We catch up with Irish singer-songwriter Laoise.
Laoise is the new electropop star of your dreams. Based in Galway, she has gained a huge fanbase with her range of covers and is now gearing up to release her debut EP “Halfway”, having released debut single “YOU” last year.
“YOU” was born from the idea of creating a track which was restricted to three chords. Through this technique, Laoise’s vocals shine with an ethereal quality. It’s a brooding electropop masterpiece, and from such a new and emerging artist, it works as a clear example of the heights that she is destined to reach.
We caught up with Laoise to talk about all things music.
Have you always wanted to be a singer?
I actually think I have. My parents always talk about how I used to tear the house down in the mornings singing, more so screaming I’d say, haha. I was definitely boisterous as a child so anything to do with creativity or inventiveness, be it acting, singing or painting I loved. It’s when I started writing my own material that singing became more than just a performance. With writing, I’m able to express myself and find my own voice.
What music did you listen to growing up?
I had the strangest taste in music growing up. When I was five, I asked Santa for an Elvis CD so I could bring it everywhere on my Walkman (the good ol’ days). Whereas my older sister was there with her Now 53 CD probably questioning our relationship. My father then introduced me to household names like Kate Bush and Fleetwood Mac, who are still some of my favourite artists today. As I developed more of my own taste I gravitated towards kooky, ornate pop like Imogen Heap and Feist. I have big love for a female vocalists, it’s my Achilles heel.
Who are your musical inspirations?
Funnily enough, I have quite a short attention span when it comes to listening to one genre of music and can become uninterested pretty quickly. I move fast from listening to 80s pop like Eurythmics to lyrical folk like Bob Dylan. I also find myself running between pop and soul a lot these days so musically, I’ve been inspired by James Blake and NAO for their fusion of both genres.
You’ve described your sound as “electro pop and sad stories”. Can you tell us a bit more about this description?
I find I can’t write about something that hasn’t really happened to me or something that I haven’t experienced first hand. So because of this, my songs follow pretty heavy themes. I love pop more than anything in the world because it’s so accessible. And even though sometimes my music takes inspiration from other genres like soul and folk, it’s more electropop than anything. Using an approachable genre to express darker matters is essentially electropop and sad stories, that’s why I describe my music that way.
“Making music is essentially the only thing I feel safe doing. If I had sought after a different career, I’m not sure how I would’ve coped.”
Can you tell us about your latest single “YOU”?
I wrote “YOU” this time last year when I was experimenting with different genres and styles. I hadn’t settled on adopting an electropop style or sound yet, so it was during YOU’s production process that I felt I finally found the sound I was after. I wanted to release it as my debut because I feel it’s the best representation of my music now.
This track comes from your upcoming “Halfway” EP. Can you tell us a bit about it?
It took me quite a while to finish writing the “Halfway” EP; I had so many thoughts gathered up in my head at the time that I purged them into these songs. The recording process wasn’t any different. Seán Behan (APCK Studios) produced the EP with just one laptop and a little mic, and together we aimed to match the songs’ ominous theme with its music. Considering we had no experience or even an idea of what we were doing at the time, we’re very proud of it.
What is your creative process?
I try not to have a definitive creative ‘process’ as much as I can. Because writing and recording aren’t confined to one set of rules, I try to change my writing habits as much as I can. Sometimes I’ll write with just one instrument, sometimes I’ll arrange a whole song before even adding lyrics to it. It helps me to create a contrast between songs and it also helps me focus because I can be such a scatterbrain.
You’ve talked before about having anxiety issues. How does creating music help this?
Making music is essentially the only thing I feel safe doing. If I had sought after a different career, I’m not sure how I would’ve coped. Because creating music asks for such a big chunk of your personality, it acts as a healthy catharsis in my day-to-day life. As I deal with anxiety a lot, it’s nice to know that I have something I can turn to and feel secure.
What do you have lined up for the rest of the year?
I’m so excited for 2017 I could wee! I’m focusing on releasing more music and performing as much as I can. My next single after this will be “Halfway” and I hope to release the EP (of the same name) in April. I’m also playing a few shows around Ireland before festival season kicks off, where we’re visiting the UK too – eeeep.