Lorraine Nash‘s debut EP is not so much a culmination of her recent work, but a culmination of a lifetime of music, condensed into its first public form. ‘Wildflower’ utilises Nash’s skills on piano, guitar, harp, flute and violin as well as her distinctive vocal, and serves as an intro to her subtle, trad-influenced style.
Her key message is compassion with social evolution and acceptance both giving an airing as well as evocative messages about the inevitability of change that could have been – but weren’t, in fact – penned for our current shutdown scenario.
I asked Lorraine all about it…
Congrats on the EP. Can you tell me a little bit about the themes behind it?
Thanks so much! As this is my first EP, the timeline for the songs is spread out quite a bit and the themes vary, but one of the main ideas that runs through most of the songs is the search for independence and sense of self you experience as a young adult.
For example, ‘Changing Tides’ is about realizing what your own beliefs are and trying to keep hold of them in a world that is constantly changing around you. Some of the tracks also deal with relationships, the central theme to ‘Everything to me’ is trying to understand how much you can expect from another person.
I understand you had to push back the launch because of the current virus situation, but now you’re going ahead in June. Has the whole process been more stressful this way?
It was stressful in the beginning for sure, just because of the uncertainty of the situation. The main concern I had was that an online release wouldn’t be as impactful, but seeing how well other artists have used this as an opportunity to connect with people at home it seems best to just go ahead with it. Live streaming wasn’t quite as scary as I thought it would be!
‘Changing Tides’ seems naturally linked to the situation we find ourselves in. Is it striking a chord, do you think?
I have found this song definitely lends itself to our current situation. As I have mentioned already, the song is about recognizing the inevitable changes we will experience in our lives and adapting to them while trying to maintain our own individual beliefs. There is a lot of talk of the “new normal” and we will all have to find our place in this instead of dwelling on the past. Overall it is a hopeful song, whether we consider these changes that happen to be good or bad.
I guess this wasn’t the kind of change you had in mind when you wrote the song?
I was definitely not thinking of a change that was this extreme but I guess it shows the fluidity of songs and how they can apply to so many situations. This always seems to give the listener a reason to connect with a song or artist which I think is very important.
Can you tell me a little bit about what’s brought you to this point with your music?
I think having studied a few genres of music has been helpful for sure. Studying classical piano and violin, whether I enjoyed it that much or not, has definitely been a big help.
I have always loved trad music and that is evident in the material I have been writing and releasing lately. I also spent two years in Coláiste Stiofáin Naofa studying Music, Management and Sound and the tutors were so helpful in every aspect. I do think I would have entered this whole experience a lot more clueless if it wasn’t for that.
Having been performing since you were very young, did you always know you were heading towards this kind of creativity?
Lyrically, I started writing at about 16 and after about 4 notebooks of rubbish it started to flow a bit easier and I found a style that suited me. I guess it’s like anything else and it just takes persistence and practice, if I hadn’t put the time in I’d still be writing rubbish. The melodies have always come easier to me and I could happily spend hours on pro tools layering instruments just for fun.
What’s been your favourite moment of the journey so far?
I think making the RTE Radio 1 playlist was a big one for me, a shock for sure and a nice surprise to get while sitting at home!
How have you found the public side of things – being asked questions about your music, for example, or appearing in front of bigger crowds?
I think the first few interviews were a bizarre experience for me but a learning curve for sure. I’d consider myself a relatively private person so explaining my songs seemed daunting but once you release them and let other people hear them they take on a life of their own and people can draw their own meaning from them. As for playing for bigger crowds, I had a few gigs that were cancelled which was a shame but it gave me the live stream experience which turned out to be fun.
What are your hopes for the future?
I am starting out quite small, so I hope to keep releasing my music and build an audience that is excited to hear it.