Étáin Collins is a singer-songwriter from Co. Meath, currently based in Cork city having fallen in love with the Rebel County during her time studying Music at UCC. Continuing her studies, Étáin completed the MA in Music and Cultural History in UCC. In September 2021, she submitted her thesis focused on the lack of Irish women’s musical voices on Irish radio, and the causes and effects of this deficiency.
While at college, Étáin developed a love for community music, and spent time as a volunteer teacher and music group facilitator at the Cork Life Centre. Further from home, Étáin traveled to the Philippines for the months of July 2017 and July 2018, to work with the indigenous Badjao tribe in Cebu city. Among other tasks, Étáin organised week-long songwriting workshops for the Badjao teenagers. Each group wrote their own lyrics in English and the local Badjao language, speaking about their experiences as a minority population and the pride they feel in their community.
Working as a home carer during the Covid-19 pandemic, and later as Activities Coordinator in a nursing home, ignited Étáin’s love for working with older people. During the summer of 2022, she participated in Music and Health Ireland’s “Young Music Graduates: Introductory Music in Healthcare Project” to develop her practice as a healthcare musician.
Étáin is passionate about producing local music events and offering a platform for emerging artists. She is co-founder, secretary and videographer of the women-founded music collective Sunwell Tapes. Sunwell Tapes aim to create safe, inclusive spaces for music-making and experiencing, and particularly focus on highlighting women and non-binary artists.
Étáin creates and releases her own music under the name Faoi Bhláth. After winning a day of recording time at Wavefield Recordings from the UCC Singer-Songwriter competition, she recorded and released her debut single “bone house” in February 2021. The single received airplay on RTÉ 1, KCLR FM, and 98FM, as well as online coverage on The Thin Air, The Last Mixed Tape, and Hotpress. Étáin is currently preparing for the release of her debut EP, Hymnus. Recorded again with Brian Casey at Wavefield Recordings in Clonakilty, Hymnus veers away from the softer folk of “bone house” to a heavier, alternative-pop sound. Blending haunting melodies with inquisitive and melancholic lyrics, the EP explores femininity and Irishness, violence and innocence, power and faith. Hymnus is set for release in August 2023.