“It’s crucial that I have a creative space where I can be impulsive and audacious and I don’t have to answer to anyone”
Our FiveOnFriday chat is with Laoise – the young Galway singer has just released You, a beguiling slice of atmospheric electro (to stream/purchase on all platforms, Spotify, iTunes etc). Although it has a dark edge, of her current overall aesthetic, she says – “there is a lot of pink, you’ve been warned”.
Listen to You below and read Laoise’s thoughts on songwriting, coping with anxiety and check out her top inspirational tracks.
Q1. What are you working on at the moment?
At the moment I am mostly working on my next release – The ‘Halfway’ EP. It’s to be released in January, EEEEP! But I’m also tweaking my live set and becoming more comfortable on stage with my new music. I’m used to hiding behind an instrument on stage so swapping my guitar, especially, for a microphone has been terrifying, but mostly liberating because I can boogie.
Q2. What is your usual approach to the songwriting process?
I don’t necessarily have a ‘usual’ approach to songwriting. If I’m honest, I’m a bit all over the place when it comes to writing a song! My mind works a little faster than I’d like it to – it’s hard to keep up with it. Even though I’ve been writing for nearly four years now, a lot of the time I don’t even remember how I came to finishing a full song. Sometimes I sit down at my piano or with my guitar and create some sort of melody or progression that may lead into a song. Other times I could be on my laptop producing beats (crappy beats, that is) and attempting to sing along with them. The worst is when I think have a great idea in my head and I try to hum it into my voice memos on my phone and it really just sounds like a bad version of Beaker from the Muppets. So I guess it can vary depending on my mood or where I am at the time.
Q3. What do you think is the most important thing you’ve learned since you began making music?
That’s very interesting question because I often find myself thinking of how I was before I started writing and recording my own music. Before I started writing, I was, and sometimes still am, extremely aware of other’s opinions and perceptions of me, to the point that I’d overthink having a general conversation with someone. So talking about personal issues, for instance, was a no-go. Making music is where I discovered that I could express myself any way I wanted to, and say anything I wanted to. I could choose to either hide behind metaphors, or be quite literal, without the fear of judgement. So the most important thing I’ve learned is that it’s very crucial that I have a creative space where I can be impulsive and audacious and I don’t have to answer to anyone.
Q4. You’ve mentioned in a previous interview you’ve had anxiety issues in the past – how has writing music helped with that? Do you consciously try to use it as a form of therapy? How do you feel about performing live?
Like I said before, making music is a way for me to express myself. I’m terrible for overanalysing simple situations and I have a lot of self-image issues. I try not to get worked up when I’m in and out of depression from my anxiety, so I turn to creativity as much as I can as a positive way of distracting and expressing myself. So you could definitely say that I use it as a form of therapy.
When I perform live I delve back into the emotions I experienced when writing my songs, but with an audience there’s a sense of connection that contrasts the isolation I felt at the time. It’s a very nice way to get a different perspective on things, and an especially important way for me to reflect on difficult times.
Q5. Tell us about three pieces of music you turn to in tough times or that give you a lift?
Oh god, only three?! Haha okay my go-to ‘lift’ song is Heroes by David Bowie. Just hearing Robert Fripp’s guitar calms me down. A sort of random one, but Daft Punk’s Harder Better Faster Stronger is definitely THE best song to jump around to. And lastly, Edge Of Seventeen by Stevie Nicks, what a babe. I’ve always loved her; I still remember my father playing Fleetwood Mac songs when I was about four, and her passion and perseverance has been a huge influence on myself as an artist.
Laoise’s single You is available now on iTunes, Tidal and Spotify. For shows coming up in the New Year, keep an eye on www.facebook.com/laoisemusic.