Hey Sorcha, how would you describe yourself and your music?
As far as describing myself I’m not too sure. I’m a 21-year-old singer-songwriter from Dublin and I go to college in New York. As for my music, Alan Reilly reviewed my EP for bitzlr.com and described it as “bedroom songs sung from a big city window.” I thought that was quite fitting. I wish I’d come up with it myself though so I could use it in a song.
Have you always seen music as a possible career?
I’ve always wanted to do it but didn’t have the confidence until recently. I never thought I’d go down the singer-songwriter route though. Drums used to be my main thing. I’ve played drums since I was eleven and was always the drummer in bands in school so if I thought if I did anything with music, I’d be drumming in a band, not singing on my own.
Who would you compare your music to, for those who don’t know you yet?
Hmm I don’t really know. I’ve had people compare my music to musicians that I’ve never listened to. But I listen to a lot of The Antlers, Lykke Li and James Vincent McMorrow so some of those influences probably creep into my writing.
Has living in New York changed you in any way?
It’s definitely made me more independent and much more ambitious. I’m on a student visa in New York so I’m conscious of the fact that my time there is limited. I’m only guaranteed two more years there, which probably seems like a long time, but my first three years have flown by, so it’s a little scary to think I’m over half way done. That pushes me to try to get the most out of the place while I’m lucky enough to be living and studying there.
Would you say moving to a city with so much culture and history has improved your songwriting ability?
Probably. I reference New York a bit in my writing. The music scene here is really incredible too, so that’s definitely inspiring. I think just the experience of moving to New York when I was eighteen and being really out of my comfort zone for the first little while was good for me. And the fact that I study fiction writing in college helps my lyrics too.
One of your songs, Midnight Whistle, speaks about your battle with thyroid cancer. How are you now?
I’m very well! I don’t think I’d even call it a battle as it’s more something I’ve had to endure rather than fight. Thyroid cancer’s very different from most types of cancer. It’s very treatable. I’m not completely in the clear yet though. I actually have to have more surgery later this month to clear up the last spot of cancer cells. The surgeries do a little bit of short-term damage to your vocal chords so I’ll have to take about a month where I don’t do any singing. But that should be one of, if not the last step so I’m close to a clean bill of health again.
Your song, I Heart NYC was remixed by Nils Hoffman and now has over 40,000 views on Youtube, how did that come about?
Nils has released some stuff with an independent label in Berlin called Trackord Records. About a year ago, one of the guys who runs the label came across my stuff on Soundcloud and asked if someone on the label could remix the song. Trackord Records are going to release the original along with some of the remixes on vinyl later this month, so it will be nice to have one of those.
How has the feedback been from your debut EP Sleep Will Set Me Free?
It’s been very positive, which is encouraging. Because of the Trackord Records stuff and the fact that Nils Hoffmann and Tristan Fogel and a few other German DJ’s have remixed my songs, the EP has been featured on a couple of German websites. I came across a few and had to read them in broken English with the help of Google Translate. The feedbacks been good though, I actually had an email the other day from someone in Hong Kong who had blogged about the EP!
You’ve done some collaborations in your time in NYC. If you could collaborate with anyone who would it be and why?
Probably someone whose music is quite different to mine. I do a lot of stuff with Colossal Mantis, a trip-hop/electronic group in New York, and I love doing that because the music we come up with has a completely different sound to my solo stuff. So maybe someone like Bonobo or Youth Lagoon.
You play Whelan’s Upstairs next week, are you looking forward to it?
Yeah I can’t wait. I haven’t done a huge amount of gigging in Dublin because I’ve been away so much but it’s nice to be able to come home and do a gig for friends and family who might not have heard me play before.
Supporting you on the night are Slow Skies and you also recently played with Chloe Giacometti, two fantastic up and coming female vocalists. What are your views on the Irish music scene at the moment? Anyone we should be looking out for?
I don’t know if it’s just because I’m paying more attention to the Irish music scene more now than I have before or what but I’ve never been so interested in as many Irish bands as I am at the moment. I think Slow Skies are great. I love Cry Monster Cry, Sacred Animals, Hush War Cry and White Collar Boy to name a few. It certainly seems like it’s a good time for Irish music anyway.
Finally, are there any plans for an album?
No definite plans just yet. I’ve a couple songs that I left off of the last EP and I’m always writing new stuff but I haven’t really decided if I’ll do another EP or if I’ll put out an album. Either way, it hopefully won’t be too long before I release some more music.Tickets for Sorcha’s headline show at Whelan’s Upstairs are still available from Whelan’s Website and are priced at €7. Her debut EP, Sleep Will Set Me Free can be listened to and downloaded from her Bandcamp.