Former Sinéad O’Connor support act Screaming Orphans is ready to impress US audiences with their latest album “Life in a Carnival.”
Not able to get to Ireland this year? Let Ireland come to you in the form of Screaming Orphans, four sisters from Bundoran in Co Donegal, who will be touring their powerful, award-winning sound across America in the coming months.
Renowned for their trademark spine-tingling four-part harmony, the four-piece band was formerly a support act for Sinéad O’Connor after the famed Irish singer fell in love with their unique brand of Celtic pop, and what better judge of Irish music is there?
Gráinne, Joan, Marie Thérèse, and Angela Diver have just released their stunning album “Life in a Carnival,” which they’ll be performing for crowds from May through October, offering plenty of opportunities for you to catch the sisters at what they do best.
Released in March 2019, the album, produced by internationally distinguished producer John Reynolds, already charted at the top of iTunes and Billboard charts, reaching No. 24 in the iTunes Pop Music charts (U.S.), No. 7 in the Billboard World Albums charts, No. 1 in the iTunes Singer/Songwriter charts (IE), and No. 3 in the overall iTunes music charts (IE).
What do you mean you haven’t listened to it yet? (Let us make it easy for you!)
The new record follows 2017’s critically acclaimed “Taproom” and fully represents what the musicians and songwriters are, and where they’re at: a group with an open mind, a group that prefers to use the word ‘hybrid’ (which strengthens) rather than ‘dilute’ (which weakens).
The album blends breezy pop music (Carnival, Ordinary Woman, My Heart, Somebody, and Happy Together, a bubbly cover of The Turtles’ hit song) and hazy ballads (Guardian Angels, Loved And Lost, Shine, Sunday Morning) with boisterous pop/rock tunes (Raise Up Your Glass, Scream).
The album has one cover on it – “Happy Together,” which of course was the Turtles hit song but Screaming Orphans recorded it with a fun Celtic twist. The band teamed up with Vasco Mendes, a talented video producer from Portugal to create a video for it.
The aim of the new album, says Gráinne, is to make fans aware of their creative reach.
“We are four women that have stuck it out,” adds Joan. “We make our living from music, and by that have made our dreams come true. The new album is a valid artistic statement, and there’ll be more to come.”
With a mother who was a highly-regarded vocalist in her own right, the four sisters were destined for stardom with uncles, mother, father, and relatives all either directly involved with or drawn towards music.
The journey has not always been easy but with the likes of Christy Moore, Sinead O’Connor, Luka Bloom, Babba Maal, Damien Dempsey, Peter Gabriel, and The National at your back, supporting your work, and appreciating your music, it was always going to end in success for the highly-talented family.
They got an early start by securing a spot on the hit Irish TV show The Late Late Show with the help and encouragement of friend and acclaimed Irish writer, Nuala O’Faolain, Screaming Orphans were soon playing gigs around Ireland, which is how Sinéad O’Connor first got wind of them.
“We had about six songs written, no management, no albums or t-shirts to sell. We were completely not ready – we didn't know what we were doing!” Joan recalls of the experience of going on tour, not only O’Connor’s support act but her backing singers as well.
The stage was set for Screaming Orphans to rocket in popularity, signing to a publishing company and signing to a record label until a massive setback - being dropped.
“We decided to go to America,” says Joan of the experience, explaining how the band didn’t let the first disappointment break their spirit or passion for creating music. “We got on a plane and landed in New York.”
“We went back to basics and started gigging as much as possible,” remembers Gráinne. “We bought a bass amp and a trolley, went on the subway, gigged in as many bars as possible, ate celery soup for months. Most importantly, we didn't buckle under.”
The risk was worth it, finding their people on the Irish festivals circuit across the US and Canada and growing their fan base with their own spin on Irish traditional music with vivid keyboard-oriented pop/rock.
“The one thing you can be certain of is that if you put us in front of a crowd then we will entertain them,” says Gráinne.
You can see a list of Screaming Orphans tour dates and locations below or on Screaming Orphans’ website.
- May 24-26, Missouri River Irish Festival, Saint Charles, MO
- June 1, Old Orchard Beach Scottish Festival, Old Orchard Beach, ME
- June 7-9, Motor City Irish Festival, Livonia, MI
- June 15, Penn-Mar Irish Festival, Glen Rock, PA
- June 22-23, Celtic Fling & Highland Games, Manheim, PA
- July 5-7, Kincardine Scottish Festival, Kincardine, Ontario, Canada
- July 17, Scotia Concert Series, Scotia, NY
- July 20, Glasgow Lands Scottish Festival, Florence (Northampton), MA
- July 26, Great American Irish Festival, Frankfort, NY
- August 2-4, Iowa Irish Fest, Waterloo, IA
- August 9, IrishFest LaCrosse, LaCrosse, WI
- August 10-11, Irish Fair of Minnesota, St. Paul, MN
- August 30, WorldFest, Louisville, KY
- August 31, Appaloosa Festival, Front Royal, VA
- September 6-7, Pittsburgh Irish Festival, Pittsburgh, PA
- September 13, Erie Irish Festival, Erie, PA
- September 14, Irish 2000 Music & Arts Festival
- September 15, Niagara Celtic Festival, Lockport, NY
- September 21-22, Ohio Celtic Festival, Mentor, OH
- October 5, Golden Hill Resort, East Durham, NY
- October 12-13, Weston Irish Festival, Weston, MO