Fusing the centuries-old Irish style of sean-nós singing with contemporary repertoire, Sibéal’s remarkable versatility allows her to captivate listeners with her distinctive voice. On her debut EP, Rag’n’Bone Man’s BRIT Award winning hit ‘Human’ nestles alongside traditional Irish track ‘Women of Eire’, and folk songs ‘The Parting Glass’ and ‘He Moved Through the Fair’, all set to stripped-back acoustic guitar and violin, allowing her sonorous vocals to take centre stage.
Sibéal chose the songs, arranged and translated them, showing that she can take any track and make it her own. She makes a pop hit sound timeless in her version of ‘Human’, adding her own stamp by singing the second verse in Irish: “‘Human’ is a song that I just really connected to. We came up with this beautiful arrangement which I absolutely loved”
Born to an Irish father and American mother in the small town of Rath Chairn, Co Meath, one of the few remaining areas of Ireland where sean-nós – literally translating to “old style” – originates, Sibéal is an artist who’s grown up with this age-old tradition, while also listening to contemporary artists such as Ellie Goulding and Kacey Musgraves. She has honed a uniquely accessible and modern representation of a traditional vocal style, performing at mainstream Irish festivals, including Electric Picnic.
“I like the idea of mixing the two and bringing the contemporary edge to sean-nós singing. That’s who I am essentially; I’m not just a one-dimensional person. I think it’s a way of preserving the sean-nós style and making it relevant today – I sing it all the time and my friends do too. We love it.”
A national treasure in Ireland, it was Sibéal’s powerfully emotive live performance with the RTÉ Concert Orchestra at an event commemorating the 1916 centenary that catapulted her into the limelight. Catching the eye of Decca executives, Sibéal is set to share her extraordinary voice with the world, all whilst keeping the Irish sean-nós tradition alive through her music.