THE upcoming Letterkenny Trad Week 2020 (19th to 26th January), now in its sixth year, will not only host well-known artists, but also offer a stage to showcase upcoming talents.
Lemoncello are Laura Quirke and Claire Kinsella; two Irish musicians from Carlow and Letterkenny respectively, who became friends while studying at Maynooth University. They make music together using four fundamental ingredients — a guitar, a cello and two voices.
While bonding as students over discussion of musical intricacies; the power of particular chord progressions, the challenge of emotional vulnerability and humour in lyric-writing, Laura shared her songs with Claire, and soon they were playing at ‘The Loft’, a nurturing open mic in Maynooth, Claire’s cello forming a natural partnership with Laura’s guitar.
Some years and many gigs later, both their friendship and their art have flourished. Laura and Claire share a love of playful experimentation.
They delicately rework folk patterns with an existential eye, taking inspiration from classic lyricists of the 20th century and contemporary artists of the thriving Irish music scene that surrounds them. Each song is oddly familiar, luring the listener into a world they have made uniquely their own.
Thoughtful observations of human nature and the modern world complete the intoxicating concoction, coming in as waves on the sea of subtle instrumentation that, to take a line from their song Mantlepiece, leave you resting like ‘a pebble deposited on the beach’.
Collaboration with friends has been a recurring motif in Lemoncello’s story and greatly important for the duo’s development. They have worked with many Irish artists such as Hatchlings, Alannah Thornburgh (Alfi), Myles O’ Reilly, David Keenan, Junior Brother and Gareth Quinn Redmond.
In 2018 Lemoncello successfully crowd-funded their EP, Stuck Upon The Staircase. Since then they have made appearances on Irish and UK TV and radio. The pair appeared at numerous festivals in the same year, including Other Voices and Body and Soul.
Lemoncello were currently nominated as Best Emerging Folk Act for this year’s RTÉ Folk Awards before they flew to the United States for a four-night residency in the Irish Arts Center, New York City with fellow emerging Irish artist, David Keenan. “We’re working on our second EP at the moment which will be released in the New Year,” the duo revealed.
Further Trad Week highlights include Sharon Shannon, Clann Mhic Ruairí, Paul Harrigan, Tim Edey & Friends, Laoise Kelly & Tiarnán Ó Duinnchinn and The Straddy Session.
Letterkenny Trad Week, 19th to 26th January 2020, is brought to you by the Regional Cultural Centre Letterkenny and An Grianán Theatre, with the kind support of Donegal County Council, The Donegal News (Media Partner), Music Network, Arts Council Ireland and Earagail Arts Festival.
More information and tickets for all events are available HERE, Tel 07491 20777, on in person from An Grianán Theatre Box Office, Port Road, Letterkenny.