Singer/songwriter and multi-talented artist Sorcha Richardson may reside in New York now, but it’s her Irish roots and childhood in Dublin that help her stand out from the crowd. She also views music as a collaborative effort, and opens herself to a constant flow of communication with her fans and friends through Swim Out, a unique aspect of her personality that isn’t seen really anywhere else. Her song “Petrol Station” is slow, gorgeous, and sets a sensual tone to any situation you may find yourself in.
Although you can sense a bit of an accent in her work, it’s not the most notable aspect of the music. And that’s a big flippin’ deal, considering the intricate way with which her compositions flow. She’s an extraordinary musician, and we were lucky to nab a few minutes to speak with her about her past, her music, and being featured on Spotify. Check it out!
How did you get your start in music?
I started playing drums and guitar when I was 10 and formed a band with my two friends. We would go to each others houses after school and make up songs. Then I taught myself to play piano and continued playing drums with bands throughout school. I also starting spending a lot of time writing songs and by the time I moved to New York for college I had a notebook full of music I had written that I had never shown anybody. I was terrified of singing and didn’t think it was something I was very good at but I wanted people to hear the songs I written. so I started playing at dive bars around the city to get over that fear and began making demos in my dorms. Everything kept growing from there.
What was the earliest record you remember having a lasting impression on you?
I’m not sure about full record but the first song that I really remember is “Joe Le Taxi” by Vanessa Paradis. I think I was 4 and I found it on a cassette that my parents had. I used to play it over and over and over. I didn’t understand that it was it was French so I would sing English words that kind of sounded like the French words she was singing. I honestly thought I knew the lyrics off by heart. When she sings “Joe Le Taxi, C’est ca vie” in the chorus I would sing “Joe Le Taxi, say sorry.” And I had this whole English version memorized that made no sense. But I was obsessed with it and it’s one of my most vivid memories I have from my childhood.
How supportive are your friends and family in your pursuit of music?
Insanely supportive. My parents and my brother and sister come to every show I do in Dublin. One time when I was playing in Germany my parents booked a last minute flight just cause they didn’t miss it. My sister played piano for a couple shows with me last year too. And my friends are they same. They come to all my shows. They all post stuff online when I release something. I was just in LA and had 4 of my friends insist on giving me rides to and from the studio when they could. They’re the best.
New York City and Dublin are seen as very different cities. What’s the most noticeable adjustment you made moving between the two?
I moved to New York when I was 18 and up until that point Dublin had been my whole world. All of my friends and family lived in Dublin pretty much my whole life had happened there. The biggest adjustment I had to make was getting used to feeling out of my comfort zone and learning to be okay with that. I didn’t really know anyone for my first couple weeks and I had spent hardly any time in New York so every situation felt very new. But it was a lot of fun and felt like a big adventure that hasn’t really stopped.
Is there a best frame of mind for a listener to have while taking in “Ruin Your Night”?
When you know you’ve fucked up and you feel bad about it but you’re also not sure that you should say sorry. Kind of like in Thelma & Louise once they’re committed on going to Mexico.
Having scrapped an EP to rework things, how do you keep yourself inspired to continue your work?
I honestly felt more inspired after scrapping the EP than I did when I was thinking about releasing it. It felt very freeing to make that decision. I didn’t say “I’m going to scrap this and make a new EP.” It was more about making a decision to spend time exploring and trying new ideas and really working to get better.
With 2017 around the corner, what can we expect in the pipeline?
A lot more new music and hopefully some really fun shows.
On your website, you dedicate an entire section welcoming followers to make music more than just artist and audience. In its place, you offer a collaborative idea exchange. What led you to open up that conversation? What’s been the feedback?
People would sometimes send me a message to say that they liked my music and I always loved being able to chat with them. And sometimes I’d find out that they were also a musician or an artist or a filmmaker or something. So I decided to put that on my website to let people know, hey, reach out to me if you want! Here’s my email.
I don’t want to just make music and throw it at you to consume. Since I put that on my website I’ve had people send me poetry, paintings, sketches, piano compositions, songs that they’ve made. One guy sent me a piano piece he composed inspired by a lyric from my song. To be able to engage with people like that and share ideas and art is way more rewarding for me than just seeing numbers grow on social media.
How did you find out “Ruin Your Night” made its way into Spotify’s Indie Mix playlist? What was your very first reaction?
I think my manager texted me? But I had about five or six people text me about it that day so I’m not sure. I love that playlist. I listen to it a lot anyway so I was super excited to see one of my songs on there, amongst so many artists that I listen to.
Anything else to add?
I’ve listened to this song four times today.
Keep up to date with Sorcha on Facebook.