Waking Up Sunday
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Waking Up Sunday

Band Alternative Jazz




"Live From Cork: Young band Waking Up Sunday delivers talented sound despite youth"

Ireland is full of surprises.

It’s got the highly publicized natural tourist spots like the breathtaking Cliffs of Moher and the Ring of Kerry, sure. But there is a wealth of hidden gems littered across the country as well.

Take Inis Oírr, the smallest of the Aran Islands off the coast of County Galway. If there were a road around the whole perimeter of the island (there isn’t), it would take maybe two to three hours to walk the entire circumference.

And sitting on the rocks on one side of an island is a shipwreck, the Plassey. It ran aground roughly 50 years ago and still sits there today, an eerie skeleton that visitors can walk right up to.

Myself and my four friends who visited the island this weekend were alone on the beach with the wreck. All we could do was stare in awe and clamber over the rocks of the beach to get a closer look.

It’s not a tourist trap, and it probably can’t be found in many guide books, but it’s an unforgettable part of my experience here – it still doesn’t entirely feel real.

I promise this isn’t a purely random tangent – my column this week concerns a musical surprise I stumbled across in Cork.

I’m going to interject here by breaking a promise. The band I’m writing about isn’t on iTunes.

Don’t worry, though, this band’s music is still available online (a quick Google search can lead you to the band’s SoundCloud or Facebook page). And believe me, this band is worth the couple extra clicks.

But first, let me backtrack by saying that Cork feels like a young city. This is in part because of University College Cork, which equates to an influx of 18 to 21-year-old men and women studying and hanging out in the small city center.

It makes for an exciting city, and there is always an undercurrent of high energy running through the city.

But until last night that youth hadn’t really extended to the gigs in town (at least that I had seen). A few days ago, that changed when I saw Waking Up Sunday at Crane Lane.

Waking Up Sunday is a band made up of three young men and one young woman who play with the musical maturity and skill of musicians twice their age. Another interesting characteristic of the group’s music is that there is no guitar – à la Keane (early Keane, not the 1980s-esque music of its later albums).

Vocals, bass, keyboards and drums combined to form electronically influenced jazz rock that was both energetic and relaxing. For such young musicians, the members of Waking Up Sunday also showed uncommon poise on stage, clearly comfortable and confident in their sound and musical chemistry.

This extended from the wide array of excellent covers the band played (from a jazzy, slowed-down version of Michael Jackson’s “Billie Jean” to an uptempo rendition of a track by Deadmau5) to the several original songs that the band played.

And were those original songs impressive. Mostly downtempo, songs such as “Sleep” and “Instinct” (perhaps the band’s best song, in my opinion) sound both sultry and quietly epic at the same time. It’s mind-boggling that Waking Up Sunday is so good, so early. I’m more and more impressed with each repeated listen.

It’s amazing to think that these four young bandmates haven’t been touring for years. They’ve got the musical chops to do so, and I can only hope that some record executive discovers them as soon as possible and works to get the music of Waking Up Sunday out to a larger audience.

If you want to hear more about Ireland’s natural beauty or its man-made treasures, email Bain at abain@media.ucla.edu. “Live from Cork” runs every Monday. - The Daily Bruin - Andrew Bain


Yet to make an official release, a debut EP/Album should be on the way in 2013. Many original tracks but most yet to be released. Instinct, the bands unofficial first single has received minor airplay from stations such as RTÉ's 2xm.



"It’s amazing to think that these four young bandmates haven’t been touring for years. They’ve got the musical chops to do so, and I can only hope that some record executive discovers them as soon as possible and works to get the music of Waking Up Sunday out to a larger audience." - Andrew Bain - The Daily Bruin - http://www.dailybruin.com/article/2012/10/live-from-cork-_young-band-waking-up-sunday-delivers-talented-sound-despite-youth_

"Waking Up Sunday make positively gorgeous music" - The Point of Everything Blog - http://www.thepointofeverything.com/2012/08/07/introducing-waking-up-sunday/

"Isn't that Brilliant?" - In Colour on RTE 2xm with Darren Cleary - 27/08/12 - http://www.rte.ie/radio/radioplayer/rteradioweb.html#!rii=18%3A3377806%3A10032%3A27%2D08%2D2012%3A

Electro-Jazz-Funk? Whatever you call it, Waking Up Sunday is simply great music. The brain child of Cork pianist & producer Cian Sweeney, Waking Up Sunday is a blend of well-arranged noise, striking hooks and infectious melodies that can only be described as a pleasure for any lover of true music. But no one man could do this alone (or more didn’t want to do it alone) so he went in search of a captivating and unique vocal talent to add to the mix and, in the form of Laois-born vocalist Briony O’ Toole, he found exactly that. With a vast range of influences from singers such as Billie Holiday to Amy Winehouse at her disposal, Briony proved to be the perfect vocal complement to Sweeney’s creative talent.

As word began to spread, and more and more requests for live shows began to build due to the fantastic reaction to many of the songs that could be found on Soundcloud, the time to turn Waking Up Sunday from a dynamic duo into a compact quartet was nigh. So enter two close friends from schools days gone by, Cian O’ Sullivan (Drums) and Aaron Cronin (Bass). Immediately doors began to open in terms of a fuller band dynamic with funk elements being brought into the mix by the two, and so with those cogs and tools combined, there you have it….Waking Up Sunday.

With a style that well and truly resembles the likes of Hot Chip, Adele, Simian Mobile Disco, Stevie Wonder, Massive Attack & Royskopp, this is an experience that you won’t want to over-look.