- 24 Jan 23
This is the Wexford-based composer's first solo offering since the breakup of his former folk band, We Raise Bears.
Dublin native songwriter and composer, Conor Miley premieres his stunning debut video and single ‘Father’s Day’ ahead of its official release tomorrow, January 25th. The new single examines the struggles faced by single parents in Ireland.
After the breakup of his former project, We Raise Bears, Miley received the news that he was to become a father a month after a relationship ended. Finding himself in a personal crisis, the composer threw himself into his work- recording and writing new music- including ‘Father’s Day’.
The track’s intricate arrangement reflects the years the songwriter, who now resides in Wexford, spent studying classical music and jazz before embarking on a career involving multiple bands and session work. Opening with a warbling organ and angelic strings, ‘Father’s Day’ is underscored by Rhodes piano and shaggy acoustic guitar. The Wexford musician’s track crescendos into a brassy climax to finish.
Speaking on his debut solo single, Miley says, "Originally written on an acoustic guitar, I set about making an arrangement high on drama and tension, using strings, brass, and dissonance to deliver the musical punch. The music complements the personal lyrics, reflecting my experience as a single parent in Ireland and the institutional and cultural obstacles where the expectation is still on one parent to do most of the child-rearing. This stone age version of parenting has added immense stress to my life where, as a responsible and loving parent, I have had to fight to be a father to my son."
"The lyrics were written at a time when I was not even a legal guardian to my child due to the outdated and obsolete establishment views and laws related to unmarried fathers," he continues.
"Being a single parent is not easy on either parent, but it should be a shared relationship with the expectation of equal responsibility. Ireland is stuck in another time when it comes to progressing this issue, one that goes against all research that confirms that children benefit most from equal access to both parents.”
The accompanying video is beautifully directed by Michael-David McKernan (Elaine Mai, Daithí). A father and daughter build and then gleefully tear apart a living room set in the video saturated with symbolism.
“I was thrilled when Conor invited me to create a music video for his debut release,” McKernan says. “The song feels both epic and playful. I wanted to explore a 'building metaphor' to represent how fragile a process nurturing a relationship between father and daughter can be. Something that takes an incredible amount of delicate work, and that can be frustrating when met with obstacles. Ultimately this father and daughter decide that the mess and obstacles are just part of their relationship, and that they can live and thrive within these difficult moments. Plus it was incredibly fun to construct and destroy a living room in the middle of a field in Meath,” he adds.
‘Father’s Day’ ushers in a new era for the singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, and composer. His former folk outfit, We Raise Bears, released an EP that was played across BBC Radio, RTÉ Radio 1, and RTÉ 2FM, as well as on regional Irish and UK stations. Miley has previously headlined venues around Ireland, and has appeared at festivals including Hard Working Class Heroes, All Together Now, Other Voices, Electric Picnic, Vantastival, and Ones to Watch.
Stream 'Father's Day' below.
Director/Producer/Editor: Michael-David McKernan
Director of Photography/Colourist: JP Quill
Focus Puller: Ivan Moloney
Actors: Barry John Kinsella & Isobel Kinsella
Conor Miley: Vocals, Acoustic Guitar, Electric Guitar, Piano, Rhodes Piano,
Organs, Synths, Celeste, Percussion, Sampling and Programming.
Niall Honohan: Drums
Maria Ryan: Violin
Lucia MacPartlin: Violin
Yseult Cooper Stockdale: Cello
Paul Kiernan: Trumpets
Lyrics and music by Conor Miley
Arranged and produced by Conor Miley