Following both a global pandemic and an acclaimed, landmark debut album, inimitable Irish alt-folk act Junior Brother recently returned with details of his new album “The Great Irish Famine”, out 2nd September via multidisciplinary Irish label Strange Brew. Today, he has shared a video for his new single “This Is My Body”.
An idiosyncratic, challenging and richly lyrical singer/ songwriter, Junior Brother is the pseudonym of Co. Kerry, Ireland singer Ronan Kealy. Chosen as The Irish Times’ Best Irish Act of 2019 and nominated for the 2019 Choice Music Prize for Album of the Year, Junior Brother has built a rabid following thanks to unmissable live shows, and music both excitingly forward-looking and anciently evocative. His strange stories unfold with reckless abandon upon a distinctive guitar and foot tambourine accompaniment, influenced as much by the avant-garde as music from the Middle Ages and his home place in rural Ireland.
In addition to earning a Choice Music Prize nomination, Junior Brother's trailblazing debut album “Pull The Right Rope”, also saw Kealy garner two nominations at the 2019 RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards, for Best Folk Album and Best Emerging Folk Act. Similarly, vigorous approval from modern-day Irish figureheads such as the Rubberbandits and Cillian Murphy has furthered Junior Brother's stock, the latter playing Junior Brother several times on his BBC Radio 6 Music Show. Along-side further airplay, his television performances include appearances on RTÉ’s the Tommy Tiernan show, Other Voices and the Choice Music Prize Awards night in Vicar Street.
"The Great Irish Famine" leaps boldly forward into an exciting new chapter, and into a shaken new world - staggeringly profound, brutally beautiful in its epic sweep. The new single “This Is My Body” is an intoxicating first taste of this new material. Thematically centred around self-image and the anxieties that are tied to it, the new track expertly toys with tension and release with building guitar lines and stark percussion swelling into moments of repose around Kealy’s frenetic vocals.
Speaking on the single, he says: “We relax thusly into the anxiety of self-image, and the sheer heights of absurdity we humans go to denigrate ourselves, for being utterly human. If we’re lucky, we find our soulmate, who can heighten this self-loathing in the loathing self - But a soul mate mates with soul, and that can only grow stronger as body bobs and weaves through a nourished life.”