EXCLUSIVE: Sorcha Richardson Interview
Dublin-born singer/songwriter Sorcha Richardson released her debut album, First Prize Bravery. We spoke with Sorcha about the creation of the album and what’s next for her.
-“Don’t Talk About It”, is the lead single off the album. What can you tell us about this track and why you thought it was the perfect introduction to this body of work?
This song just felt like a fun one to start with. It had been a little over a year since I’d released any original music and so I wanted the first song that people heard from the album to be one that kind of kicked things into high gear again.
– You’ve previously released several singles and EP but this is your first ever album. What was the most important thing to you when it came to the creative process and the messages you wanted to share?
I kind of just wanted to make an album that illuminated and elevated the small, quite moments in life that you share with other people. The lessons that you learn about yourself, and about life, in those moments. And I wanted the songs to be strong enough that I could sit down at the piano or with a guitar and play them by myself and they would still hold up.
– What would you say you have learned most about yourself and your art throughout this process?
That things usually work out better when I trust my instincts from the start
– You wrote many of tracks of the album. Was that important to you to have such a strong imprint on your debut album?
I wrote every song on the album, and other than Twisting The Knife (which started out as a demo with Conor Adams) the majority of the album was written in my bedroom. Some of the songs changed as I revisited them over time, and others stayed the same from the original demo. Me and Alex made some edits as we were recording them. But first and foremost I think of myself as a songwriter. That feels like the most important part of what I do.
– Do you have a top 3 favorite lyrics you wrote for this album? Can you break them down for us?
“I watched you move around the room, you’re more magnetic than the moon”
– from “Honey.” Feels like the best way to encapsulate that entire song.
“you quit your job, Kidvegas, I quit New York”
– from “Red Lion.” Kidvegas is my friend’s nickname. I love name checking my friends in songs. She’d just quit her job and I had just left New York when I wrote this and the two of us were at such a loose end, almost killing time in Los Angeles until we figured out our next move, but somehow it felt like everything was gonna be just fine.
“you said that it was the song of the summer, we played it loud in your car/
But not its February nobody’s heard it, I guess we’ll stay where we are”
– from “First Prize Bravery.” This to me is so much of what the album is about. Hope and disappointment, dreams and reality, time passing and nothing changing and yet still feeling like the mundane moments between all of it were transformative.
– Alex Casnoff (previously a member of Dawes and Harriet) produced the whole record. How did that come about? How was it working with him?
I met Alex back in 2016. We were under the same management and I think we were just mutual fans of each others’ music. We spent a few days in LA recording together and in that first week made Ruin Your Night and Lost. From that point on he pretty much became my main collaborator and my favourite producer to work with. He’s just so talented and really committed. We had worked together plenty of times so when it came to making the album it felt relatively easy, and I had a real trust in him and his ideas.
– You’ve said First Prize Bravery is a collection of stories written during a transitional time between living in New York and moving back to Dublin. Tell us more about this move and how it influenced your sound.
I don’t know how much it affected my sound to be honest. I think I learned a lot in New York from the musicians I met there and it made me more fearless, creatively. I guess there are songs like Honey and Driveway which I was able to write simply because I could spend hours at the piano in my parents house in Dublin.
– Speaking of influences, who would you say you look up to the most as an artist and why?
Someone like Sharon Van Etten, She’s an amazing songwriter and pretty fearless album to album. I saw her play in Dublin earlier this year and it was sick.
– These past few months have been quite a journey leading up to the album. You went on tour throughout England and Ireland, you were working on this new music… What would you say has been the most rewarding part of this year?
Definitely release the album. It felt like the culmination of a lot of hard work. My friend send me a photo of her buying the album at the record shop near our house in Dublin where I used to go all the time after school as a teenager. That kind of thing is so surreal but it makes me feel very proud.
– With 2019 coming to an end, what are some of your hopes and goals moving forward in 2020?
Play some more shows in Europe & America
Write some more songs with my friends in Dublin
Go to Berlin
Get better at speaking Irish