Hannah O’Reilly / Mount Juliet

Singer ~ Songwriter ~ Rock Chick

Bio

You could call it the beautiful meanderings of an impassioned Piscean… or a sneak-peak into the transient headspace of a restless musician… or you could just call it the music of Hannah O’Reilly.  All would be somewhat correct.

Hannah O’Reilly has been amid the sweat and catharsis that is song-writing for 17 years now.  Creating everything from acapella blues to murder ballads, from love and hate songs to contemptuous ramblings, and everything in between – all with the necessary amount of self-deprecation to pull it off.

With some of Edinburgh’s most murderously fabulous vocals, Hannah can make even the most treacherous of topics sound as sweet as apple pie.  Hannah digs the juxtaposition, y’see.

Hannah had a band – Augustalia (pronounced: aw-guhst-ahl-yuh) which was born in July 2009 out of rage at the sheer lack of big gigs available to solo performers.  Members were (and sometimes still are):  Adrian Michalski (lead guitar), Gary Anderson (bass), and Steve ‘Quincy’ Galbraith (drums).  The band occasionally still gets together to rock a festival, but took a break to let Hannah go back to university to do her masters degree.

Hannah now plays in the duo Mount Juliet, with her fella and fellow musician, Roy Henderson. This duo is all about delicious harmonies and country guitars – something to sink your americana teeth into. As solo musicians, it’s also been immensely satisfying to find a harmony and sing the bejesus out of it… and they are revelling in it.

Hannah firmly believes that being aware of the darkness doesn’t mean you have to be a miserable old fart all the time.  There is room for joy, even amongst the darkest of days.  If you disagree with her on this, she welcomes you to come to one of her gigs where she will make you laugh and cry and maybe even snort a little.  And if her songs don’t work, five minutes of her inane grin should do the trick.


“What a stunning voice… really unique and hits you between the eyes” – Eddie Raynor (Split Enz)

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 ‘let me stick with just the facts…’

to quote a dead poet i know.  i realised after i’d updated my press-kit biog to be so goddamned ambiguous (albeit amusing), that even i didn’t know who i was, so i thought i had better give you some facts too.  y’know, if you’re into that sorta thing…?!

Life –

  • Born in London in 1980 (shh, don’t tell the scots!)
  • Grew up in Wellington, New Zealand
  • Studied design and photography at uni
  • Started publicity & photography company PRCHICK.COM in 2001, pr chick to the band Monkey Puzzle 2001-2003
  • Moved to Scotland in 2003 (not, as some might have you believe, because of a music-hating rabbit infestation… but because of a broken heart.  the rabbit thing is more interesting though, right?)
  • Family live on Canada’s Eastern sea board (no, they don’t say ‘what’s it all aboot?’… but they do have funny accents now)
  • Now too in debt to leave the UK (but why would I want to?  these bleak winters are swell!)

Music –

  • Choir-trained from age 13
  • Picked up a guitar at 18 and taught myself all the mysterious chords i play
  • Recorded first EP in 2002 – sold all 20 copies in 2 days (my friends and family rock)
  • Released first album ‘Out of the Ten’ in September 2003 – the sale of these paid for my airfare to Scotland
  • Released ‘The Eve Sessions I’ EP in June 2004
  • Won Edinburgh’s Acoustic Idol title in 2004, played the Ross Bandstand during the Fringe Festival as a prize
  • Toured NZ to rave reviews in 2005
  • Jointly won Edinburgh’s Acoustic Idol competition in 2005, with the outstandingly talented Dave McGruer
  • Released ‘Stand & See’ EP in August 2006
  • Played first Canadian gig in 2006
  • Went on hiatus for much of 07/08 – moved to London, got married, moved back to Edinburgh, got divorced (wow, that sure is a long story short!)
  • Released album ‘Stiletto’ in May 2009 – self-recorded and produced.
  • Released ‘of a lesser god’ EP in August 2009 (special limited release)
  • Released Augustalia EP ‘It’s Never Too Late To Ask For Your Knickers Back’ in November 2010
  • Released ‘Six Percent’ EP in December 2010 – the songs i wrote in the wake of my divorce – sad but beautiful
  • Released album ‘the avant-guardian’ in June 2011 – self-recorded and produced
  • Toured in Canada in June & July 2011 – played the Stan Rogers Folk Festival while I was there (amazing!)
  • Played Wickerman, Rowchester & Just-So Festivals with Augustalia in the UK in 2011
  • Released Augustalia single ‘Stiletto’ in September 2011
  • Got together with the fabulously talented Roy Henderson
  • Formed Mount Juliet in 2013
  • Released Mount Juliet EP ‘Here’ in August 2014

Useless facts –

  • Favourite music – Hawksley Workman; Nina Simone; Amanda Palmer; Blind Willie McTell; Sigur Ross; Bach
  • Favourite films – Amélie; Princess Bride; Casablanca; Dream for an Insomniac
  • Stuff I like – a proper dutch Jenever (gin); walking my dog ‘Moose'; hosting Absinthe nights and dinner parties; playing piano at dawn in my window seat; reading; writing crap poetry; wearing corsets; and recording impromptu songs on my iPhone…
  • Favourite alcohols (good to know, if you wish to bribe me) – Nostalgie Absinthe; Hendricks gin; Jack Daniels; Crown Royal Canadian rye whisky; Sangria.