Interview: Ailbhe Reddy

ailbhe reddy interviewThere is a lot of new music to be excited about this year, but one of my favourite new discoveries of 2017 has been Dublin based singer/songwriter Ailbhe Reddy. Her latest release Attach To Memory has been one of the best EPs of the year thus far, shifting seamlessly between indie, folk and electropop, all interconnected by her unique and memorable vocal style. I was lucky enough to chat to her about her new EP: 

Thank you for your time! You’ve just released your brilliant new EP Attach To Memory. Are you happy with the way it’s turned out and with the reaction it’s been getting?
Thanks so much for calling it brilliant! I’m delighted with how it turned out, I work really closely with my producer Darragh Nolan on recording and production so its great to see what I envisioned realised by the end of it. I wanted it to keep the folky feel I established with ‘Hollowed Out Sea’ but to have some more uptempo, modern tracks on it.

‘Fingertips’ especially really stood out for me as a highlight, especially considering the striking music video where you get mobbed by loads of paint covered hands. That must have been a very bizarre experience? Where did that idea come from?
It was an idea I came up with, which was kind of odd I guess. I think the concept for me was that every person you have a relationship leaves a kind of mark on you, which is what the paint represents. It was very bizarre, we were just in the centre of the city doing it too, it was freezing and a tour bus caught wind of it and kept circling us. They got an eyeful! It was also just one take so very hard to keep a straight face!

Earlier in the year you released the deeply powerful and personal song ‘Relent‘. What made you decide to release it as a stand-alone single rather than including it on your EP?
I guess I found ‘Relent’ to just be a very different vibe to what I wanted in the EP, it’s very dark and a route I’d love to explore further. I have some songs that suit it but for me, that song just stood alone as its own piece.

How do you feel you have grown, both as a songwriter and a performer, since your last EP?
I’m writing from the perspective of being in a band, so that makes the instrumentation more informed. I also think my lyrics are more honest than they have ever been.

You somehow manage to create all this amazing music in-between working a proper, full-time job. With each new success within your music career, does it start to feel like you’re leading a kind of ‘double life’?
I’m actually not working at the moment, but there were a few months that I felt like that. A lot of people I worked with didn’t even know I played music!

Your music seems to dabble in a wide range of styles. Who would you say are your biggest influences?
I grew up listening to a lot of traditional singer songwriters like Don McLean, Neil Young, Crosby Stills and Nash etc. as they were what my mum was listening to. I also had older siblings who were listening to more contemporary pop and those two aspects really mixed together in my own songwriting. I wanted to make music that was between the two. I’m really strongly influenced by Jeff Buckley, Fiona Apple and a lot of other incredible songwriters that I listened to growing up. I’m always finding new artists to obsess over too, like Angel Olsen and Margret Glaspy, they’re my current obsessions!

Hailing from Dublin, a place with an incredible music heritage, how would you describe the scene there, and do you have a favourite venue to play?
I always love playing Ruby Sessions in Doyle’s. It’s such an intimate setting and there is always a lovely attentive crowd.

Now that the EP is out, what do you have planned for the rest of the year?
I’ll be playing Glastonbury, Cambridge Folk Festival, Body & Soul and Electric Picnic. I’ll be touring the U.K. and Ireland in Autumn too. I can’t wait!

Massive thanks to Ailbhe! Her new EP Attach To Memory is out now!