BRENDAN O’SHEA RELEASES 4th STUDIO ALBUM, MIDATLANTIC GHOST, ON DECEMBER 2nd 2016
Irish singer-songwriter and East Village linchpin, Brendan O’Shea, is releasing his much-anticipated 4th studio album, Midatlantic Ghost, with a sold out launch at the Irish Arts Center on December 2nd and an Irish/European Tour to follow in 2017. As part of the release, an exclusive bonus track, “Most of All,” will be included with all pre-orders of the record, which is available now at brendanoshea.com.
A veteran of the New York music scene since the late 90’s, O’Shea has developed a delicate songwriting style and a vast following over the last two decades. His first three albums garnered critical success both here and abroad with Mike Morrone of XM radio calling O’Shea’s 2007 release, Be Here Still, “One of my favorite records of the year.” Hot Press says of the album: “Reflective rather than showy, this is introspective, and yet soul-searching has rarely sounded this warm and inclusive” and the Village Voice calls Brendan “A forerunner for you gig going dollar here in NYC with energy, truth, power and grace.”
Midatlantic Ghost is O’Shea’s most intimate venture yet. Recorded over a few days at the Blue Mountain House in the Catskill Mountains, (just a mile down the road from Big Pink, where Dylan recorded with The Band), the album is a tribute to the old way of doing things. Its expansive 8 tracks are recorded in one room with no more than a few takes of each song and with minimal overdubs. What results is a listening event that is all at once enduring and immediate. His simple storytelling and delicate guitar embody both the folk traditions of upstate New York and the sing-songs of the west of Ireland.
Alongside his own musical ventures, Brendan is also the founder and co-curator of The Scratcher Sessions – an acoustic concert series down at The Scratcher in New York’s Lower East Side. One of the great listening rooms of New York, The Sessions have championed songwriters and their projects for the past 11 years. They’ve also offered a starting point for Irish musicians in New York and positioned Brendan as the unofficial ambassador between here and there.
Mr. O’Shea has shared stages with The Frames, The Swell Season, Glen Hansard, Cowboy Junkies, Elliott Smith, Loudan Wainright, and Interpol as well as many others. In addition to headlining his own shows in both the United States and Europe, he has embarked on four tours of Japan with the Trinity Dance Troupe and is currently collaborating with Colin Dunne and Mike Kirkpatrick on new works for the company.
Brendan’s singing can be heard in Ron Howard’s Academy Award-winning film Backdraft as well as Karen Gehres’ popular documentary Begging Naked. His songs are also featured on ABC’s docudrama Boston Med.
Brendan O’Shea has long been an integral figure in both the Irish and New York music scenes and his latest endeavor is a celebration of both here and there and the ocean in between.
Originally from Killarney in the South-West of Ireland, singer-songwriter Brendan O’Shea moved to the United States in the late 90’s. Since then, he has become a veteran of New York City’s songwriter scene and released three albums which have garnered praise from critics and press around the world.
Irish music magazine Hot Press rated his 2nd record Be Here Still an 8 1/2 out of 10 and XM Radio’s Mike Morrone called it one of his “Favorite records of the year.”
Brendan’s singing can also be heard in such films as Ron Howard’s Academy Award nominated film Backdraft and in the wildly successful Karen Gehres documentary Begging Naked. His songs are also featured on ABC’s docudrama Boston Med.
Brendan has shared stages with The Frames, The Swell Season, Glen Hansard, Cowboy Junkies, Elliott Smith, Loudan Wainright, and Interpol as well as other innovative contemporaries. In addition to headlining his own shows in both the United States and Europe, he has embarked on four tours of Japan with the Trinity Dance Troupe and is currently collaborating with Colin Dunne and Mike Kirkpatrick on new works for the company.
In 2007 Brendan became a founding member of Fairplay Collective, a unique endeavor in which songwriters come together to support and promote each other’s individual projects as independent artists. In 2008 Brendan, Pete Olshansky and Karl Geary (Sin-e) began hosting a Sunday night concert series in NYC’s East Village called the Scratcher Sessions which features musicians from around the world.
