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Interview | “I find the Dublin music scene really inspiring right now as well. It’s exciting to see everybody raising their game” – Sorcha Richardson talks to TLMT

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Sorcha Richardson is set to play the Last Mixed Tape’s fifth birthday celebrations at the Sound House on Thursday, February 7th. Sorcha recently took the time to talk to TLMT about what she’s listening to right now, her recent single ‘Can’t We Pretend’ and future plans. 

What’s the last record you bought?
The Art of Pretending to Swim by Villagers, & Thank Your Lucky Stars by Beach House

What’s the last song you played on Spotify?
Malibu – Sharon Van Etten

What inspires your music?
So many things. I mostly feel compelled to write about the moments in my own life that I can’t make sense of. Things I regret or wish I could change. Conversations with friends. Nights that ended badly. Writing about them is my way of holding them up to the light and seeing if I can untangle them.

I’m always inspiredly by the art that people around me are making. And not just music. Movies and photography and books too. I find the Dublin music scene really inspiring right now as well. It’s exciting to see everybody raising their game. Most of the time, the way I feel about music is based on whether or not it makes me want to go and write a song. Right now, anytime I listen to Julia Jacklin or Phoebe Bridgers or Dijon, all I wanna do is pick up my guitar and try and write something as good as that.

Tell us about how your last single ‘Can’t We Pretend’ was written?
That song had a funny evolution. I was still living in New York when I wrote it and I had just come back from a week in LA, where I’d been recording with a guy called Alex Casnoff. It was the first time we’d worked together, but I just had this feeling about him, very quickly, that he was going to be somebody who would become really important to my music. We recorded Ruin Your Night and Lost that week, and I flew back to New York feeling really excited and inspired about everything.

I wanted to channel that creativity into something productive so I decided to write a song a day for the next month. The first day I wrote a song which was then called Back to Your House – which is on my album. And on the second day, I wrote a song called ‘I Can Be Your Friend,’ which would later become ‘Can’t We Pretend.’

I think I was 24 at the time, and I had moved to New York 6 years earlier when I was 18. I always felt a little bit guilty about the fact that I left Dublin, and about how much life I was missing at home. It was something that I kept trying to write about but this was the first time I’d managed to do it in a way that felt truthful to me.

For some reason, I wasn’t thinking of that song as one that I was going to release properly. But I started sharing some of the demos from that month on YouTube, and I Can Be Your Friend was the one that people kept reaching out to me about, so that made me rethink that.

I went back to LA a few months later to work with Alex and I we decided to finish it. I remember Alex kept asking me “what are you really saying.” He really held my feet to the fire with this one. Sometimes it’s easier to spin a web of imagery than to just say what the thing you mean.

What has been a standout moment for you touring and performing?
Supporting Imelda May on her Irish Tour was a real learning curve for me. And supporting Saint Sister at The Olympia last year was a highlight too. There was also a show we did at the Other Voices in 2017 that I’ll never forget. It was about 1AM by the time we played and everybody was packed into a tiny pub in Dingle. I could barely hear anything, but it didn’t matter, it just felt like a huge party. Those are my favorite kind of shows. When you’re really close to the crowd and everybody just wants to have a fun night.

What are your plans for 2019?
The main thing I’m looking forward to is releasing my debut album. There’s some fun shows in the pipeline and collaborations too. But the main thing I’m working towards is the album release.

Tickets to TLMT 5: Sorcha Richardson / Jackie Beverly / Dowry live at the Sound House on February 7th are priced at €10 and are on sale now via Eventbrite. Doors are at 8pm. Photo by: Stephen White. 

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