Sweeping the tracks to the heart of Irish Folk with Aine Tyrrell
Sweeping the tracks to the heart of Irish Folk
Fledgling Fall with Aine Tyrrell
By Ian Browne Shamrock News
Gearing up for her four live performances at this year’s Mullum Music Fest, I met Aine Tyrrell during her live set at the Sphinx Rock Café in early October. Modern Irish folk; banjo, guitar and flute at the ready, this gal from Galway with a touch of Spanish Amada - charmed us a plenty. Her father too is a folk singer, it’s part of her DNA.
Aine is thoughtful in the way she communicates with her audience, and her harmony announced the departure of the ‘big dry’ with some Irish rain falling while she played. An EP which blends beautifully with the Northern Rivers scenery, Fledgling Fall found its name with all the forest birds who visited Aine and her musicians in the Dandenong Ranges near Melbourne, during the three-day production by Mark Stanley. Aine also described how this EP’s spirit seemed to grow its own wings, like a fledgling, following on from the hatching of her first album Queen of Swords.
“Let a tear roll through the hurricane, swing in a sea of the wax and wane, let you dance naked in the starlit truth, only hide in the arms of the bullet proof”…from Fledgling Fall I really love ‘Whiskey woman’, and not just for the flange bass and tranquil guitar, but for the way Aine incorporates the organics of land, time and spirituality within themes. There are some wistful sounds and thought-provoking analogies living within this EP.
An exciting moment for Aine at the start of the year was when Fledgling Fall’s lead single 'Don’t be Left Crying' went to number one on the Irish national broadcaster RTE! The song is a ‘lament’ to the way drugs can evaporate the ‘self’ and what we love most, and whispers her sadness to losing friends to addiction.
Road Warrior: I spoke to Aine in the weeks following her Sphinx Rock Café appearance and she told me how she had been busy touring Fledgling Fall around the place. She was on her way the next day to tour Tasmania and Victoria. Aine Tyrrell is no stranger to the road, she recorded Queen of Swords on the run across the desert from the vile malady that is domestic violence. The album celebrates “resilience and relief.” Aine also calls the Mullum region home for part of the year, describing how this old land has shaped her new sound. When she returns to Ireland, Aine’s sound has a noticeable Australian twang about it, straying from the traditional Irish folk.
Aine Tyrell’s first Mullum Music Fest performance will take place at the Poinciana Festival Club at 6pm, Friday the 17th of November.
Aine Tyrell’s BIO
"Soul, intelligence, wit and wisdom, history and mystery and a voice that brings it all together. Don't miss her, for fear that you might miss the very thing you need." - Shane Howard Like many Irish troubadours before her, there’s a great storytelling tradition at the heart of Áine Tyrrell’s music. Perhaps that’s one of the things, apart from her musicianship and an equally deft touch with a killer hook or a heartrending lament, which attracted the attention of celebrated Irish craftsman Glen Hansard.
That’s the story that has unfolded in the latest chapter of Australia-based Irish singer Tyrrell’s extraordinary career, a beautiful meeting of like minds in which Tyrrell’s seductive, mournful voice, atop a stirring Celtic soul romp, is given a little extra finesse by her good friend Hansard on her new single Don’t Be Left Crying.
Tyrrell, whose father Seán Tyrrell is one of Ireland’s most revered and enduring folk singers, first met Hansard 11 years ago when she was an aspiring young songwriter in Dublin and he was king of the walk in his band The Frames. Last year they met up again, this time in Australia during Hansard’s sold-out solo tour, where they hatched a plot to work together on Tyrrell’s upcoming EP, Fledgling Fall.
The EP follows Tyrrell’s much-lauded debut album last year, Queen of Swords, which she recorded with producer Mark Stanley, another soul-mate of Hansard’s from Stanley’s days as drummer in Irish band, The Mary Janes. Together these three have crafted, in various combinations, the five songs that make up Fledgling Fall, including another Tyrrell-Hansard composition, the elegant yet seductively psychedelic folk song Burn Up Those Notes.
“It has been such an amazing opportunity for me to work with one of my songwriting heroes," says Tyrrell. "I have long admired not only his work, but his integrity and bigheartedness in all he does.”
There’s no denying Tyrrell has a big heart as well. Three years ago, after a traumatic relationship break-up, the singer left home in Victoria with her three young children to travel across Australia in a newly acquired 1966 Bedford bus. Apart from this converted coach becoming the home in which the family now lives, it also carried the singer to shows and festivals all over the country and to the various locations where she and Stanley recorded Queen of Swords, including an underground cave in the South Australian mining town of Coober Pedy.
Tyrrell’s passionate music draws from a number of styles and influences. Certainly traditional Irish folk is in her blood, but so too are elements of soul, country, and rock ‘n’ roll. Her upbringing in County Clare and in the United States (her mother is American) and her new-found love of Australia also means she is drawing from many cultures in her writing.
“I think that has given me permission to break the rules,” she says. “I am so proud of the musical heritage I come from, but tradition in its essence sets up boundaries, expectations, and ingrained rules. I have learned to dip from that deep well, but I value the freedom I have to express it in my way.”
2016 was a stellar year for Tyrrell. In addition to her massive touring schedule, she joined Paul Kelly, Shane Howard, Pauline Scanlon, Declan O'Rourke, John Spillane and her father on the national concert tour Exile, a line-up of outstanding Irish and Australian artists who came together for a celebration of Irish influence in Australia, creating a rich tapestry of stories, imagery and music. The southern hemisphere summer of 2016/17 saw Tyrrell perform successful headline tours around Australia as well as performing at Woodford Folk Festival, Adelaide Fringe, Mullum Music Festival, Cygnet Folk Festival and many others. She has earned the reputation of being an unmissable live act.
This year she’s setting her sights further afield. Tyrrell plans to record her next album in Ireland, following the same principle she applied with Queen of Swords, travelling around the country, recording wherever the mood takes her and doing plenty of shows along the way.
Before she does that Tyrrell will play a lightning tour of her favourite intimate venues around Australia to celebrate the release of Don’t Be Left Crying. Tyrrell’s incredible journey is one you’d be well advised to follow.
"She has music in her DNA. She has that rare ability to connect people through words and music." - Liam O'Maonlaí (Hot House Flowers) "Tyrrell's irrepressible personality and indefatigable nature pervades Queen of Swords" - Rhythms Magazine Jan 2016 "Tyrrell’ssongwritingtalentisevidentinthecraftingofthelyricsinthis vigorous, barely tamed LP (Queen of Swords)." - BMA Magazine
"Her voice is unmistakably Irish, in a way few singers are any more."- Irish Echo 2015 “Áine connects deeply with her music…emotionally stirring and uplifting.” - National Celtic Festival
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