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Bring Your Own Hammer is delighted to announce that our debut album, My Grief on the Sea, will be released via digital download on 1 March and on CD on 22 March 2024.



On 22 March 2024, we release our first album, My Grief on the Sea, which is brimming with superb contributions from leading Irish and international composers, musicians and singers including Agu, Linda Buckley, Cathal Coughlan, Adrian Crowley, Neil Farrell, Eileen Gogan, Tony Higgins, Carol Keogh, Michelle O’Rourke, Wally Nkikita, Brigid Mae Power, Michael J Sheehy, Mike Smalle and Jah Wobble.

The album offers a collection of songs about the sea, sea journeys and migration to and from Ireland in the nineteenth century. You are invited to journey with us as we criss-cross the Atlantic world following the remaining threads of lives shaped, in one way or another, by the sea. You will hear the echoes of words, from a bog in Co. Roscommon, sung in grief for a lost lover, who has departed overseas in the decades after the Famine (on the beautiful title track, Michelle O’Rourke’s ‘My Grief on the Sea’).  You can catch lines written in the letters of migrants to North America, matched with beautiful melodies (Golden Streets, Bitter Tears – Adrian Crowley with Brigid Mae Power). You can imagine yourself with Carol Keogh on the quays of New Ross in 1849, as Biddy and Catherine Keogh depart for New York (on the stunning ‘A Pair of Packed Valises (before the Dunbrody), 1849’) or picture yourself crossing the Atlantic on board a ship with Mary Connaughty in 1881 (on the melancholy and haunting ‘Old Oak Road’ by Mike Smalle with Cathal Coughlan and Jah Wobble). Join Cathal Coughlan and Linda Buckley on the roads of Co. Carlow, during the 1832 cholera epidemic, as a man called Crowley returns to Ireland after thirty years at sea (on the complex and poignant ‘The Man with Open Arms’). Sail the high seas with Eileen Gogan and Neil Farrell disguised as a cabin boy (on the sad and beautiful ‘Female Cabin Boy’) or stand with Tony Higgins and Agu on the quays of Dublin as the multitudes depart during the Famine (on the vibrant yet melancholy ‘Embarkation’). Follow Mike Smalle and Wally Nkikita as they trace Joseph Keys’ journey to Ireland from the time he leaves his life of enslavement in Virginia to his departure, from Baltimore, on board a ship across the Atlantic in early 1844 (on the melodious and tragic ‘Over the Ghosts’). Take time too to contemplate the rumble and power of the sea with Mike Smalle (on the sparkling track, ‘The Oscillating Sea’). At the end, watch Marie and her lover swimming off the coast of Ireland as the effects of the Famine drive people from the land and towards the sea (on the starkly beautiful ‘The Weight of Water’ – Michael J. Sheehy).