Editorial: Niahm Katherine Downes
You would not believe the kind of jewels I stumble upon when exploring amateur music. Here is a burly Eastern European man that ridicules silly ideas such as using machines for something he can do with his own two hands, in these parts machismo is a way of life.
Yet the first time I hear this — lump in my throat. If you happen to find yourself near Edinburgh you can see her perform live at Henry’s Cellar Bar for Big Mouth Mondays open mic, and witness this phenomenon. It’s … huh.
Are you a fan of the absolute, undeniable beauty of an acoustic guitar accompanying an emotional performance of a meaningful song? Sometimes when a singer performs someone else’s or worse even — their own work, you can tell that it’s just a job for them. And you can’t really expect them to try, it’s just something they do now. You don’t have that with up-and-coming artists, like Niamh Katherine Downes here. And it’s even a sweeter deal when the music itself is of very high quality.
Not to focus on all her original work only, the covers are brilliant as well. It has become a rule that a large majority of covers are done by tryhards that fake their way through doing what everyone and their grandfather already did. Not this gal, nope.
Take her cover of Shannon Saunders’ “Creatures” for example
and this is Shannon singing it
Some might disagree, but I’d say the cover’s better than the original. In the original you can hear the singer try really hard to deliver a perfect performance, focusing on singing the song so much that the song itself becomes irrelevant. But Shannon herself doesn’t do that here, just a few years prior, singing her song “Silly little things”
here you can hear her focusing on the song she’s singing rather than on singing it. And IT IS GORGEOUS. Those tales of sailors falling victim to sirens’ songs? Metaphors, and extremely intelligent ones. Some cases aside, a song is not much else than an expression of love and there aren’t many things more alluring than a woman expressing love. Many fail to understand that or they simply don’t have it in them anymore. Perhaps it’s the pressure, or lack thereof that enhances a singer’s performance?
This is why Katherine is so good, what she does is singing a song rather than song singing. The song which, when you first heard it, almost crushed you with just how much — or, how strong — the emotions in it truly are. This is it, this is where you find those songs. And it’s all her:
lyrics, song, and voice.
Absolutely beautiful. You can hear more on her soundcoud (link below). Most influenced by modern Scottish folk like Frightened Rabbit and Rachel Sermanni make, her music is soft yet active acoustic guitar and sometimes piano accompanying her song;
although those instruments are integral to the compositions and the feeling of all her songs, it’s the singing that carries the whole thing altogether.
Be sure to share and follow her facebook at https://www.facebook.com/niamhkdownesmusic, if you’re a musician yourself you will find that it might just be you she’s looking for
Members: Currently looking for musicians, please get in touch if interested Genre: acoustic, indie, folk http://soundcloud.com/niamhkatherinedownes
and if you are or know someone with an option to — help scoring a couple more gigs or a studio recording of this, because I can’t wait to buy her first release.