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Tuam’s conveyor belt throws up yet another musical gem

Groove Tube with Cian O’Connell

Conor O’Donnell is the latest product of the musical conveyor belt that is the town of Tuam. Born in Massachusetts, the 22-year-old has spent the last number of years performing and honing his original material – and now, under the tutelage of John ‘Turps’ Burke, who co-founded the Saw Doctors before leaving the band in 1993, Conor is presenting his latest project.

The Striped Verses, which will include Robbie Fahy on bass and Daniel Scully on lead guitar, is the vehicle for songs Conor has developed since he began writing almost a decade ago. The band’s debut single, Deed, was released earlier this month.

Recorded and produced by Turps, there may be elements of Conor’s American roots in the track. An atmospheric pop-rock ballad, it introduces the Striped Verses as an act with a strong melodic core. The loose plan is that, by this time next year, a full album’s worth of material will be out in the world.

“Turps just lives down the road from me and he said he’d give me a hand with recording, so we ended up doing an album – him producing it and recording it for me,” Conor explains.

“I’m very lucky that way… Before this, I wouldn’t really know how to go about [recording an album] or anything. Even just as the process went along, I was picking up stuff and he was showing me things in the studio. Hopefully one day I could produce it myself.”

“The plan is to release a song every six weeks or something like that,” he continues. “It will be an album by the end, but it’ll be releasing single [by single]. With the way streaming is, it might be better keeping something continuously dropping rather than just one release.”

Conor was just a year and a half when his parents moved back to Tuam from Boston. Growing up, he studied through Irish, and he recently completed a bachelor’s degree in communications and Gaeilge.

Pictured: Conor O’Donnell…debut out now.

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