Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neill will tour Ireland later this year in support of their new album. Photo: Susie Conroy

Birds of a feather Mick together

Mick Flannery’s highly anticipated collaborative album with Clare newcomer Susan O’Neill is a first for the award-winning Cork songwriter, and hopefully not the last.

Set for release in September, ‘In the Game’ looks like it’s going to be something special if the first single ‘Chain Reaction’ is anything to go by.

The song is poignant and beautiful and is a perfect showcase for the pair’s combined vocals with O’Neill laying down a timbre that most singers can only dream of.

Released last Friday, ‘Chain Reaction’ offers the first glimpse at an album that documents a couple’s coming together and falling apart, offering up longing, redemption and equal measures of seduction and sorrow, desire and despair.

This new single follows their 2020 standalone duet ‘Baby Talk’ which won ‘Best Original Song of The Year’ at the RTÉ Radio 1 Folk Awards and has racked up nearly one million streams to date.

Describing the new track, O’Neill calls it “the sweet one” in which the two voices call and respond to each other.

“There is a feeling of love and balance here as both voices verbalise the same lyrics, thoughts and gratitude,” she says.

Flannery adds: “This song arrived at night/morning early in pandemic lockdowns. It was partly inspired by hopeful talk of a ‘reset’ and/or environmental benefits to a great slowing of human activity.”

The duo recorded the song in county Cork with sound engineer Christian Best before handing it over to Los Angeles producer Tony Buchen.

The accompanying video was filmed in county Clare with West Cork director Christopher Luke at the helm.

The pair have also announced a string of Irish shows in October and December this year in support of the new record. These include shows in Cork Opera House on 22 October and De Barra’s, Clonakilty on 23 October.

Mick Flannery has released six studio albums throughout his career, three of which reached number one status in Ireland.

Susan O’Neill has spent the last few years honing her craft as a solo performer while wowing huge festival stages and moonlighting with Irish dance band King Kong Company, not to mention accompanying the queen of traditional music Sharon Shannon on a number of international tours.

Mick Flannery and Susan O’Neil’s album ‘In the Game’ will release on this September with new single ‘In the Game’ currently available to stream and buy at smarturl.it/in-the-game, or to watch on YouTube.