- 16 Jul 21
The Enniskillen-based folk duo sparkled at Stendhal Festival last weekend.
Niamh Carney and Philana Nolan's indie folk project Laytha have released their first track, 'What Will I Gain'. The idea for their stunning debut came from a Laura Marling interview, where she talked about the idea of writing a song for her younger self. 'What Will I Gain' is a yearning for the version of yourself you want to be, wondering how – or if – you can let go of the things that influenced you most growing up.
Laytha are County Fermanagh's best kept secret, and their twin harmonies are eerily complimentary. The pair first performed under the name Taobh Eile meaning 'other side' before changing their name to the easier to pronounce Laytha in 2019.
"We are so delighted to have new music out as Laytha. It was the advice of the dearly missed Lyndon Stephens to change our name and although we put up a fight, we realised he was definitely right and since we chose Laytha we’ve never looked back. Our song 'What Will I Gain' we hope still captures some of the ‘Taobh Eile’ sound, which is why we thought it would be a nice first release," they say.
While their debut self-titled EP is still available under 'Taobh Eile', this release marks a new era for the pair. 'What Will I Gain' is a delicate, weaving folk song suspended from a waxing string section. Declan Legge produces. Laytha write with a strong narrative and their sense of place is tangible. While their vocal style has been compared to the likes of Saint Sister, Simon and Garfunkel, and The Staves, they are undeniably their own unique package.
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The pair garnered much praise for their set at Stendhal Festival last weekend. Laytha's effortless ability to hold a room's attention so a pin drop can be heard is matched with their graciously down-to-earth stage presence. Their cover of Britney Spears' 'Oops I did It Again' showcased their keen arrangement abilities as well as their musical playfulness.
Laytha spent much of lockdown busy partaking in various online gigs and streams. Last April they held a charity fundraiser where they raised money for Women's Aid and, in the new year, they launched their lockdown sessions project where they collaborated with local artists.
Listen to 'What Will I Gain' below.