Brendan has just finished production on his fourth full length release to follow up from his 2011 release Songs From A Tenement.
A fine unpretentious album… The song Southryn Sky is a jazz infected ballad of the kind Randy Newman might record.
Hot Press mag IRL 2017
Midatlantic Ghost has a slow burning intensity, never skimps on intimacy and has immediate appeal… This is one for people who love well crafted songs and are serious about truly great songwriting.
Dan Neely – Irish Echo, NY – 2017
“One of my Favourite records this year..”
XM RADIO – 2007 (‘Be Here Still’ Review by Mike Morrone)
“Killarney-born Brendan O’ Shea, like his good friend Mark Geary, has spent the majority of his songwriting life in New York, and the smells and sounds of the Big Apple ooze through the cracks on his second album, albeit with a slightly Irish flavour – in particular, his very Irish ability to turn ‘through’ into ‘true’. That’s not to say this album belongs to that bizarre hybrid demographic of Irish Americans: thankfully, there’s little of the ‘Cead Mile Failte, buddy’ demeanour here.
This is very much a modern, urban album about trying to find your place in the world. Recorded in New York, Chicago and Dublin, with a band made up of musicians from all three territories (including Mark Geary, Ann Scott and Karl Odlum), Be Here Still is not a Friday night album.
Reflective rather than showy, this is introspective, and yet soul-searching has rarely sounded this warm and inclusive, if not necessarily immediate. However, spend some quality time with this album and it’s earthy emotions will wash over you and win you over.The album opener ‘Tired Eyes’ rest its weary bones on your shoulders but simultaneously gives you a friendly squeeze. The title-track’s sublime choral effect creeps up on you and melts your heart before you even realise it’s there, while the gorgeously life-affirming ‘Pull Your Socks Up’ is about not feeling sorry for yourself, giving yourself a stern talking to and getting your arse in gear. The heart-breaking ‘Halos (Song For Elliott)’ is presumably dedicated to the late Elliott Smith and is a fitting tribute to the incredible New York songwriter, while ‘No Mystery’ possesses the kind of timeless songwriting mastery of which Smith himself would have been proud. O’ Shea is making a rare return home in March for a quick jaunt around the country. On evidence of this, he’ll be well worth catching. ( 8/10 )
Hot Press – 2007 (‘Be Here Still’ Review by John Walshe)
“Great debut album from a forerunner for your gig going dollar here in NYC, energy truth and power with grace .. check him out”
Village Voice – 2003 (‘In the light’ Review)
“…too good to ignore. Brendan O’ Shea brings a very personal passion and depth to his songs…astute enough to decorate his sharp performances with cello, drums, bass, and the occasional electric guitar …used to sparkling, though sparing effect. …reminiscent of Paul Simon… “Broken” is driven by mesmeric tabla playing by Bruce Martin and a hypnotic acoustic figure…In the Light may be short on laughs, but it’s long on the ups, downs and sideways of real life, poetically portrayed with genuine insight…He more than justifies his invitation. Party on.” ( 8/10 )
Hot Press – 2003 (‘In the light’ Review by Jackie Hayden)
“….The Kerryman has delivered a fine debut album, with passionate songs of love, loss, and despair. O’Shea is an excellent guitarist but he rightly chooses to flesh out these spare recordings with cello, drums and bass. The quality of the beautiful Hollow Moon separates O’Shea from the thousands of bedsit wannabes.”
The Irish Independent Newspaper – 2003 (‘In the light’ Review by John Meagher)
“Hailing from the west of Ireland where it’s quiet and scenic, O’Shea has learned how to bring that beauty across to his listeners and even have them partake in the singing of some of his songs that they may have never heard before but leave the show with them well in their memory. Living in NYC has given O’Shea an edge on how to work and get the audience on his side. O’Shea writes great songs reminiscent of Paul Simon with an Elliott Smith conviction.”
Sounds Magazine – 2009