The Citadels | Letting Go Holding On

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Pop: Folky Pop Folk: Jazzy folk Moods: Type: Acoustic
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Letting Go Holding On

by The Citadels

The critically acclaimed debut cd (and only album) by The Citadels. It received great reviews and airplay when it was released and many many many comparisons to Prefab Sprout. Main man Cormac O Caoimh is continuing to record and gig under his own name.
Genre: Pop: Folky Pop
Release Date: 

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  Song Share Time Download
1. Water, Anchor, Shore
3:21 $0.99
2. The Pen In My Hand
2:42 $0.99
3. Letting Go Holding On
3:14 $0.99
4. I Quit
3:54 $0.99
5. Lazarus Rise
3:47 $0.99
6. December In Monaco
2:47 $0.99
7. Fade
4:36 $0.99
8. Picture of You
3:38 $0.99
9. Side to Side
3:03 $0.99
10. Why, How, Who
2:32 $0.99
11. Chorus
2:15 $0.99
Downloads are available as MP3-320 files.


Album Notes
Cormac O Caoimh
Cormac O Caoimh is a solo performer from Cork and ex singer-songwriter of The Citadels, a band who over the past 10 years have encompassed various shapes and sizes, resulting in the lo-fi acoustic "Shadow of my Northern Star" EP in 1999 and transforming into a full band - big sound - six piece who released the critically acclaimed "Letting Go. Holding On" cd in 2003 and the "Lovelight" EP in 2006. He debut solo cd "Stark a spark" will be released in 2007.

Cormac played three gigs at London Calling festival in 2006, sharing the stage with, among others, Delorentos. He has supported Damien Rice (in the Paradiso, Amsterdam), Declan O Rourke, Josh Rouse, Mark Geary, Nick Kelly, Julie Feeney, Ger Wolfe, Freddie White, Mick Hanley, Miles Hunt, Tir na Nog and Damien Dempsey to name but a few. He also ventured further afield playing headlining gigs and slots in Edinburgh, London and New York. In March 2007 he performed at the Canadian Music Week Festival in Toronto.

The Citadels
Cormac formed The Citadels in 1997 to perform and record the songs he previously only played in his bedroom. The band began as a three-piece with two acoustic guitars and two voices, playing folk-based melodic pop in The Lobby bar and De Barras of Clonakilty (to name but a few). They became a four-piece in 1998 and a five-piece early in 1999, in an attempt to develop a more “indie” sound. They were a four-piece again mid – 1999 and released the lo-fi “Shadow of my northern star” EP with the help of a couple of guest musicians, and received varying degrees of airplay on local radio stations.

In 2002, they became a three-piece again and the next year was spent recruiting various members, and finally formed a full six-piece band, bringing in more jazz and blues influences to the melodic pop tunes. They released the “Letting Go. Holding On” album in 2003. The cd won over admirers from all quarters including Ron Sexsmith and Tom Robinson and tracks were played on local stations, nation wide stations and by the BBC and various US internet stations.

The band recorded three new songs for the 2fm Sunday sessions and between 2004 and 2005 played a multitude of gigs and festivals in Cork, around Ireland and London. The six-piece band played their last gig (probably) on Feb 12th 2006 but still went on to release the radio/internet “Lovelight” EP in March/April 2006.

Below is a list of quotes from some of the reviews of Cormac's gigs and cds (both solo and with The Citadels). After the quotes there is a section with links to urls of some of the full reviews, reports and

Start a spark reviews:
Luminous front man Cormac O Caoimh releases his first solo album. More than your typical singer-songwriter, O Caoimh mixes pop sensibility with finely tuned song writing wrapping it all up in his soft melodic confidence and sharp lyrical commentary
Hot Press 09/08/2007

“Corkman O Caoimh manages to avoid several of the pitfalls one would normally assocate with Irish singer-songwriters on his debut solo record. For much of the album, he sounds more like an indie-pop artist than an acoustic troubadour. ‘Deep Sea Diving has a light dreamy melody reminiscent of The Sundays, while the sweet boy-girl interplay of ‘Ghosts’ calls to mind Yo La Tengo and The Delgados.”
Hot Press 26/07/2007
an assortment of delicious summer-kissed pop songs with instantly catchy, agreeable melodies infused with Cormac’s poetic sensibility, Canada

