Monday, July 22, 2024

Ten years in the making: Arrow in The Sky to launch debut album  

By Lorraine Murphy

On 19 July a very special launch will happen in Clarke’s Bar when accomplished Mullingar alt-folk band Arrow in The Sky release their first album, over ten years in the making.

The duo, who have shared the stage with renowned Irish bands like Villagers, The Stunning, and Duke Special will take to the stage to celebrate reconnecting and reigniting their musical fire.

Band members Brian Murphy and Conor McCauley spoke to Topic following the release of their new single The Girl Who Thought She was a Bird and ahead of their long-awaited album launch.

“We started this album way back, probably having our first sessions in 2012. They were kind of rocky and looking back, we probably bit off more than we could chew,” Brian said. “We recorded the album in Cronin’s Transmission Rooms Recording Studios in Longford which they let us use for free. Only for them we probably couldn’t have finished the album.”

The musicians attended Coláiste Mhuire, Mullingar although that’s not how they met.

“Brian, Shayne Byrne and I were already in a rock band called Till the Morning Comes and I worked with Peter Doran in the music shop in town, Heartbeat City,” Conor said. “When the band broke up, they were wondering what they would do next. One day they were playing music, I started to sing and they asked me to come along. We all loved folk music, it was easy for us and harmonious so we decided to go in that direction.”

“Shayne helped a lot with this album so he’s still kind of in the band, even though he left the performance side of things,” Brian added. “He helped us realise the recording with a lot of engineering sessions or recording sessions, he was really part of it all.”


By 2015, facing the harsh realities of funding a self-released album and disenchanted with the economics of independent artistry, Conor and Brian decided to take a hiatus, although they continued to play music separately.

“Then the pandemic came,” Conor said. “We had time to reconnect and decided to finish off the album. It was nice to come back to songs that were old to our ears but new to others and put new songs along with them.”

Brian agreed. “Looking at it with fresh eyes after a time gave us a fresh perspective. We dropped things we were originally confident about and picked up others that were better than we remembered. The time apart helped too, it was actually exciting to be in a room together again making music.”


The launch of this very special album will take place in the Live Music Area in Clarke’s Bar, a venue chosen for its acoustics, staff, vibe and accessibility.

In 2009, as Conor welcomed his first child, he was diagnosed with Multiple Sclerosis. “I had ten really good years but about five years ago, it got bad,” he said. “I continued to play with wedding bands but not every venue was accessible. I have a weakness on my right side but, with adaptations, can still play guitar. When this launch came up, I didn’t know if I would be in a wheelchair, so accessibility was vital.”

“It’s going to be a great night,” Brian concluded. “Like the last episode of Lost-  family in a room together, enjoying a celebration, all the things we thought we had lost are still with us. We’ll be celebrating with everyone still with us in that room. Peter Doran will open for us and then come back up to help us with guitar and cellist Ger Toal will help too because he played all over this record. I checked the ticket sales and there are so many friends and people I haven’t seen in years. I cannot wait to see everyone in the same room again along with new faces.

“We’re going to have a really great night so get your tickets, come down and join us!”

Tickets are €15 each and available at

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