“I came out the other side feeling quite raw and a little bit empty,” he says. “I really lost my way.”
The title itself, Plz Stay, bb, was a note that Ciaran had written to himself, as a message of self care. But Plz Stay, bb – Ciaran’s fourth – is not the maudlin album of a sensitive singer-songwriter. Having grown up in Aghagallon in Northern Ireland’s County Antrim, Ciaran wanted to break free from the preconceptions surrounding Irish singer-songwriters. With Plz Stay, bb he pushed himself, while retaining the distinctive warm vocals and finger-picked guitar of his previous releases that have been nominated for and won the Northern Ireland Music Prize (2016’s Let Bad In).
Ciaran listened to Thom Yorke’s ‘The Eraser’, Mitski’s ‘Be The Cowboy’, Björk's ‘Debut’, and that 90s-defining hip-hop album by the Beastie Boys, ‘Ill Communication’ – and his music sees a heightened energy, as percussion is brought to the forefront. Ciaran counts Zane Lowe as a fan, and in 2016 he was one of 30 artists hand-selected by Willie Nelson to play at his Luck ranch in Texas. With well over 100,000,000 plays on Spotify and 30,000 followers, the plaudits keep coming Ciaran’s way.