In a brand new series of articles, interviews Ireland’s best upcoming musicians and chats about their influences, performing in Ireland and their hopes for the future. This week, Niamh Dunne speaks to Dunboyne duo Elkin.


Elkin is the one of newest bands to hit the Irish music scene. The four-piece band have been together for a little over a year and a have just released their first single. With an upcoming EP set to be released in the new year, Elkin is set to be one of Ireland’s most up and coming bands.

Elkin originated from the musical duo known as Ellen and Carla. Ellen O’ Mahoney and Carla Ryan began singing as a duo back when they were in third year of secondary school. Ever since then the two girls have grown and blossomed into the four-piece band they are today.

The two Dunboyne girls, have not only been busy with their album but college life as well. Ellen is on her Erasmus in Southampton as part of Maynooth University, studying English and Music. Carla is studying Drama and Performing Arts at DIT, while Peter and Robert have recently graduated from Maynooth University.

The girls have released two EPs as Ellen and Carla and their third one will now be as Elkin. We recently sat down with Carla Ryan, who gave me all the ins and outs of Elkin.

When did Ellen and Carla first begin?

We decided just before our Junior Cert to up covers up on YouTube, then Ellen wrote a song and then I wrote a song. So yeah that’s how we started off.

How did Ellen and Carla then evolve to Elkin?

I was in Chicago for college last January and Ellen was asked to do a gig, but instead of Ellen and Carla, she was doing it was Elkin. This is how Elkin started as a four-piece band. Ellen didn’t want to do the gig by herself with just the piano, so she asked around Maynooth University. She was looking for a drummer and a bassist and she was given Robert and Peter’s names who are now our drummer and bassist.

Can you tell about your latest single Paro?

We had been doing a lot of open mic nights and circle sessions over the summer and I was in work one day and had this divine inspiration. So, we were just like let’s do it because Ellen was going away at the end of summer and we decided to put a gig on and record an EP. We got into the studio and realised that Paro was the one we wanted to first release.

Paro is short for paranoid. Its about a girl who has been cheated on by her boyfriend. Ellen wrote that song and it’s incredible. The music for that song was written by a guy called Gavin Dunne. He played with us at our latest gig on guitar.

We want to leave it as open as possible. I was on the bus and got the idea for video, so I texted Ellen and she loved. Originally, we wanted it to be shot on a bus, but it was just too difficult, so we decided to do it on a train.

What was the inspiration for this song?

Well the song, I can’t really say because it was Ellen who wrote the song. But for the video, it started because I commute everyday to college. I’ve spent a lot of time on the bus and I’ve definitely ran into an ex and its always so awkward. So that’s how it started off and then it turns into the guy who cheated on the girl and his paranoia.

How would you describe your sound?

Oh god what a question! We’re indie, kind of poppy but a little bit bluesy. Ellen and Carla was very folky but Elkin is more pop and blues.

How do you organise time with yourself being in final year, Ellen in Southampton and the lads being full time musicians?

Yeah, it’s difficult at times. Its something you need a lot of drive, but we’re determined to do it. Ellen has been coming home a good bit. She left in September but came home the following week because we were doing a project with RTÉ.

It just means that we have to plan ahead so that we can organise everything we need for a gig. Its been stressful but I suppose that’s we have to do.

Can you tell us a bit about this project with RTÉ?

It was with Tebi Rex. They were invited to do a Studio 8 with Eoghan McDermott and they invited us to come in and sing She Hated Love Songs. We then recorded a cover of Boys and I know there was a video made of them but I don’t know when they’re being released. It was incredible, and the studio was beautiful.

Who would be your biggest inspiration?

Ellen and I are huge fans of sing-songwriter Joanie Mitchell. I also love Wolf Alice. Now they’re sound isn’t anything like our but I just love their sound and their stage presence, they’re Instagram’s great! We’ve been told that our music is quite like Fleetwood Mac but they’re a bit more country than us.

‘Paro’ is currently available on iTunes and Spotify


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