Moya Brennan
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Moya Brennan

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE

Dublin, Leinster, Ireland | INDIE
Band World Celtic


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"Monkstown, Dublin"

Freed from the long-time scaffolding of Clannad for quite a few years now, Brennan’s been quietly picking her songs, and evolving a sound that claims kinship with the past , but still manages to claim a piece of turf that’s all her own.
Brennan’s considerable stage presence grew exponentially with every song, those vocal chords soaring towards the upper reaches of the choir stalls and, with the support of an exceptional band, she confidently trawled through her back catalogue and aired an eclectic mix that included Harry’s Game, In a Lifetime and the stalwart drinking shanty, Níl Sé an Lá. Fionán deBarra’s guitar, Eamonn Galldubh’s pipes, flute and low whistle, and the fine fiddling of Sinead Madden ebbed and flowed in lunar tidal waves of magnificent compliance.

With the superb backdrop of the stained glass windows, and lighting that intuitively reflected the music, Moya Brennan refused to do wrong.

- Irish Times

"Sweeping Live retrospective from the Voice of Clannad"

Moya Brennan
Heart strings - live with the royal Liverpool philharmonic orchestra

23 Mar 2009

Though she’ll forever be associated with the family firm that is Clannad, it’s easy to forget that Moya Brennan has enjoyed a successful solo career for the past 16 years, releasing over half a dozen albums as well as touring regularly.

Heartstrings – recorded live last year – spans her career, from the early Clannad days to her solo outings. The orchestra (with arrangements scored by Julie Feeney) is supplemented by a fantastic band that includes the De Barra brothers – Cormac (harp/vocals) and Fionan (guitar/vocals) – as well as violist Sinéad Madden.

Time has been kind to Moya and her rich haunting vocals show little sign of ageing: a song like ‘Perfect Time’, the exquisite title-track to her 1998 album, is on a par with anything from the Clannad canon. Also very much in the Clannad vein is the uptempo ‘Against The Wind’, from her first solo album, while a medley of ‘Eleanor Plunkett’, ‘Hobknobs’ and ‘Father Frances Cameron’ half-way through the show addresses her trad roots.

Other highlights are the ethereal ‘Gone Are The Days’ and ‘In A Lifetime’, which, surprisingly, doesn’t suffer too much from the absence of Bono’s extraordinary vocals. The inevitable concert closer is ‘Theme From Harry’s Game’, the song that started it all for Clannad and remains a true sonic wonder.

Key Track: 'Theme from Harry's Game'

Colm O Hare
Rating: 4 / 5 - Hot Press Magazine Ireland


Máire 1992
Misty Eyed Adventures - 1993
Perfect Time - 1998
Whisper to the Wild Water - 1999
Two Horizons - 2003
An Irish Christmas - 2005
Signature - 2007
Heart Strings - 2008

Selected tracks streaming on



"I think she has one of the greatest voices the human ear has ever experienced" BONO

"Brennan is that rare artist who, by defying exact categorization, remains one to continually keep and eye on" BILLBOARD

"Moya has evolved a sound that claims kinship with the past , but still manages to claim a piece of turf that’s all her own" IRISH TIMES

"... a voice which seems like it's always been there and always will be" JOE JACKSON

"We have an artist line-up brimming with talent, enough to fill two main stages and then some. Imagine a main stage with C.J.Chenier, Dervish, Habib Koité, Colin Hay, Moya Brennan, Daby Touré, The Fairfield Four, The Jerry Douglas Band, The Sadies, Serena Ryder...well, you get the picture. We have excitement and balance." TERRY WICKHAM, 2009, Producer Edmonton Folk Fest.


WHEN YOU WALK THE WINDSWEPT HILLS and endless beaches of Donegal it all makes sense.

Timeless, elemental and carried heavenwards in soulful breath, Moya's voice reaches out to the farthest places but still touches the soul. She sings with an angel's voice, arousing a passion in every listener. Her music refreshes and heals, exciting the senses, bringing a sense of calm to tired hearts.

Always fresh, forever just a dream away Moya captures the essence of her homeland in all its cascading beauty, mystery and contradictions. Yet she sings from the heart to a world where hope, faith and joy are not just a dream.

Yes, it all makes sense and there are elements of these qualities in many of the world's great singers. Yet it is astounding that her voice goes from strength to strength. She stands as an Irish icon with the world as her stage.

In her music making, Moya has never been content to nestle within comfortable boundaries. From an early age she trod the boards with her father Leo in the dance halls, then became fixated with the likes of Joni Mitchell and the Beach Boys before going on to share, with her band Clannad, an enlightening discovery of the extraordinary wealth of Celtic history and melody on her doorstep.
Clannad sent tremors through the world of traditional music. With Harry's Game they took the Irish language and its melodies to places that it had never been before. Top of the Pops, major record contracts and world tours. The accolades followed -Ivor Novello and BAFTA awards plus, after several nominations, a Grammy award in 1999. Their music was fresh, vibrant and progressive.

Alongside all of this, Moya has developed an individuality which has already shown itself in her expanding body of work. When an artist's career can often be measured in months, hers spans decades. Through this clamorous journey, through school halls, folk clubs, festivals, discos, churches, the world's most renowned concert halls she has travelled purposefully and always focused. The power of her whispered tones and the beauty of her music touch the soul. Gently, yet persistently, her songs and her music are redefining Irish music.

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