From Ballinasloe in Co. Galway, songwriter Emma O’Reilly is often compared to Tori Amos, Kate Bush and Regina Spektor for her imaginative yet refined sound. Dramatic and always evocative, Emma’s music is a fusion of Alternative rock, pop and folk, all informed by her classical training at the piano.
Growing up, music was just a normal part of the fabric of each day for Emma, as both her home and her school hugely encouraged music making. As well as singing as often as possible in public growing up, Emma was also involved in local drama classes and musical society performances, studying music and piano at the same time. Right the way through from her teens, Emma began writing and recording, using whatever free DAWs were available online, and posting early demos to myspace. She went on to study music at Third level and holds a BA in music from Trinity College Dublin.
During her time in college, Emma started gigging around the city in venues like the Voodoo lounge, Radio city and Temple bar music centre (now the Button Factory). At the end of her first year in college, Emma recorded her first EP on an 8 track with artist and songwriter Reuben Teskey (Exit Evangeline, First Death in Nova Scotia, City of). Emma toured as a part of Exit Evangeline in Ireland and the UK that summer, completely selling out her first pressing of the Tour EP. Emma took a break from gigging for the rest of her degree but continued to write.
After college, Emma rapidly began exploring different styles and possibilities for music making, and has been something of a musical chameleon ever since. She has directed choirs (Discovery Gospel Choir, Cogar, Festival choirs for Music Generation Offaly and Westmeath), written music for the theatre, performed as a classical singer (Tonnta, Dulciana, Irish Youth Chamber Choir, New Dublin Voices, Discovery Gospel Choir) and genre jumped from folk (Stu Daly, TV Joy) to Funk (La Gracia) to Art Soul (Loah) as a member of various different bands.
During this time she continued to write and began gigging again, working with members of Chewing on Tinfoil, Bitch Falcon, among others. She released another EP and some stand alone singles herself before stepping into the studio in 2014 to create PURGE, a short collection of songs with an orchestral sound, which saw her compared to the likes of Kate Bush, I Have a Tribe, Tori Amos and Cathy Davey. She began planning for her next release.
In 2015, disaster struck in the form of severe tendonitis. She was forced to take several months away from music to recover. She postponed the recording of her 2nd studio EP, but continued to plan and write, balancing this with as much rest as possible. After some space and some hard work, 2016 saw Emma hit the ground running, recording the new EP (FRACTURES), and touring in Ireland, the UK, Canada, the US and Lithuania, rounding the year off with performances in Volt Studios in Dublin, and Dublin Ink.
2017 saw the release of FRACTURES, her second independently produced studio EP, recorded by mixing live and multi-track processes in Arad Studios with Les Keye (Squarehead, Kevin "Herm" Connolly, My Sweet Beloved). The EP features Dennis Cassidy on drums (Selk, Mixtapes from the Underground, Danny G and the Major 7ths, The Record Spot), Kevin Healy on Bass (La Gracia, The Antics) and Reuben Teskey on Guitars. The EP explores a sound much closer to her live shows, and digs into her alternative rock influences. The result is alternately introspective and ferocious, vulnerable and dramatic, intricate and engaging, and garnered her rave reviews and radio airplay, as well as inclusion in the music showcase MONDO NYC in New York City. The EP is available now HERE.
This year, Emma has been a composer in residence at the Visby International Centre for Composers, and has relocated to the UK. She is currently working on a new release.
FRACTURES has received airplay on The John Creedon Show (RTE 1), RTE Arena (RTE 1), The Blue of the Night (Lyric FM), Totally Irish with John Barker (98FM), Across the Line (BBC Ulster), The Roddie Cleere Show (KCLR), Flirt FM, Dublin City FM, 2XM, BBC Suffolk (The Big Breakfast Show), BBC Noroflk (The Stephen Bumfrey show), Wandsworth Radio (London, UK), 96 Pheonix FM (Indie Disco), Near FM, Limerick City Community Radio, Radio na Lífe.