakes," the Limerick native said of the follow up to 2019's 'Experiment'. "Continuing to make the same mistakes over and over again until you learn from them. I think everyone can relate to this song because we are all just trying to learn about ourselves and the world. Some learn easier than others and this song is for people who learn lessons the hard way.”
A slower tune written for her Nana titled 'Joan' gives her audience a "nice, fuzzy feeling", as she said herself. Full of warmth and diaristic lyrics, the track is both deeply personal yet simultaneously universal.
Butler saved the best for last with final song, 'The End of the Cornetto'. "I started writing this song as a bit of craic. It has a deeper meaning to it. We're always trying to look for the one thing that makes us happy (the end of the Cornetto) but then we forget about the rest. All the good stuff around us. It's all about the journey."
It's got the pop-punk, raw confessional aspect of Olivia Rodrigo's SOUR. Fun and freeing, Abby's heading in exactly the right direction with her forthcoming releases.
Watch the Hot Press Y&E Series – supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7pm each night.
Coming up on the Y&E series:
Thursday, April 21: Dáwna
Hailing from Tipperary, Dáwna initially built up his reputation busking in cities and towns around Ireland. Since 2019, he's steadily been releasing a selection of well-received singles – including his latest track, 'I L L I A D'. He's also clocked up support slots for the likes of Hermitage Green and Susan O'Neill, and launched his latest single with a sold-out headline show at The Kenyon Bar in Nenagh.
Friday, April 22: PrYmary Colours
Featuring Cayisha on vocals and Daz on production, PrYmary Colours have brought a bold new energy to the Irish dance music scene. This duo have already made their mark at the House Of Yes club in New York, the Olympia Theatre in Dublin and a wide selection of festival stages. In October, they released their powerful single ‘The Movement’ – a rallying cry against racial injustice.
Saturday, April 23: Caleb Kunle
Drawing inspiration from the three locations he calls home – Lagos, Laois and London – Caleb Kunle is rapidly emerging as a captivating new talent on the international stage, with his unique blend of soul, folk, jazz and more. Back in November, he shared his latest single, 'Could Be Good' – which is his first release on Hackney-based independent label Pony Recordings.
Sunday, April 24: BRÍDÍN
Hailing from Co. Sligo, BRÍDÍN carries the tradition of Irish music into the fourth generation of her family – playing harp, flute, piano and dancing sean nós. After achieving a master’s degree in music, she’s continued to develop her own unique style, bringing a modern energy to her traditional influences. She released her Ocean Of Stars EP in 2021, which featured an appearance from Colm Mac Con Iomaire.
Monday, April 25: Amberlight
Made up of vocalist Lauren Doherty and guitarist/producer/songwriter Paul Casey, this Derry duo have been busy over the last two years, releasing an exciting selection of singles and accompanying videos, including the likes of 'The Song My Heart Sings' , 'Strong Enough', 'Only Love (A Fisherman's Lament)' and 'Peace at Last'. They also contributed to the Rave On, Van Morrison series, performing a cover of 'Celtic New Year'.