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PRESENTED BY TOM MILLETT
So, what do you do when you sign your first big record deal ?
Head for the bright lights of London, take the plaudits, and listen to everyone telling you how wonderful you are? Not for Juno Falls frontman and songwriter Myles O'Reilly.
Packing his bags, Myles left behind his native Dublin and headed for the tranquility of Dingle, on Ireland's rugged west coast. "Don't get me wrong", says Myles, "I love Dublin. It has a great energy and the music scene is very healthy there, but for me the remoteness and honesty of somewhere like Dingle makes the creative process so much more natural".
Living in Dingle while writing material for the new album brought it's own perils. While returning to Dingle from Dublin in the early hours of a winterly morning, Myles knew that he was almost home. The grey silhouette of Mount Brandon loomed ahead, as the narrow country roads snaked onwards. Nearly there.
"Suddenly I'm fighting with the car, battling to keep it on the road. Failing!".
Upside down and compressed into the only space left inside the car, Myles struggled to pull himself free. "I remember making my way back onto the road and looking back at what was left of the car", he says. "It wasn't until several days later that it dawned on me just how lucky I was to have walked away from it without a scratch".
"Some of what I had been writing about prior to the crash now seemed trivial to me", says Myles. "I had been given a second chance. After the accident I became more engaged with my art than ever before. It was imperative for me to immerse myself in music and lyrics and to draw from every inspiration. The floodgates were open".
Returning to Dublin several months later with a lap-top full of songs, Myles began the process of "putting meat on the bones of the songs" with the rest of the band
"They brought something really special to the songs," explains Myles."They made the songs sexy, adding a 'groove' and taking them out of the whole singer-songwriter genre".
Recorded at various points over the course of the last year, including Wicklow, London, Dublin and Nashville, the result is a collection of beautifully crafted songs, sometimes intimate, sometimes fragile, always honest and unmistakably Juno Falls.
"I've always loved pop songs because they're braver than any other kind of music: you're trying to be universal and appeal to a whole lot of people. But there's a side of me that's always been attracted to the beauty and the sadness of artists like Elbow or Rufus Wainwright".
Road-tested on a month-long tour of the UK and Ireland with Travis, the new songs have already found their live legs. "Fran [Healy, Travis singer] heard 'The Boy Whose Skin Fell Off' on my Myspace page and liked it so much, he asked us to come on tour with them," explains the frontman.
Tune in again tomorrow!!!