- 08 Apr 21
Revisit the Wexford-raised rising star"s stripped back set on the Y&E Series below – supported by the Department of Tourism, Culture, Arts, Gaeltacht, Sport and Media.
On Tuesday's Y&E Series live stream, Wexford-raised singer-songwriter Reuben Hester joined us live from Berlin, performing an energetic set of tunes, from popular covers to his own original music.
He acknowledged the fact that he hasn’t played a live gig in over a year and a half, and was delighted to be playing again for a live audience, giving a special shoutout to his mom.
Hester began his performance with Damien Rice’s ‘The Blower’s Daughter,’ which he called an "Irish classic". The majority of the songs were accompanied with piano, and Rice's gentle folk was given a soulful new edge. He also performed a stripped-back version of Cyndi Lauper's ‘Girl’s Just Wanna Have Fun’, saying he really wanted his audience to "listen to the lyrics," so that they could appreciate the song as a whole.
He also sang some of his original tunes, including ‘A Piece of Me’, his breakout hit ‘Sold My Soul’ and ‘Time of my Life’, a song that he wrote after his father’s passing.
Speaking about this difficult time, he said he was “trying to use music as a crutch to power through” and as a result, ‘Time of my Life’ was born. When Hester sang ‘God Only Knows What I’m Feeling’, he didn't offer up a backstory, as he wanted his audience to “take what you will from it” and interpret the lyrics however they see fit.
Overall, the rising star put on a fantastic, intimate performance. Watch the video back below, and check out the schedule for the other Y&E performances coming up.
Thursday, April 8: PASTICHE
One of the most exciting Irish pop acts of recent memory, 22-year-old Pastiche has crafted a sound packed with attitude and empowerment. Combining elements of electronic and dark pop, the Dublin singer-songwriter released her latest single, 'Heaven', earlier this year – establishing her as a serious force to be reckoned with on the Irish scene.
Friday, April 9: CHRISTIAN WETHERED
Drawing influence from the legendary likes of Leonard Cohen and Lou Reed, Dublin-based singer-songwriter Christian Wethered is poised for major success on these shores and beyond, with the release of his debut album, Mon Petit Jardin, later his year. His debut poetry book, I Don't Love You, was shortlisted for the Melita Hume Prize in 2018 – and this passion for poetry continues to inform his stunning singles.
Saturday, April 10: NEWDAD
Galway alt-rock quartet NewDad have already picked up lots of attention in the UK – and it's clear why. The hypnotic likes of ‘Blue’ and ‘Cry’ made for a compelling introduction, while ‘I Don’t Recognise You’ and 'Slowly' cemented their buzz-worthy status. With Jack Saunders and Steve Lamacq as fans, they could well be on their way. Their debut EP, Waves, is out this Friday.
Sunday, April 11: BOBBI ARLO
Arriving on the Irish scene with a powerful, arena-ready pop sound and indisputable star quality, 22-year-old Dubliner Bobbi Arlo is tipped for mega success. Bobbi's 2019 debut single ‘Berries’ was a radio smash hit – and following the release of two equally remarkable singles, 'Signs' and 'Breathe', she returned earlier this year with her acclaimed feel-good anthem, 'Feel It'.
Monday, April 12: BABYLAMB
Specialising in high-energy, dancefloor-friendly bubblegum pop, Babylamb are primed to go supernova over the next 12 months. The quartet of self-described "sad, fresh-faced queers" first announced their arrival as a captivating new presence in Irish music with their debut single 'Bodyright' in 2019 – followed by 2020's 'Icky', and their explosive synth-pop anthem 'Mister Magic' earlier this year.
Tuesday, April 13: THE ZEN ARCADE
Rising from the ashes of The Strypes, three former members of the Cavan crew have joined forces once again – with a new emphasis on doing things their own way. Having launched their own zine and podcast series, The Zen Arcade announced themselves as a very serious, smart new force in Irish music with the release of their debut, ‘Don’t Say A Word’, on their own label, Dental Records.
Wednesday, April 14: FINTAN MCKAHEY
A lo-fi indie singer-songwriter, multi-instrumentalist and producer from Cork, Fintan McKahey has been releasing music since 2016, and playing support slots for the likes of The Scratch, Junior Brother and Róisín O. His debut EP God Games was released in 2019 to widespread critical acclaim, followed by his 2020 single 'Platinum' – which has clocked up nearly 135,000 streams on Spotify alone.