Ríoghnach Connolly and Stuart McCallum are the creative heart of The Breath. They make an unlikely couple. Ríoghnach, known for her work with Afro Celt Sound System and Honeyfeet is a daughter of Armagh who has made Manchester her home. She has a gift for singing, a remarkable voice, a deep elegiac sensibility and a puckish, mischievous character. Stuart, by contrast, is a Mancunian urbanite who’s worked with Cinematic Orchestra and is given to dry understatement and calm confidence. Both seem poised on the brink of revelation.
For the Breath, it’s all about the song. Connolly writes the only way she knows how; a stream of poetic consciousness giving rise to honest, personal, heartfelt songs as likely to touch on childhood summers and first love as cultural dislocation, post-colonial injustices and grief. But it’s her deeply soulful, utterly engaging, stop-you-in-your-tracks voice – whether delicate and hushed or powerful and gutsy – coupled with Stuart’s understated brilliance and their exquisitely crafted songs, that give The Breath such emotional depth.
Check them out here