THE wonderful Bairbre Anne has been telling me...
about her new single, 27, and its story; whether we might see more material coming along and what she thinks of the contemporary music scene – I ask her whether there are a few albums that stand out and mean a lot to her.
The Dublin-based songwriter tells me what comes next and explains when music came into her life; which upcoming musicians we should all investigate and tells me if she gets time to unwind away from music – Bairbre Anne selects a great song to close the interview with.
Hi, Bairbre Anne. How are you? How has your week been?
Hi! I’ve had a busy week promoting my new music - but I’m very happy it’s finally out in the world.
For those new to your music; can you introduce yourself, please?
I’m an Irish musician and writer of songs. I currently live in Dublin but I work with a super team in London. Working with them, I’ve already released two E.P.s: Arrows and Sparks.
Is there a story behind the new single, 27?
I wrote 27 when I was, in fact, twenty-seven; in a rut and felt completely lost. It was a song to reassure myself that everything would figure itself out and to just take things one day at a time. I think everyone needs that reassurance at various stages in their life.
Are you looking ahead regarding more material? What are your plans in that respect?
Yes. I am going to release my debut album later in the year which I’m really excited about!
When did music come into your life? Can you remember the first song you heard?
I was always surrounded by music. My dad is a sound engineer and my mum has a huge love and appreciation for music. I don’t remember the exact song but some of my earliest memories would be going into the backroom of our house when it was dark out, turning on the light and using the reflection of the glass sliding doors as my personal stage. Belting out the likes of Hey Jude by The Beatles, all of the Grease soundtrack songs and probably some Spice Girls numbers.
Which artists were important to you growing up? Who do you rank as idols?
I started writing songs on the piano at an early age so, from around the age of twelve, I was obsessed with any woman at the time who was playing the piano and writing her own songs – Alicia Keys, Vanessa Carlton; Tori Amos, Missy Higgins; Norah Jones etc. I was also heavily influenced by anything my older brother was listening to. He introduced me to a lot of great Irish musicians and bands - Glen Hansard and The Frames, Gemma Hayes; Damien Rice and Bell X1 to name a few.
As an Irish artist, what is the vibe like where you are? Do you think Irish music gets the attention that it deserves?
I think Ireland is known for having one of the best music scenes going! We have a lot of amazing homegrown talent going on! Dublin is definitely a hub for music. There’s always something going on; live music is everywhere.
How do you view the modern music scene? Do you listen to a lot of contemporary music?
I do listen to contemporary music and I think some of it is amazing. I think this wave of Electronic music is interesting but I’m afraid, if there’s no musical instruments on the stage, I won’t be hanging around.
Do you have a standout memory from your time in music so far?
Getting to play at the National Concert Hall in Dublin and Ulster Hall in Belfast. They are absolutely stunning venues and standing on those stages gave me goosebumps.
Which three albums mean the most to you would you say (and why)?
There are too many albums to choose from: here are three of my favourites:
Imogen Heap – Ellipse
Watch the ‘making of’ documentary and then listen to it. It Is a masterpiece and she is a genius.
The Frames – Fitzcarraldo
My teenage years were made up of going to Frames gigs and screaming “Revelate” at the top of my lungs.
Gemma Hayes – The Hollow of Morning
This woman taught me what it means to write a sad song.
If you could support any musician alive today, and choose your own rider, what would that entail?
Stevie Nicks (Fleetwood Mac) – purely to sit her down and talk me through those initial years of Fleetwood Mac. They sound bonkers! The rider – I don’t know – to demand Lindsey Buckingham join the band again...and some nice white wine!
Might we see you on tour in 2019?
Possibly. Keep an eye on my website!
How important is performing? Do you prefer it to life in the studio?
They are both very separate things. I enjoy them both! I love going into the studio in London, and the process involved in recording new music! I also love going on stage and making the same songs sound just as good with one instrument.
IN THIS PHOTO: Natalie Prass
Do you get much time to chill away from music? How do you unwind?
I love to travel and explore new places with my camera! You can check out some of the photos I’ve taken by looking up ‘She Shoots Green’ on Instagram!
Finally, and for being a good sport; you can choose a song and I’ll play it here (not any of your music - I will do that).
Theo Katzman – My Heart Is Dead! What a tune!
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