- 15 Nov 23
Ulster's Blánid showcased her intimate folk songwriting in another memorable set for the Hot Press Y&E series - supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Lauded for her hauntingly powerful voice and honest, folk-infused songwriting style, Blánid displayed her effortless balladry with a serene and soothing set for the Hot Press Y&E series on Sunday evening.
Her first two singles were met with critical acclaim, earning plays on BBC Radio 1, BBC Radio 6, BBC Radio Wales, BBC Radio Ulster, BBC Radio Kent and RTÉ 2XM. Blánid was also the featured vocalist on Netflix’s anime Witcher film soundtrack.
In 2022 she enjoyed somewhat of a breakthrough year, showcasing her abundant talents in Sweden, the U.K., and her native Ireland - supporting Liam Ó Maonlaí of Hothouse Flowers and playing the iconic Ruby Sessions.
2023 was no different, as Blánid was invited onto The Late Late Show as part of a special TradFest segment, while also supporting American folk icon Judy Collins at the prestigious Celtic Connections in Glasgow.
Joining us live from London with her neat blue acoustic (which she fittingly calls ‘Big Blue) in a stylish, turquoise-themed room, Blánid got the ball rolling with ‘Fools Gold’. A slowly-strummed, heartbreaking ballad, the singer showcased her hair-raising folk vocals – drawing similarities to Joan Baez’ classic ‘Diamonds & Rust’ with her poignant lyricism.
‘Dead Man Dancing’ was up next, dedicated to the ‘80s slapstick comedy film Airplane II. There was nothing funny about the song's performance, as Blánid belted out infectious and poetic choruses – “Dead man dancing forever, dead man tell me do you see heaven, dead man teach me to dance like you...”
Blánid proceeded to share her most recent single ‘Tourists’ – which describes the feeling “being a tourist in someone else’s life, and when other people do the same to you” – a sentiment which was displayed through the song’s sombre fingerpicking and beautiful transience-themed lyrics -“ I won’t love you, and I won’t try to, but I can’t seem to say goodbye…”
After showing her appreciation for the rapture of emojis in the comments, she blessed the audience with the unreleased ‘Good Fruits’ – an unflinchingly honest number in which Blánid described her disastifaction with life, and her frustrations with “waiting for good fruits to go bad.”
Blánid dedicated the closing number to a drawing of a toad which she drew one Tuesday when she was feeling down – the appropriately titled ‘Tuesday Toad’. It’s here where she really showcased her skills as a songwriter, flaunting her ability to transform and personify a simple drawing into an uplifting folk number.
A superbly talented and mature singer-songwriter, Blánid provided a charming end to yet another top-class performance for the Hot Press Y&E series.
Catch Blánid's powerful perfomance below.
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 at 7pm each night.
View this post on Instagram