New Music: Participant – ‘Next Year’


New cassette compilation Sampler is out now.

It’s no exaggeration to say that Participant, aka Stephen Tiernan, is one of our absolute favourite new artists to emerge out of Ireland in the last few years.

The alternative pop songwriter has that uncanny ability to create songs which are subtle and nuanced but yet hit immediately to your ear and your heart. With each song, we fall further and further in love with his dexterity and delicacy.

His latest track is titled ‘Next Year’. It’s a slow burner, but one that is ultimately a little touch more upbeat than his other recent work. With swelling strings, the track also possesses a wonderful sense of drama. It is just a touch of theatricality that marks it out as an exception in Participant’s repertoire.

“‘Next Year’ is a song that for me deals with the idea of stillness, ignoring opportunity or responsibility and so I thought it could be cathartic to finish it and make it the first song on a compilation of my work,” says Tiernan.

Order Sampler via Bandcamp.

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