Limerick's Emma Langford is gearing up for the release of her album Sowing Acorns on September 18. We ask her the BIG questions.
Tell us three things about yourself?
I love dogs, all dogs. My goal is to be a crazy dog mom; I truly believe we as a species don't deserve them. As a kid, I wanted to illustrate children's books or be a ventriloquist or an archaeologist... But never a musician. I'm not good with noisy crowds - you might think I'm in the wrong career, but the original artist archetype was shy and retiring, so I'm owning it.
How would you describe your music?
I don't, if I can help it! It varies a lot and I don't try to write in a certain genre, but usually my work is mellow and evocative; wordy and moody. I care a lot about lyrics, and I try to combine them with the melody in a way that draws the listener into a far-off time and place in my memory. I realise that's possibly a bit, eh, nondescript...
Who are your musical inspirations?
Anaïs Mitchell, Wallis Bird, Joni Mitchell, Declan O'Rourke and anyone releasing new music right now that's putting a fire under me to start writing again - HOW DO YOU DO IT?!
How have you been occupying yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?
For the past 10 weeks I've hosted the Formal Friday Virtual Sing-Song, a two-hour live-stream presentation of songs, stories, special guest performances and interviews. It was a good weekly deadline to work toward, pulling together social media promotional assets and learning songs around a theme. Aside from that, although life on the road was called to a halt, I'm still working. Future release dates loom large so I've been working on promotional materials, new merch, admin... Plus, of course, there's staring blankly at walls in a state of existential dread - that eats up a lot of my time.
What's your favourite song right now?
There is so much excellent music coming out of Ireland right now, I can't pick one favourite! I have four I'm playing on repeat... Niamh Regan's new release Save the Day is a deceptively uptempo reflection on mental health and ennui, with which I hard relate. It's just waiting to be used as the theme tune for a quirky sitcom.
Shona Blake's new release Daughter is full of heart; it's a dreamy, folky ballad celebrating the bond between mother and child. The production has a real in-the-room quality that adds hugely to its intimate nature.
And then there's Denise Chaila's self-titled new single C H A I L A and her Rusangano Family brother MuRli with Till the Wheels Fall Off.
Two absolute "bops", as the kids say (I think?) with incredibly clever lyrics from two artists Ireland is rightly celebrating and cherishing right now.
Favourite lyric of all time?
I find it really hard to pick out one lyric in isolation, but there's a line I love from Rilo Kiley's The Absence of God: "Folk singers sing songs for the working, baby. We're just recreation for all those doctors and lawyers; there's no relief for the bleeding heart, 'cause they'll be losing bodies tonight." It's always struck me as poignant and feels extra pertinent right now.
If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?
Midnight in Harlem by Tedeschi Trucks Band feels like a good choice here... These questions are really hard! But yeah, I think it would take a long time to drive me insane - please nobody test that! - and it mostly makes me want to be a better musician. If I could learn to play that pedal steel part before I died or lost my mind entirely, I'd be pretty happy.
Where can people find your music/more information?
I'd love if you came to my Bandcamp site to buy my CDs, merch or digital discography. Bandcamp is the kindest to artists in terms of how much it takes from sales, and it really stepped up during lockdown to support us: emmalangfordmusic.bandcamp.com. You can also find me on twitter @ELangformusic, on Facebook.com/emmalangfordmusic, or my one-stop-shop www.emmalangfordmusic.com.