Secretly Canadian


Prior to the release of their EP mk2 (part 1), core members Stephen Houlihan and Christine Tubridy departed Edinburgh, returning to their native Ireland seeking renewed inspiration. On new EP mk 2 (part 2), released April 2017, Hiva Oa retain the mystery and ambition of their former incarnations, but inject a heavy thrum to their intricate patchwork style, and turn their attentions to themes of fear, loneliness, abandonment and awakening.

On lead single 'A Great Height' the band continue their controlled experimentation by marrying primal, dizzying electronica and a swelling bass hum, with minimal guitar patterns to create a tightly wound, suffocating and intense atmosphere that sets the tone for the EP.

Hiva Oa have become masters of developing atmospheres proving that, for them, a visit to old pastures has worked wonders.


Hiva Oa is: Stephen Houlihan | Christine Tubridy - with Matthew Collings | Daithi McNabb | Chris McCorry

mkII (part 1) - Lyrics

A Great Height

I waited for your special crime

When all your answers start out white 

How come one loses, while one shines?

How come? How come?


Then I fall from a great height 

From then on I fall from a great height


Why am I so naive when the river slows

To account for my failures when they start to show

How come one grows while the others froze?

How come? How come?  


From there I fall from a great height

From there I fall from a great height


There was no answer to my fight

How come? How come?



You ring the bell, you ring the bell. A ceiling light that conquers all. 

Don’t bring me down. I’m afraid of the weight you put on your own. 


Hear the call


And on and on and on. I had a feeling you would let us down.

Outshone all along. I’m afraid to call you one of my own. 

As I see it in your eyes. Your eyes. 


Hear the sound coming from your bones.   

As the smoke rises from your home.          

Wherein it lies the problem of my friend?  


I see tears streaming from you eyes         

Where’s the end when they begin?            

Do we belong on stranger tides?

We belong with stranger ties. 


Fell the rush of the River Blackwater.           

A few dulled tones by the River Blackwater. 


Where is my home? You raised my hopes?

To hear a call. 

To hear a call.

I hear it call.

Here the call.



Laugh all day, I’m not sure how I’ll commit.

You suffered a while. You suffered for all, while we solider on. 


If I’m not your friend, I would be willing, if we could remain in this game.

But I’m scared, I’m scared that you and I will fall out. 


Your mother told me, your mother, she told me to stay out of your way. 

But my skin grew thicker, and I learned to shy away from her. 


But why should I stay away from you, when I know everything about you.

If I forgot, 

It was meant to be, what is meant for me is meant to be, is meant for me. 


Your solitude, it was meant for me. Yet I cannot stand another round. 

For I’ve seen it all, from the rise to the sudden cascade. 


Christine, pristine, I’ve shot another one. 

Bound with a safe and steady pair of hands. 


Christine, I’ve shot another one. 


So breath.


Jonny Brazil


I'm sure you have the capacity to come to your own conclusion about the band, but here's what some nice people have said about us. 

'The band's songwriting carries an emotional punch, one driven home by those tender vocals.' - Clash Magazine

New Artist of the Week - The Irish Times

'Hot for 2017 - if this is an indication of where the newest batch of tracks is going to take Hiva Oa, we're excited to hear what they have in store' - Hot Press

2017 Ones to Watch' - State Magazine

'There is something quite solitary about's one of those records that sounds like it's just out of reach but at the same time it still like to be loved.' - Steve Lamacq (BBC 6 Music)

'Defies genre.....intense to the point of almost being tribal - Across the Line (BBC Radio Ulster)

'Still sounding distinctly unique, lead track 'A Great Height' was a wonderfully promising return and such expectations are raised even further thanks to the weighty brilliance of new track 'Seskinore'.....A heavyweight, wonderfully compelling next step' - GoldFlakePaint

'Evoking the likes of PVT, The Twilight Sad and a more inward looking Not Squares, the track's swirling flurry of contorting electronica, weaving bass patterns and braying guitar swells meld to create a wonderfully oppressive three minutes' (A Great Height). Though still a new proposition for many, mk2 (part 1) wholly confirms Hiva Oa as one of the country's most compelling acts right now'. - The Thin Air

'I think this is really special.....this should be tied for the best record in the world this week'. SOHO Radio

"Male and female vocals dovetail to a basic backing of guitar, bass and cello. From this starting pad, a more sensurround experience of glockenspiel and martial drums are thrown into a scratchily looped mix that swirls and sways its way into being.... Hiva Oa stick to the shadows, erupting into a rolling thunder before coming to a hush once more." - The List

'Evocatively poignant, nostalgic and steeped in melancholia....An interesting and unique debut.' - Fluid Radio

'This whitewashed chorus is the sound of inner dissonance, nothing really to do with the external world of instruments or processing. This is a place of quiet disorder, of serotonin failure. It is a relief when the mournful cello joins the slight vocals. Rapturous when the sharp cracks of snare drum part the ether and echoes and unbalance.'- The Muse in Music