The Hard Ground

County Cork

The Hard Ground are Marlene Enright, Pat Carey, Dave Duffy, Davy Ryan and Hugh Dillon. The band’s signature sound relies heavily on the interplay between the two contrasting main vocals which provide the foundation for what is musically brooding and brash, sassy and sentimental, where the gravel meets the glass. Alternating between contrasting styles, sometimes raw, sometimes layered, the five piece always pack an emotional punch.

The band recorded, produced and released their first album, Broken Conversations, in 2012 and have spent most of 2013 touring Ireland and the UK, cultivating a following at home and abroad. In late 2013 the band took 6 months out to write and rehearse for album number 2.

In early 2014, The Hard Ground reached their target in a Fund:It campaign to assist with the recording of their second album:


A triptych is a work of art that is divided into three sections, or three carved panels which are hinged together and can be folded shut or displayed open.

The album will be released in three stages beginning in April 2014. The three EP’s will be released exclusively on digital at first, before culminating in the digital and physical release of the full album in early 2015. The idea behind Triptych is a response to the challenges that the music industry faces right now for both musicians and the listener. The project is aimed at bridging the gap between listener and band, and, likewise, between band and industry. It is a real time project that will be influenced by the band’s experiences over the duration of the year. Ultimately it will give the audience a much more intimate view ofthe creation of the album as a whole, in varying stages of the process.

“…Classy Stuff and worth tracking down.”
- Jackie Hayden, Hot Press.

“’Pawn’ and ‘A Spirit Lament’ show the Cork quartet are quite different from anyone else active on the Cork circuit at the moment with Carey and Enright effortlessly switching vocals on top of quite lavish orchestration. Eager to hear more….”
– The G-Man (blog)

“….a sound that sits somewhere between Tom Waits and Lisa Hannigan. There’s even a touch of sinister songstress Anna Calvi about debut single ‘Pawn’, a song that’s equal parts sweet and sour.”
– Celina Murphy, Hot press

“Beautifully layered and contrasting vocals make Broken Conversations a truly tantalising listen, helping to cement The Hard Ground as one of the finest new bands to emerge out of Ireland in 2012.” - Journal of Music

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The Hard Ground - Belles and Beaux Castlefreke Studio Sessions // The Hard Ground Pawn, The Hard Ground ♙♟♙♟♙♟ Bad Faith - The Hard Ground

Upcoming Gigs

  3 Oct 2014 20:45 The Grand Social, 35 Lower Liffey Street, Dublin 1   HWCH