Story of lost love inspired Victoria’s new jazz album

Victoria Geelan.
Victoria Geelan.

A Derry-based jazz vocalist has revealed how her experience of lost love led to the creation of her extraordinarily beautiful debut album.

Victoria Geelan will release her hauntingly romantic and deeply personal album ‘Unfit the Picture’ at Sandino’s Bar on February 23. And she’s explained how the album was recorded at a time when she was in the midst of a painful break-up.

“I had just split up with the love of my life so the emotions expressed in this album are real,” she said. “My vocal on Jacques Brel’s Ne Me Quitte Pas (Don’t Leave Me) is pure and raw because I was really in that situation at the time.

“I have never heard an album that is just voice and harp but it creates a space for me to explore my vocal and emotional range. The material in the album is so diverse and it has really attracted people to it. There aren’t too many Northern Ireland singers playing around with different styles and languages.”

Victoria is one of Northern Ireland’s best jazz singers, performing at the Derry Jazz Festival, as a guest vocalist with Linley Hamilton’s band and a regular performer at Derry’s Bennigan’s Bar.

While Unfit the Picture is not strictly a jazz album it has an improvised feel, with Victoria’s vocals expressing deep feelings of love, anger, yearning and tenderness.

The title track also written by Victoria has a Latin feel but is written in English and has her at her most passionately intense as she sings ‘We are hating, we are hating for you’. Ursula Burns responds with frenzied bow playing on the harp. The CD ends with her favourite lullaby, the evocative Connemara Cradle Song which her mother used to sing to her.

To listen to excerpts go to