A love letter to Dublin's Sheriff Street: Gemma Dunleavy drops debut EP 'Up De Flats'

Gemma Dunleavy has released her debut EP, 'Up De Flats', a love letter to Dublin's Sheriff Street community.

The talented independent star - with a dazzling voice - grew up there and was inspired to write this soul-stirring collection after working on a documentary in response to plans to regenerate the working-class area of Ireland's capital.

Out now, the EP - which she has created in partnership with Dr Martens Presents - is a rich cocktail of soul, garage and neo-folk.

As well as encapsulating the community spirit of Sheriff Street, street-smart Dunleavy highlights the stereotyping and hardships her people have faced.

She explained: “Each song is written from a different perspective of the stereotypes I grew up around.

“They each represent something I’ve experienced, someone I’ve been, someone I am or someone I’ve lost. It explores cyclical patterns of behaviour, hardships and grief, but most importantly the sense of community.

"I was feeling so much frustration, but the process of making the documentary really helped. It brought me closer to the things I can’t articulate. I can’t live without the people and the area I’m from.”

The EP kicks off with a local woman explaining what the demolition of a street in the neighbourhood meant to the residents, before Dunleavy documents what it was like growing up in the area which she feels was unfairly demonised in the 90s, due to the heroin epidemic.

She sings: “The soundtrack of the summer getting played by the sirens, we found lust in the middle of the violence ... Everything I am, I owe it to you.”

Starting life as bedroom demos, the EP was nurtured by Brendan Jenkinson of Cloud Crystal Lake, with contributions from LING, Róisín Berkely (Harpist) and Mike Blackburn.

Dunleavy - who is best known for her collaborative work with the likes of Murlo,,Swing Ting and Simon Raymonde’s Lost Horizons project - is set to perform the EP in full at 7pm GMT on July 16th for a Dr. Martens Presents livestream, which will be available via @Drmartensofficial

Listen to 'Up De Flats':