Singer-songwriter Susan Quirke has released her new song, Winter's Here. We asked her the BIG questions . . . 

It's the fourth release from the Oola, Co. Limerick native and it features some of Ireland’s leading musicians, including acclaimed violinist Colm Mac Con Iomaire, former Lír guitarist Colm Quearney, Justin Carroll on keyboard, Graham Hopkins on drums, and Rob Malone on bass. The song was mastered by David Odlum.

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Susan wrote the song about winter as a time for rest, reflection and renewal. She is also a meditation teacher and has performed at festivals including Electric Picnic and Body&Soul.

Speaking about the new song, she says, "I wrote this song as a reminder to myself to stay in tune with the cycles of nature. Winter is meant to be a time of hibernation, quiet, stillness and rest. I've found that resisting these natural cycles can create stress and suffering.

"Too often we put immense pressure on ourselves in winter to push forward. There is a huge rest deficit in society, something I see many people struggle with as part of my work as a meditation teacher.

"So, this song is also an invitation to rest and let go. You could say it’s a kind of meditation to help people drop back the gears and go easy on themselves until the warmer days of spring."

Tell us three things about yourself?

I'm excited to be gearing up to release my debut album Into the Sea this spring. This week I’ve been working with a designer on the artwork for the cover. I cannot believe I made this record. I love the songs more with every listen. As well as being a singer and music maker I’m also a meditation teacher and I’m currently connecting with people all over the world online to teach them how to meditate. I also adore creating mass meditation experiences for people and have done this from the main stages of major Irish festivals, summits, conferences and cultural events. The largest was for over 6,000 people. Music and meditation are interconnected for me, it’s all about the love.

How would you describe your music?

Indie, rocky, ethereal, sweet vibes. To my ears anyway!

Who are your musical inspirations?

Xavier Rudd, Sharon Van Etten, Cat Power, Colm Mac Con Iomaire, Eddie Vedder, Patti Smith, Tash Sultana, Jeff Buckley, John Lennon, Stevie Nicks, The Cranberries, Ye Vagabonds, Phosphorescent, Thom Yorke, Deva Premal… I could go on forever.

How did you occupy yourself during the coronavirus lockdown?

Right before lockdown hit, I was on an intensive meditation training near Byron Bay in Australia. I got home two days before the lockdown and immediately had to transition all of my meditation teaching work online. The deep connection I have had with people online has blown my heart open this year. To hear how meditation has been genuinely changing people’s lives has been so joyful. I put most of my creative energy into this work and my music took a back seat for a while. I didn’t sing or pick up my guitar for months. It was like I wasn’t physically able to. I finally got my groove back and I love playing the piano at the moment. Creative flow comes in waves and the most important thing for me right now is to feel back into the joy of singing and playing again, for its own sake.

What’s your favourite song right now?

This year my husband Ruairí got me into The War on Drugs. I’m listening to the song Pain on repeat. It’s so creamy and delicious.

Favourite lyric of all time?

That’s a tough one. One of my favourites coming to mind right now is from Nick Cave - Into My Arms: "I don’t believe in an interventionist God/But I know, darling, that you do/ But if I did I would kneel down and ask Him/ Not to intervene when it came to you."

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life what would it be?

Jeff Buckley’s Lover You Should’ve Come Over. Energy starts pumping through my body when I listen to it.

Where can people find your music/more information?

You can find me through my website, by following me on Spotify, Bandcamp or YouTube and on all the usual social media platforms. Come say hi!