Singer-songwriter Aoife Carton’s recently released single Edinburgh was launched this month at a special fundraiser gig in Dublin, with all proceeds going to the Dublin Rape Crisis Centre.
Although the 22-year-old has already been compared to people like Phoebe Bridgers, Julia Jacklin and Beth Orton, she cites a much more mainstream singer as being highly influential: "A lot of people ask me about my country influences. I’ve always loved that sound; when Taylor Swift went pop it was my worst nightmare!"
In a move mirroring Swift’s, Aoife took a big step towards her music career in 2017, when she booked a solo flight to Nashville, Tennessee on her 21st birthday, determined to play at the famous Open Mic Night at the Bluebird Cafe - which she did.
Watch: Aoife Carton goes to Nashville
The following summer she returned to the States, this time to New York, where she played at the Rockwood Music Hall, opened for Mick Flannery at a private gig in New Jersey and gigged open mic nights every chance she got.
Taking influence from folk and country music, Aoife Carton has developed her sound since she started writing songs. A writer before a songwriter, lyrics are at the heart of her music with themes ranging from love to depression to - in true country style - heartbreak.
She says of writing Edinburgh, a song which focuses on the potentially destructive presence of alcohol in relationships, "I wrote Edinburgh looking back on a type of relationship that mainly existed under the influence of alcohol. A lot of promises were made; plans that never materialised. It’s not intended as a spiteful song, it’s just honest. I wanted us both to see the reason the relationship had ended.
Watch: Aoife sings Edinburgh
"The hook, ‘If we’d gone to Edinburgh’ came to me first and I kind of laughed it off, thinking it was too ridiculous a concept, but for some reason the ideas kept coming and I kept writing. Dancing in the shadow of Edinburgh castle and waking up to the sun in Venice were all images I had held on to, throughout and after the relationship ended. These were things we talked about, but never got around to doing.
"The line ‘Over coffee not beer, sober and clear, no fear in you’ was the hardest for me to write. I wanted nothing more than for the relationship to continue ‘over coffee’ not alcohol. Alcohol makes people say things they might not say sober, and so the person promised the world, and then took it back the next morning. The ‘fear’ mentioned, is the fear of commitment and the fear of the things said through drink."
Edinburgh by Aoife Carlton is out now.