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NI Music Prize 2021 Live At The Ulster Hall

The Oh Yeah Music Centre has announced details of this year’s NI Music Prize event and line up.

After a year away from the stage due to Covid-19, the event will return to the Ulster Hall on November 17th. The Prize which honours and celebrates the very best of new, established and emerging Northern Irish music is an annual awards night organised by the Oh Yeah Music Centre.

The evening will include performances from shortlisted artists including Amy MontgomeryDani LarkinNew Pagans and TRÚ.

The show will also feature guest performances from Ryan McMullan and Ash, plus Sasha Samara will perform as last year’s winner of the BBC ATL Introducing Contender Award.

Rigsy (DJ & Broadcaster) and Gemma Bradley (Presenter, BBC Radio 1 Introducing and ATL) will present the show. There will be guest contributors, with live announcements and presentations.

The awards include Best Album supported by PPL, Best Single sponsored by YouTube Music and ATL Introducing Contender Award in association with Oh Yeah.The winners of Best Single and  ATL Introducing Contender Award will be awarded a cash prize of £1,000 and £3,000 will go to the winner of Best Album

This year the event will also celebrate the work of Help Musicians to thank the charity for the support it has given to musicians throughout the pandemic. Help Musicians is a charity that loves music and for 100 years has been working hard to make a meaningful difference to the lives of musicians across the UK. Sadly, the pandemic has meant it’s been needed more than ever. Since March 2020, the charity has provided financial hardship funding to help musicians survive while live music was paused; this monthly support helped nearly 800 musicians in NI. Moving forwards, Help Musicians is increasing its practical help to support musicians back into work.

Commenting on this year’s event, Charlotte Dryden from Oh Yeah said: “It has been a long and challenging twelve months for musicians. That is why this year is such an important coming together, not just to celebrate the great wealth of talent that has produced world-class records throughout the pandemic, but also to thank and let the music community take a moment to reflect, start to rebuild and look to the future. It’s going to be a very special evening indeed.” 

Dan Chalmers, Director of YouTube Music EMEA said: “Supporting new musicians has never been so important after the very difficult times we have been through and with access to live music challenged.  We are proud to sponsor such an important moment celebrating the best music coming out of Northern Ireland and we look forward to an especially poignant and celebratory event”.  

The NI Music Prize takes part during the annual Sound of Belfast, a festival that celebrates the music of the city, from grassroots to established names. It runs 4th – 18th Nov and there are over 50 events in 11 venues featuring 56 artists. All events can be found at www.soundofbelfast.com

NI Music Prize and Sound of Belfast is supported by Arts Council Northern Ireland, Belfast City Council, YouTube Music, PRS Foundation, PPL and PRS. More information; https://nimusicprize.com

A very limited number of tickets will go on sale at 10am on Friday 22nd October from The Ulster Hall at https://www.ulsterhall.co.uk

Music

Alt-J Announce Telegraph Building Concert

The Mercury Prize-winning, chart-topping band alt-J have shared their heartfelt new track “Get Better”, the second glimpse into their forthcoming album The Dream, set for release on February 11, 2022 via Infectious Music/BMG. The band have also announced the UK & Ireland dates of their 2022 world tour. 

“Get Better” is the stirring centrepiece of The Dream, and one the band’s most emotionally resonant songs to-date. alt-J peel away the dense layers of sound that they are known for, leaving lead singer Joe Newman’s vocal next to a plaintive solo guitar and harmonies from bandmate Gus Unger-Hamilton. 

The single arrives alongside an equally heartbreaking animated music video, made by Hamburg-based award-winning pixel artist Stefanie Grunwald. She entered the pixel art space in 2016 and has quickly gained recognition for her detailed nighttime animations, which caught the eye of Newman and led to the collaboration.

Going deeper into the process of creating the track, Newman says, “ ‘Get Better’ is the union of two songs. The first was an improvised song I sang in 2018 to my partner who was suffering from period pain. To her I sang ‘Get better my Darcy, I know you can’. She filmed it and I kept revisiting the fragment with a plan to write more. The second was a chord structure I worked on in lockdown that focused on someone living through a bereavement. I felt a nervous heat when writing ‘Get Better’. The context of the Coronavirus pandemic lent my words a chilling weight and gave me a new sense of responsibility as a lyricist. Whilst the direct events described are fictional, I believe – or I hope – that it’s emotionally the most honest song I’ve written.”

On describing the experience of first hearing the demo, Newman’s band mate Unger-Hamilton said, “when Joe first played it to me I didn’t just get a bit tearful, I broke down. A big, big cry. A cry of the year.”

