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24 Jan 2022

Limerick-born musician releases EP recorded 'between lockdowns'

Limerick-born musician releases EP recorded 'between lockdowns'

Laura Duff with her fellow band members JJ Lee (bass), Chris O’Sullivan (drums) and Finn Fogarty (guitar) | PICTURES: Laya Kenny

IT has been coming in single-track instalments, but now, Laura Duff’s sophomore EP, Heavy Summer, is set to be released this Friday.

And on December 10, this will be followed up with the launch of the music video for one of the tracks, Wayside.

The band, fresh from a support gig with Róisín Ó at the Concert Hall, will also be playing live in Limerick between now and Christmas and dates for a tour in 2022 are being pencilled in. 

For Laura and band members and friends JJ Lee (bass), Chris O’Sullivan (drums) and Finn Fogarty (guitar), all this activity is in stark contrast to the eerily silent  days of lockdown when live music with an audience was only a memory. 

But like many creatives, they made good use of the downtime, putting together the four tracks that make up Heavy Summer: Wayside, Good Form, Easy and  the unreleased track All Sewn Up. 

As Laura recalled this week, the EP was over a year in the making, and was done “between lockdowns” and sometimes by having to go alone into the studio.

An Agility Award from the Arts Council helped, Laura explained. This is a new award which aims to open up accessibility for artists in different disciplines and came as a very welcome financial boost when it came to making the music video which stars Jean O'Donoghue and was directed by Shane Serrano (Crude) and AC Wojciech Kwiatkowski. 

But Laura is no stranger to awards. She was selected as the Paul Clancy Songwriter of the Year at the Irish Youth Music Awards 2015  and in  April was named a  Circuit Festival’s Music Project Awardee. 

She has an MA in music from UCC and currently works full-time with Narrative 4.

Having a full-time “day” job is still the norm for a lot of young music artists like her but it helps hugely that Laura loves working with Narrative 4. 

“We’re very much a collective that works together closely,” Laura says of herself and the band who met in college and formed back in 2015. The songwriting though is Laura’s. 

Apart from the new EP, another positive of Covid-19 that Laura has identified is a greater community element. “There is greater support for local bands,” she said. “Local bands are getting more recognition. People are banding together and people are very happy to have live music back.” 

Heavy Summer was recorded and produced by Christian Best of Monique Studios, Midleton, County Cork, and mastered by Richard Dowling of Wav Mastering, Limerick. 

It’s available on all streaming platforms, and physical and digital copies will be available to purchase at lauraduffband.com.

The music video will be featured on YouTube.

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