Songwriter based in Galway on the west coast of Ireland, combining sparse, dreamy and sometimes psychedelic textures.
Heavily influenced by songwriter/folk artists such as Neil Young, Elliott Smith, Kurt Vile, O'Brien's sound also hinges on more contemporary acts such as The War on Drugs, Real Estate, Ghosts I've Met, and Beach Fossils to name a few.
O'Brien's sound is a reflection of the wave of new music that is emerging from the west of Ireland in recent years. A dreamy, atmospheric, and hazy sound that ties in very much with the essence of the west.
Born in 1990, Kieran O'Brien picked up guitar at the age of 11 while also learning piano from his mother around the same time. Growing up he studied music in school but preferred to teach himself by ear. At 13 he formed a band with two close friends, playing songs in his attic and at his local school. A few years later Kieran got the opportunity to play drums and guitar for a popular local band called The Followers of Otis. This not only introduced him to other talented musicians but also to the local music scene, giving him the opportunity to play in venues around Galway such as the Roisin Dubh, The Cellar, De Burgos, as well as a number of other popular spots in Dublin such as Whelan's, and Anseo.
Although Kieran wasn't releasing any of his own music at this time, these were formative years and played a large part in developing the sound that he has now slowly and meticulously crafted over time. Fast forward a couple of years, after spending some time in college and working away from home, O'Brien became restless and the desire to write his own music intensified more and more. The west of Ireland was calling him back, back to his home and to where it all started. In 2016 he decided to return home, with a sense of re-awakening and re-discovery, he started to get to work.
After spending time recording relentlessly over the summer of 2016, he self-released his debut EP "After The Storm" with the help of Fergal Davis (popular for his work with Sinead O’Connor, Foals, Ben Folds). The EP received very good reviews and garnished radio-play in different parts of the country, with Thin Air magazine describing it as "a mesmerising slice of ambient folk".
Following the release Kieran formed a backing band and started playing various venues around Galway such as Aras na nGael and the internationally renowned Roisin Dubh, supporting various acts such as Eoin Dolan, Me Auld Flower, Field Trip, New Pope, Tomorrows, Blushh and many more.
In 2017 he released his follow up EP/Mini-LP "Turn", again with the help of Fergal Davis on production duties. Described as a "breath of fresh air" by Thin Air magazine, Turn marked a slight change in sound for O'Brien offering a bigger 'band sounding' record compared to his previous release.
Returning now with his second EP, Turn, the ventures into a full-band sound are becoming more sure-footed and assertive, taking as many cues from the likes of The War On Drugs and Real Estate as from stalwarts of the Americana folk tradition.
The future looks bright for this upcoming Irish artist, showcasing one of the many new sounds coming out of the west of Ireland in recent years.
O'Brien is a member of Citog Records, a supportive community and collective of artists founded and operated in Galway city. He is currently based in Galway and focused on recording and writing new material, both for his own solo work and various side projects.
Explorative, sincere and endlessly refreshing. - The Thin Air
Combining elements of Folk, Indie Rock and Ambient Folk, young Irish singer-songwriter Kieran O'Brien creates a dreamy and hazy sound that is a perfect fit for fall season - Find A Song
A sound that surrounds the listener in a soothing haze - Yab Yum Music
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