Maria Kelly at The Sound House Thursday 21st November 2019

Previous Plec Pick Maria Kelly made her foray back onto the Irish music scene in The Sound House with her first headline show in two years. Illuminated by light beams on an otherwise bare stage, tonight’s performance is a dreamy and melancholic affair bearing all the hallmarks of Kelly’s music- floating guitar, a sparse rhythm section in the form of producer Matt Harris, and Kelly’s celestial voice.

Opening with prelude, her 2018 EP notes to self is given a complete run through, from the twinkling june to a pristine rendition of july, her voice permeated with emotion as she sings “I’ve been falling in and out of love with people I’m not proud of”.

The room is pin-drop quiet, so much so that every squelch of shoes on the beer-sticky floor is heard, as well as someone full on falling down the stairs after Torn Into Two (we think they’re okay, there was no evidence of them when leaving).

When introducing dark places and small talk, she speaks candidly about her mental health experiences-”It felt very scary at the time but once I made it into something I could listen to, and see and talk to people about, it became less scary”. They’re not new releases but 150 in proceeds raised tonight from selling small vinyl at the merch stall go straight to charity First Fortnight

We’re treated to a surprise appearance from Paul Noonan (Bell X1) for a duet for Stitches and Printer Clips song If I Had Your Grace, which was played by Noonan and Kelly “in all the finest dancehalls of Ireland” back when Kelly joined Noonan on tour. 

The night of introspection finishes off with a new song Everything Just Changes Anyway. It’s a song of hope that was written in a bad time and with it Maria Kelly leaves us with a final thought:

“Whether they get better or worse, feelings are temporary.”