Beside Trawbreaga Bay, in Co. Donegal, in an old schoolhouse with a suitcase full of borrowed recording gear, Oisin Leech strums gently on an acoustic guitar and watches the tide pull the water away from this ancient inlet. The thickness of Oisin’s voice soothes the old world room as the sound waves bounce around to be captured in the land where his ancestors still live and still make music.

This is a scene from the makings of acclaimed songwriterOisin Leech’s new album, theSteve Gunn-producedCold Sea, which is coming onOutside Music/Tremone Records(outMarch 8th). While Leech may be a familiar name in some circles due to his two decade long career as one half of revered Irish folk duo The Lost Brothers, and his brilliant radio show Caravan Radio,Cold Seais his first solo offering. Recorded in Malin, in an old sea-facing schoolhouse that Leech and Gunn transformed into a working studio, the album features contributions fromM. Ward, Dónal Lunny, Róisín McGroryandTony Garnier, a long-time member of Bob Dylan’s touring band.

In January 2024 Leech shared the second single from the record, a track called “Colour of the Rain.” The new track a follow up to last autumn’s debut solo single‘October Sun’, which garnered widespread radio airplay from the likes of BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio Ulster and RTE Radio 1.

Featuring synths from Gunn and bass from Garnier, “Colour of the Rain” has a transportive power, using a combination of closely mic’ed acoustic instruments and electronic textures to build a sonic landscape that feels intimate yet other-worldly. According to Leech and Gunn, this is in part a result of their interest in making an album that expressed the environment in which it was created.

“My aim with this album was to write a collection of songs that told a complete story, and to record them near the ocean, using the sea as a kind of mirror for the songs,” Leech explains. “‘Colour of the Rain’I spent weeks writing, maybe longer, with each verse addressing a stage in my life. It touches on forgiveness. Looking at the past and moving on.“

Gunn adds:

“Reflecting landscape in song is integral to so much musical tradition, and I always try to keep this in mind when working on my own music. I think this new record reflects both the landscape and the time we had beside the ocean beautifully. To be there with Oisin as he crafted his great songs in an old schoolhouse turned studio, was just wonderful and a significant experience for me.“

In support of his debut Leech has announced the Maiden Voyage Concert series, during which he will play a run of dates in Ireland and overseas. Full details of those performances and further solo shows can be found in the “Live” section.

Speaking of the new music, Bob Dylan stalwart, Tony Garnier says: “It’s always such a great experience recording with Oisin. He’s a wonderful artist and a good friend. His extensive knowledge of music is a valuable learning to me. I hope more people hear his beautiful new songs and see his performances. This debut album of his, ‘Cold Sea’, is a spectacular record and it was a pleasure to be part of it. These new songs are so great.”

Of Leech’s new work, folk pioneer Dónal Lunny adds: “Oisin’s new music is mesmeric – and completely immersive. His songs make you feel good about life and that’s what music should do!” Stay tuned for new videos and touring news. Keep up to date with Oisin and join the mailing list.


Tickets: €18/15


and get more from us!

Sign up to our newsletter
and find out what’s
happening at The Glens
Arts Centre...

subscribe me!