- 18 Nov 20
The new edition of the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series continues tonight – supported by the Department of Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
Belfast-based alternative-folk artist Joel Harkin has rapidly established himself as one of the most exciting talents in Irish music, with his dazzlingly original approach to songwriting. He released his NI Music Prize-nominated album, Never Happy, earlier this year.
He made his live debut at an uncle’s wedding, playing ‘Boulevard of Broken Dreams’ by Green Day. He made a tidy income as a busker in Letterkenny and studied Music Technology and Sonic Arts at Queen's University Belfast.
In his livestream set, Harkin's witty sense of humour remains a major part of his charm, and bleeds its way into the quirky lyrics of his songwriting. Touching on a wide array of topics in his setlist, from the housing crisis and issue of organised religion to his relationship with his partner and father; the 26-year-old Donegal native doesn't limit his tracks to one theme.
'Vada' involves the characters of the 1991 classic movie My Girl meeting one of Harkin's friends from Letterkenny, so there's no storyline that can't be imagined for the musician. Performing 'Charlie and Deirdre', 'A Letter to Mark Loughrey' and other tracks from his May-released album Never Happy, Harkin showcases his alternative folk roots and ability to inject a unique perspective into the world around him. Ruminating on family, inequality, life in a rural town, love and separation anxiety, all he needs his his voice and electric guitar to harness an ambiance.
"It's my first gig in front of a microwave," he says. Whether it's a microwave or a live audience, Harkin has a knack for drawing people in to his modest and earnest songs. We can't wait to see what comes next.
Watch Harkin's full performance below:
The Y&E Series continues to shine a light on some of the best new and emerging talent that Ireland has to offer in 2020. Following the success of the previous two editions of the Y&E Series, you can once again expect 40 brilliant acts to join Hot Press on Instagram for special live-streamed performances.
Watch Tomike tonight, November 17, as part of the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' The Y&E Series, supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media – live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7.30pm.
Up next on The Y&E Series...
Wednesday, November 18: Tomike
With the success of her Stages Of Love EP in 2019, and a string of acclaimed singles this year, Dublin neo-soul artist Tomike has continued to craft a sound that pulls from the best of Erykah Badu and Sade. Her impressive career highlights includes singing for Hillary Clinton in 2012.
Thursday, November 19: Larabelle
Although barely out of secondary school, Donegal singer-songwriter Larabelle boasts a powerful talent that belies her age. Her debut single, 'Monster', released earlier this year explores mental health and addiction, and has set the 18-year-old artist on course for stardom.
Friday, November 20: Patricia Lalor
Teenage singer-songwriter Patricia Lalor has emerged as one of the country's most thrilling new alternative stars. In addition to her original tracks, her cover of Mac DeMarco's 'My Kind Of Woman' has clocked up over 1.2 million views, while her rendition of 'Cherry Wine' won the praise of Hozier himself. She released her highly anticipated Covers EP1 last month.
Each performance streams live on the Hot Press Instagram (@hotpressmagazine) at 7.30pm every night.