'The Citadels' were a terrific band from Cork(Ireland) ; sadly they are no more.
Luckily, we have this new solo album from the Citadels front man. Admirers of Prefab Sprout , Roddy Frame, or Damien Rice will likely devour this record. Cormac's lyrics are whip-smart,and his easy-going vocal style grabs the attention. From the punchy title track,all the way to the wonderful closing duet ('If You Feel') this record is a cut above,and deserves to be widely heard.
The Big TakeOver Magazine, New York
“Start a Spark,” from Cormac o Caoimh, is an album from the ex-singer/songwriter of The Citadels. This solo performer brings a bevy of musical talent to the table with his varied vocal timbres and rhythms; listeners will be dazzled by this album from start to finish

Start A Spark is the fruit of his labor and quite an impressive work as well. The music has feet in both the pop territory as well as the roots side of things. There is no reason why Cormac shouldn't be the next big export from Ireland.
Music Emmissions

“Lazy Gazing has ‘Summer radio hit’ written all over it. ‘View of the World” brings to mind Elvis Costello when he was still young and angry, and ‘Miles of Sky” sounds a lot like Tom Robinson. The album closes with “If you Feel” - a melodic pop-jazz duet with a very catchy progression. Lyrically it’s a charming sentimental love song in the mode of Bill Withers “Lean on Me”. This album grows on you like a virulent rash and is going from the review stack to my personal collection.”

“the entire collection of songs on Start a Spark is uplifting and danceable with poetic lyrics that are just marvelously outstanding.”
Indie Music Stop

“Singer-Songwriter Cormac O Caoimh has crafted a superb collection of acoustic melodies on his debut album "Start a spark .”
Evening Echo

"some of the best songs are also the most simplistic; a gentle lilting melody and O'Caoimh's plaintive tones against a Wendy Smith soundalike strike up the perfect combination for both 'Ghosts' and 'If You Feel' whilst 'Miles Of Sky' glistens most pleasantly."
Leonards Lair

Wusik Magazine: see pdf of full review here

There is a lot of good stuff coming out of Ireland at the moment,
people like Damien Rice and David Kitt and I got cd recently of
The Citadels from Cork which I really like.
Ron Sexsmith

the fresh confident songwriting of Cormac O Caoimh suggests
a promising future
Tom Robinson, BBC

Charming music.. Indie folk from the days of real Indie such
as The Wonder Stuff and Dinosaur Jr.. Makes me smile and
rather giddy.
Lior Shamir - Managing Director - We are Listening

It’s difficult to pick a favourite track because the entire
collection of uplifting, danceable songs and their clever,
poetic lyrics are so damn good.

O’Caoimh launched into a sharp and acerbic performance interrupted by witty and self-deprecating banter. He gave his songs even more depth and personality through careful and impressive volume control with his voice and guitar. One moment he’d be strumming wildly and barking out a chorus, only to drop
to a whisper, with his fingers barely grazing the strings. He’s a very expressive and engaging performer, not to mention pretty damn funny. Cormac O’Caomih has been playing for years and he knows his shit. He’s a great songwriter and a seasoned performer. I hope he makes it back over from Ireland again soon.
Canadian Music Festival Report

Introspective without being insular, smart without being prim.
Too fresh and refreshing to be mere copyist" the music re-enlists
"the literate early-to-mid ‘80s breezy pop heartache of Aztec Camera, Prefab Sprout and The Go Betweens.
Whisperin & Hollerin

The lyrics are clever and powerful, demanding attention.
The tunes are poppy and catchy. The performance and arrangements are nigh on flawless.Both the writing and the execution are exemplary

a return to those so-called old fashioned times of finely crafted tunes via folk-tinged pop
Leonard's Lair

an "immaculate album"
Dave Wibberley Jive Records

Well worth checking out. I've been listening to this all day.
Lovely stuff.
Dan Hegarty, 2fm

Talk about blessed relief, hallelujah and praise be all in one
merciful musical package.

Some great music coming out of Ireland at the moment with
Damiens Rice and Dempsey, Dublin's Ten Speed Racer, Cork's
Simple Kid, - and now this assured debut from THE CITADELS,
where the fresh confident songwriting of frontman
Cormac O Caoimh suggests a promising future for the band.
Tom Robinson, BBC Music

Excellent. I have it on repeat on my headphones while sitting at the computer........ Worth waiting for.

Letting go Holding on is an exemplary and masterful piece of work
both in the musical content, lyrics and vocals

The album is well written throughout; vocalist and guitarist Cormac O'Caoimh's quest for tunefulness throws up a number of fine songs. An album out of time but - in this case - it's a cause for celebration.
Leonard's Lair



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