The band have also announced a prize draw to win a Larrivee P-05 guitar, the same model of guitar that Newman wrote most of The Dream on and used in the recording of ‘Get Better’, which he has inscribed with handwritten lyrics from the track. All proceeds from the draw will go to Plan International – a global children’s charity working in over 50 countries to create lasting equality for girls and protect the rights of all children. Fans can enter the prize draw here.

Speaking about the band’s support for Plan International, Newman says, “After becoming a father a friend told me about the charity Plan International. My partner and I strive for our daughter to be happy, safe, loved and reassured every moment of every day. 

“To know there are countless children that don’t have the care and support from parents, communities and governments is heartbreaking. Plan International are doing incredible work throughout the world transforming children’s lives, making sure they have access to the education, health care and future opportunities they need to thrive.”

“Get Better” follows “U&ME”, which was premiered by Clara Amfo on BBC Radio 1. It was the band’s first new music since their acclaimed third album RELAXER, released in 2017. The band also shared the details of their North American leg of their 2022 world tour which will see them play at arenas across the United States and Canada in 2022. For full routing, visit: https://www.altjband.com/#tour.

Today, they announce the UK & Ireland dates of the tour, includinga date at the legendary O2 Academy Brixton as well as shows at Glasgow’s Barrowland Ballroom, Dublin’s Olympia Theatre, Belfast’s The Telegraph Building and other venues throughout the UK. For full routing see below. 

There will be an exclusive ticket presale open to fans who have preordered The Dream from the official album store. The presale will run from November 10 at 9am GMT until the general sale begins on November 12 at 9am GMT. If fans have already preordered the album from the official store they will already be eligible for the presale. General sale begins November 12, 9AM via https://www.altjband.com/#tour.

alt-J are one of the most successful British bands of the millennium. Joe Newman, Gus Unger-Hamilton and Thom Green have released three studio albums that, between them, have sold in excess of two million copies and their songs have been streamed over two and a half billion times. Their 2012 Mercury Prize and Ivor Novello Award-winning debut An Awesome Wave, was followed two years later by their number one, GRAMMY and BRIT Award-nominated album This Is All Yours. Released in 2017, RELAXER flew straight into the top 10 of the UK album chart ahead of a summer of major international shows – including a headline show at London’s O2 Arena; and headline performances at numerous festivals – and became their second album to be nominated for the Mercury Prize.

Alt-J UK & Ireland Tour 2022

  • 07 May 2022  – Glasgow, Scotland – Barrowland Ballroom
  • 09 May 2022 – Leeds, England –  O2 Academy Leeds
  • 13 May 2022 – Manchester, England – O2 Apollo
  • 18 May 2022 – London, England – O2 Academy Brixton
  • 22 May 2022 – Dublin, Republic of Ireland – Olympia Theatre
  • 25 May 2022 – Belfast, Northern Ireland – The Telegraph Building
  • 27 May 2022 – Birmingham, England – O2 Academy Birmingham 

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Music

Chloe Moriondo Set for Oh Yeah Centre Gig

US singer-songwriter Chloe Moriondo is pleased to announce a headline Belfast show at Oh Yeah Centre, Belfast on Tuesday 01st March 2022, In celebration of the release of her major label debut, Blood Bunny.

The 13-track Blood Bunny features previously released singles “Manta Rays,” “GIRL ON TV,” and “I Want To Be With You,” the latter of which was lauded by The New York Times as “acutely observed bedroom pop … served with a side of arena-emo triumph”. Recently labelled one of 2021’s Artists To Watch by PEOPLE and NME, Chloe has racked up critical praise from Billboard, UPROXX, Refinery29, E!, and more. The artist has also become a sought-after collaborator, recently appearing as a featured artist on tracks with Frances Forever, mxmtoon and Ricky Montgomery.

Last year, Chloe shared the Spirit Orb EP – a four-track collection produced by Cavetown. Single “Kindergarten” premiered via FLOOD Magazine, who praised the artist as “a force to be reckoned with.” The EP followed Moriondo’s 2018 offering – her debut album Rabbit Hearted., a self-produced, entirely D.I.Y. effort centred on her understated vocal work and graceful ukulele strumming, which has garnered over 60 million streams.

At age eighteen, Chloe Moriondo professes to be an “internet kid,” yet she tackles overwhelming infatuation, listless daydreams, and first love with keen empathy that’s unsearchable online. With her relatable, confessional lyrics and idiosyncratic humor, the singer-songwriter has built a devoted fanbase of millions, sharing her authentic self to create a genuine connection with her listeners.

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