Songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Geoff Allen has spearheaded a unique collaboration project. On Borrowed Voices EP, he presents four tracks of his own composition, with each one featuring a different lead singer. These four singers – Abby Molloy, Hazel Conway, Karen Horan, and Gavin Davis – were headhunted by Geoff Allen over a three-month period after the summer.
Abby Molloy and Hazel Conway are currently on scholarship at UCD, as members of the prestigious UCD Choral Scholars, whose recent ‘Mo Ghille Mear’ video went viral. Karen Horan is currently studying Vocal Performance at BIMM Dublin. Gavin Davis, while also studying Science at Trinity College Dublin, came to the attention of Geoff Allen as a singer/songwriter on the Dublin scene.
All five musicians involved are 20- or 21-year-old students, and have rehearsed and recorded these tracks while also studying at UCD, Trinity, or DIT. They are truly hard-working young Irish musicians, and have created a professional and unique collection of music. The Dublin music scene is saturated with young bands and singer/songwriters. However, there is no other project of this kind being undertaken at the moment. Borrowed Voices EP presents something genuinely special, by giving a new voice to each track.
The Borrowed Voices cast take to the stage at The Grand Social on Wednesday 6 April 2016, for a once-off live performance of their music. As well as these four tracks, they will perform a number of covers – new and old – each reinterpreted creatively, with a new arrangement for the performance.
Borrowed Voices EP was recorded at Jealoustown Recording Studios with producer/engineer Stuart Gray (Hozier, Ryan Sheridan, Brian Kennedy). Geoff Allen had previously worked with Stuart Gray on two occasions, recording with his long-time band Badger Hill, for which he writes and performs.
Borrowed Voices EP was released worldwide on Friday 25 March 2016. It achieved notable success at home in Ireland, premiering that evening at No. 7 in the iTunes Albums Charts. It shared the top 10 with some very big releases of the same day, from both Birdy and One Direction’s Zayn.
Geoff Allen is a songwriter and multi-instrumentalist from Dublin. He has previously written songs for indie rock band Badger Hill, and folk pop duo Carron. He plays piano/keys, guitar, bass and drums, and for years he has been gigging around Dublin with his long-time band Badger Hill, performing keys, guitar and backing vocals. He is also studying Law with Philosophy at UCD.
In September 2015, Geoff spearheaded the Borrowed Voices project, wanting to create a unique collection of music. On Borrowed Voices EP, he presents four tracks of his original composition, with each one featuring a different lead singer. He head-hunted these singers over a three-month period, searching for the right voice for each of his tracks.
Borrowed Voices EP was released world-wide on 25 March 2016, and this release will be marked with a once-off live performance in The Grand Social on 6 April 2016. After the completion of this project, Geoff hopes to work with other vocalists in the near future, perhaps on a ‘Borrowed Voices: Vol. II’. He continues to record and perform with his long-time band Badger Hill, who are currently working towards the release of their third studio EP.
Hazel Conway is a singer and musician from Dublin. She studies Music and Art History at UCD under a prestigious choral scholarship, as a member of the UCD Choral Scholars. She has been awarded a place with this choir for the full length of her degree, and has spent her most recent year with them recording and releasing their album Invisible Stars.
The album Invisible Stars was released in December 2015 to international acclaim. The music video for the track ‘Mo Ghille Mear’, featuring a performance by the full choir, went viral upon its release in February 2016 and gained half a million views on YouTube that month. Hazel sings solo on the track ‘The Gartan Mother’s Lullaby’.
Aside from her career as a singer, Hazel has been playing the violin for twelve years, and has more recently started playing the piano. She will graduate in September 2016 and looks forward to using her music degree to further her career in the future.
Gavin Davis is a singer/songwriter from Dublin, Ireland. He first began playing the guitar and singing twelve years ago, and has been writing his own music for the past four. Over the past few years, he has performed in many Dublin venues such as The Workman’s Club and Sweeneys, performing his own original music. Gavin is also a student of Science at Trinity College Dublin.
He joined the Borrowed Voices project in Autumn 2015 when he was approached by Geoff Allen. For this project, he takes on a slightly different role, by performing songwriter Geoff Allen’s music, rather than his own. Other recent projects include playing a lead role in Trinity College Dublin VDP’s Shrek: The Panto.
Gavin is currently working towards the release of an EP of his own original music. The EP is currently in pre-production, with a view to being recorded in May 2016, and then released in September 2016. In the future, Gavin looks forward to playing with a bigger band, and performing on stages outside of Ireland.
Karen Horan is a vocalist and songwriter from Dublin, who is currently studying Vocal Performance and Commercial Modern Music at BIMM Dublin. She has been singing her whole life, having trained with the Billie Barry Stage School since the age of four.
Since she began studying at BIMM Dublin, Karen has become involved with a number of new projects. Since May 2014, she has performed backing vocals for Dubin-based indie rock band Badger Hill. As well as featuring on Badger Hill’s Plans EP, which was recorded in August 2014, she has performed with them in numerous venues around Dublin, including Whelan’s, The Button Factory, The Grand Social and Workman’s.
Karen plays the guitar and piano, and has developed her songwriting since coming to BIMM Dublin, taking elective classes in songwriting and composition. She looks forward to graduating in 2017 and furthering her career as a vocalist and songwriter.
Abby Molloy is a singer from Dublin, studying Music at UCD on an esteemed choral scholarship. She has been granted this scholarship for the full length of her degree, through being allocated a place in the prestigious UCD Choral Scholars. The UCD Choral Scholars are Ireland’s leading collegiate choir, whose recent album Invisible Stars has been met with international acclaim.
On this album, Abby sings solo on the track ‘Orphan Girl’. The music video for the track ‘Mo Ghille Mear’, in which Abby is seen performing alongside the choir, went viral upon its release in February 2016, gaining half a million views on YouTube that month.
Abby was previously the lead singer of pop-punk band Sub Motion, recording and performing with them from 2011-2014. Their debut EP, Silhouettes of Souls, was launched with a gig at The Grand Social in April 2013. Three years later, on 6 April 2016, Abby makes her first return to that stage, to officially launch Borrowed Voices EP.