Welcome to our new bi-monthly music series featuring the best in new Irish music.

Every second week, we'll profile a new (or relatively new) Irish band or artist, give you a flavour of what they're all about, let you know what they're up to lately, and most importantly, let you hear their music.

The first in the series is Sunday School Sessions.

WHO ARE THEY? They're a supergroup of-sorts – or at least a loose collective - comprised of several Irish bands that you may not have heard of previously, but who are nonetheless talented sorts. There's Tim V. Smyth and Carol Anne McGowan from folk duo Hidden Highways; Marc Gallagher usually drums with The Ambience Affair; George Guilfoyle plays bass with The Crayon Set and Ger Gormley plays with Master & Dog.

They were originally brought together by recording engineer Ian McNulty in 2011 and now they've released their self-titled debut album.


WHAT'S WITH THE NAME? "It started as a joke and then it stuck," jokes Smyth. "It was because it was kind of like an extra curricular activity to our other bands."

WHAT DO THEY SOUND LIKE? This is mostly gentle, folk-based material - although there's the odd rousing stomper in their set, too. Influenced by old-time country-based artists like The Louvin Brothers and The Carter Family, most people would call it Americana, "but we prefer Eirecana," laughs Smyth. "I suppose we all have a great familiarity with the music that goes along with that genre - and a great enjoyment of it, too." Or in three of Smyth's own words, they sound "pure good, like."

HOW DOES THE SONGWRITING WORK? So many different songwriters in the band must make the writing process a pain, right? Not so, says Smyth – diplomacy was the name of the game when it came to writing the album. "We tried to write session by session with each of us writing one song per session," he explains. "We had an even spread of songs between the writers."

CAN I HAVE A LISTEN? Here are the gorgeous In His Keep and Winterlight. Enjoy.




If you'd like to hear these songs live, the Dublin launch of their debut album is tonight (November 27th) in Whelan's.