Q: Hi! What inspired the theme of rejuvenation and reflection in “Brushing Off The Rust,” and how does it reflect your personal journey?

A:  I’m obsessed with the idea of creating characters. In the past I’ve tried to write things such as short stories and sitcoms but I really struggled to complete such expansive ideas. The idea of creating characters and telling stories within the confines of a 3 or 4 minute song is a format that I’m really comfortable in. It’s like a musical synopsis of a drama or comedy series!

Q: “Brushing Off The Rust” tells a vivid story of two characters. How do you approach creating such relatable yet unique characters in your music?

A: I’m constantly listening to the voices around me and the stories that are told. Growing up in small town Ireland we were always told stories of really fascinating characters so I suppose I draw alot of inspiration from that. I’m always trying to create a setting or world within where the characters can flourish. 

Q: Your music often features intricate guitar fingerpicking and joyful melodies. Can you share more about how these elements are integral to your songwriting process?

A: I spent an inordinate amount of time playing guitar and I’m obsessed with the idea of creating a mood just by the way the instrument is used. I see it as an orchestra that is used to accompany the song so in a way it iss as integral to the song as the lyrics. way . I mainly write on guitar so If the song sounds good with just my vocal and guitar, I’m happy to bring it to the recording stage.

Q: The song was recorded live at The Meadow studio. How did this environment contribute to the overall sound and feel of the track?

A: The Meadow is a beautiful studio in Wicklow which is also known as the garden of Ireland. It has a really lovely garden which is immaculately kept so you are surrounded by beautiful flora. I think this fed into the overall feel of the track as you are very much embedded in nature which is never a bad thing for creating a music making environment.

Q: Featuring musicians like Paul Kenny and Liam McCabe, how did the collaboration process influence the final version of “Brushing Off The Rust”?

A: Once I was happy with the song, the idea was to get the best players possible to play out the sound that I had been hearing in my head. I really didn’t give too much direction to the lads as regards what I wanted them to play. I was keen for them to interpret the song was they felt which I think adds to the overall overall feel of the track. We also didn’t do too many takes in the studio and had it recorded in the first 2 or 3 takes. 2

Q: You aimed to capture “unfeathered joy” in this song. How do you ensure that this emotional authenticity comes through in a live recording setting?

A: It’s essential to create a nice open environment in the studio. Whilst the music needs to be technically recorded well, I believe that this can only be done if the mood is right in the studio. I was lucky enough to work with people who are technically proficient but who are also friends of mine so that a nice, open environment was always there from the start.

Q: The chorus of the song is quite poignant, telling listeners to “dream all you can, they are yours alone.” What message do you hope fans take away from these lyrics?

A: I suppose that line is a nod to ‘keeping the head up’ and remaining focused on your aspirations when it can be most difficult.

Q: Having learned your craft at singing sessions, how do those experiences shape the way you approach music and storytelling now?

A: I’ve been very lucky to hear the most amazing singers on a regular Friday night traditional sessions and I’m always listening to how others present songs and the different inflections that each singer has and I try and bring that into my own singing when possible.

Q: With “Coney” receiving significant radio play, how do you feel “Brushing Off The Rust” builds upon or diverges from your previous work?

A: With ‘Coney’, it was very much a solo endeavor in terms of how the song was produced and I didn’t use any other musicians apart from Zeenie Summers on BV’s. It was produced by Stephen Kelly. The song came about by my friend recording me in his studio whereas BOTR is a bit more expansive in its sound owing to the fact that it was recorded live in a studio with really great players.

Q: Finally, considering the challenges and struggles depicted in the song, what does “Brushing Off The Rust” symbolize for you personally and professionally as an artist?

A: It symbolizes as new phase for me as a writer. I feel like I have found a new groove with this song(excuse the pun). I’m starting to work in a space that I’m quite comfortable in.