Other Voices returns to RTE Two next week for its ninth season with performances from The National, Jennifer Evans, James Vincent McMorrow & Anna Calvi.

The ninth season of the world renowned Other Voices music TV series will broadcast on RTÉ Two from Wednesday February 16th. The series was recorded over five days in Dingle, Co. Kerry during December of last year. A who’s who of international and local artists travelled across the snow bound Irish countryside to take part in the St. James’ Church recordings including The National, Richard Hawley, Jarvis Cocker, Marina & The Diamonds, Ellie Goulding, Cathy Davey and Lisa Hannigan.

The first programme will air on Wednesday February 16th at 11.25pm and will feature the most talked about band of 2010, The National, the incredible guitar and vocals of Anna Calvi and leading Irish singer songwriter James Vincent McMorrow. The IMRO Other Room will host the hauntingly beautiful, Jennifer Evans.

Other Voices continues each Wednesday night at 11.25pm on RTÉ Two for six weeks, bringing to our screens the magnificent songs and passionate musicianship of some of the world’s key eclectic music-makers.

Other Voices was made possible by the support of key partners – Intune Networks, Failte Ireland, the Irish Music Rights Organisation and RTÉ.

The National
Formed in 1999, Ohio raised, Brooklyn based The National, consists of vocalist Matt Berninger fronting two pairs of brothers: Aaron (guitar, bass, piano) and Bryce Dessner (guitar), and Scott (bass, guitar) and Bryan Devendorf (drums). Their first full-lengths, The National and Sad Songs For Dirty Lovers, and a crucial mini-album, Cherry Tree, preceded their signing to Beggars Banquet in 2004. Alligator (2005), included underground anthem “Mr. November,” and raised their profile as the National grew into an incendiary live band. Boxer (2007), featuring songs like “Fake Empire”, “Mistaken For Strangers” and “Start A War,” sold over three times as many copies as its predecessor and saw them transformed from underground stars into an indie rock institution: they began the album cycle opening for the Arcade Fire and with guest appearance on major television shows such as the Late Show with David Letterman.

By the time their busy season in support of Boxer came to a close they had become a headline attraction in their own right — REM picked them as a crucial part of a US arena tour; and the Barack Obama campaign turned “Fake Empire” into an unstated anthem for his presidential run, using it in the soundtrack to the promotional video Signs Of Hope And Change, and as background music during his victory rally in Chicago’s Grant Park. As the first decade of the 21st century came to a close both Boxer and Alligator made countless “album of the decade” lists and their members began to occupy a still larger cultural footprint.

The National’s fifth album, High Violet, released on their new label 4AD in May 2010, topped the charts in many countries across the world. Described as a triumph of sonic architecture, the album is cathartic, raw and reflective and anticipation for The National’s next move has grown to a fever pitch. http://www.americanmary.com

Anna Calvi
Anna Calvi is one of the most intriguing new talents to come out of the UK in many years. Her self- titled debut album was recorded in London and France and will be released in January 2011. As a songwriter, singer and guitar player, the record is an honest reflection of her talents, her sound as timeless as that of Nina Simone and Maria Callas. There’s a classical romanticism recalling the charms of Ravel and Debussy and a gutsy rock thread akin to Hendrix. The record is both mysterious and decadent, nostalgic and forward looking. Her live performances are breathtaking, encapsulating the drama and emotion of flamenco. Anna Calvi is a remarkable artist who has more than justified the support of such luminaries as Brian Eno and Nick Cave. Her debut record, as well as feeling like a fully formed piece of art in its own right, also serves as an enthralling insight into a very bright future. http://www.annacalvi.com

James Vincent McMorrow
Since the release of his number one selling debut album, Early in the Morning in Ireland back in February this year, James Vincent McMorrow has signed a North American deal with Vagrant Records. He will now be label mates with The Eels, The Hold Steady, City and Colour, and Stars among others. James joined Bell XI on their North American tour last October and he also took part in CMJs in New York. Early in the Morning is set for release in America, Canada and Europe in 2011. James’ song “We Don’t Eat” featured on NBC’s Chuck in America this month, which is rather cool. Did we mention he’s an enormous Irish talent? Well, he is. http://www.jamesvmcmorrow.com/music

Jennifer Evans
Born Stateside, with an Irish-American Mom and a Puerto Rican Dad, Jennifer moved to Ireland when she was three. She released her debut EP, Salient Point in 2010, a collection of ardent emotional experiences and lush perceptions, with a jazz, dark folk, blues sensibility. She will release her debut album in 2011. http://www.jenniferevans.ie

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