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Grainne Holland

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Northern Irish folk singer/songwriter Gráinne Holland put a contemporary twist on traditional Gaelic song with her first two albums before recording a disc of her own material in 2019's Corcra.
Born and brought up in Belfast, bilingual in English and Irish, Holland attended the city's first Gaelic-medium school, Bunscoil Phobail Feirste, where she was encouraged in her love of traditional music. In 2007, she suffered personal tragedy when her father, a shopkeeper, was murdered by thieves attempting to steal his van. Pressing ahead with a musical career in tribute to him, she began performing on the local folk circuit, where she attracted attention for her rich, clear voice. Holland self-released her debut album, Teanga na nGael ("Tongue of the Gael"), in 2011. The album, produced by Dónal O'Connor, set traditional songs to contemporary, sometimes jazzy arrangements. Critically well-received, it landed Holland a deal with Gael Linn for her second album, 2015's Gaelré ("Era of the Gael"), which featured big names like Neil Martin, Seán Óg Graham, and Brendan Mulholland.
Holland's third album, 2019's self-released Corcra ("Purple"), consisted entirely of her own self-penned material in both Irish and English. Inspired by her life as a touring musician, wife, and mother, it was hailed as her strongest album yet. The material ranged from stunningly beautiful and melancholy ballads such as "Lon Dubh an Gheimhridh" ("Winter Blackbird") to up-tempo tracks with a '70s folk-rock influence, and included a song dedicated to her late father. ~ John D. Buchanan, Rovi

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