It’s worth recalling that one of the highlights of the James Connolly Festival of 2016 was the music performed by Bad Sea, which closed the festival with an incredible performance from the lead singer, Ciara Thompson, who lifted the roof with her magical voice.
Ciara Mary-Alice Thompson, or CMAT, the moniker she has adopted, is a singer-songwriter of exceptional power and maturity who has never been afraid to reinvent herself, beginning her career at seventeen as one half of the since-disbanded Bad Sea. CMAT abandons the gloss of her contemporary music counterparts in favour of crafting songs filled with what she describes as “brutal honesty about her own experiences as a young woman.”*
CMAT entered the Irish singles chart in April 2021 with “I Don’t Really Care for You,” which rose to No. 1. Her debut album, If My Wife New I’d Be Dead, will be released on 25 February.
What’s more, with a constant stream of well-produced videos and singles, and the livestreaming of Ciara’sperformances, especially during the lockdown, it’s no wonder this independent artist has sold out shows in both Ireland and England.
The public being unaware of female talent was almost expected, CMAT declares; after all, how are most people going to discover new music if the radio stations aren’t playing it? “There are some male acts getting so much radio play and they can’t sell tickets to gigs,” she says. “Stations say they’re playing what people want to hear, but who wants to hear it? There’s such a disparity between who’s being played on radio and who’s actually selling out venues.”
*Hot Press, May 2019.