Saturday 23 June 2018
I've been a fan of Portadown singer-songwriter Ciara O'Neill for a few years now. I enjoyed her album "The Ebony Trail" when it came out in 2016, and had the pleasure of seeing her live around the release of that album.
In amongst the songs from that album that she played, there was newer song in particular that I absolutely loved when performed live, which was "Dreamer". Inspired by a short story by Sylvia Plath, it did something that rarely happens at a live concert, which is to move me to near-tears. Whether it was the subject matter (about not being able to enter a loved one's dreams) or the emotionally-triggering vocals of Ciara that led to this reaction, I have no idea, but if a song can provoke such feelings, then it must be a special one indeed.
Which is why it was wonderful to see that in anticipation of her follow-up album, she has chosen "Dreamer" as one of the lead tracks (alongside "Hurtin'"). As is always the case with a song you fall in love with live, there was the worry that the song wouldn't live up to the solo-acoustic version that I've become accustomed to. Thankfully there's nothing to worry about - as Ciara's vocals are a brilliant as always, and the production is very much in keeping with the song - I'm very much a fan of the sweeping strings, which act as a great counterbalance.
"Dreamer" is taken from Ciara O'Neill's 2nd album, "Arrow", which will be released on July 9th.