You might have heard a very catchy song called ‘First Impressions’ recently - but did you know that it’s by a Donegal woman?
Eve Belle Murtagh is the singer-songwriter behind that pop song we can’t get out of our heads.
The 20-year-old Gaoth Dobhair native is on the rise and has had a big boost-up recently thanks to Wicklow star Hozier.
Eve was selected to support Hozier’s intimate rehearsal series last week. For three nights, Eve performed at the sold-out shows in the Academy Dublin. She now counts the gigs as some of the best moments of her career.
“Hozier has been one of my favourite artists for so long. I was delighted just to go to the gig! He was so genuinely lovely.
“It was amazing because I would have been singing Hozier for my Leaving Cert music exams,” Eve told Donegal Woman.
She said: “The crowd was lovely too. They were really attentive and respectful. There are times when you are supporting and people are just there to see the main act, but they were really lovely.”
— Eve Belle (@EveBelleSongs) September 13, 2018
Eve also features in Hozier’s new video for ‘Nina Cried Power’. The ode to activists pays tribute to the grassroots movements fighting for change in Ireland today.
Music and activism go hand-in-hand for Eve. She said: “I did a lot of work for Repeal. I think it’s partially the artistic side of things. It’s difficult to take a backseat and not care what’s going on.
“As an artist, you draw your inspiration from the world around you. It’s hard not to get involved. Movements are a big part of student life too.”
The Trinity student of French and Spanish balances music around her studies, performing in the evenings and weekends in Dublin.
She says doesn’t get home too often, but Leo’s Tavern will always be fondly remembered as the place where she had her first stage appearance.
Eve said: “I owe a lot to Leo’s and Moya Brennan and Dónall Mac Ruairí. I started there when I was 15. I’ve been writing songs ever since.
“It was great to be a part of the 50th anniversary celebrations in the summer.”
Now that her latest single First Impressions is getting more and more airplay, Eve is modestly putting the success down to luck.
“It’s been great seeing the single flying on Spotify. I feel very lucky to hear it being played,” she said.
The song, featuring Kildare hip-hop duo Tebi Rex, was famously inspired by the ‘Workmans boys’ who frequent the smoking area of the alternative Dublin club.
Eve said: “It was a fun song to write. My usual stuff is about love and heartbreak so this is more tongue in cheek.
“The lyrics are from an experience that I’ve had, seemingly a lot of people have had this in Workmans too. You run into these people who are talking down to you. They talk about books you haven’t read, things you haven’t done. Basically, it’s about being chatted up really badly,” she explains.
Eve hinted that this pop sound may be a new direction she will explore, for the fun of it.
Her new EP is set for release on the 5th of October. After this, she intends to write more and release more singles.
“Hopefully this will be a big year,” she said.