SALLAY MATU GARNETT – better known by her stage name ‘Loah’ – has been around the Dublin music scene for quite some time. In her current, solo guise, Loah debuted in 2014, but she already had experience working with Hozier and Kila under her belt. Now, having done gigs as far afield as New York and Texan industry festival SxSW, she’s finally putting her work down on record.
“I planned to record the ‘This Heart’ EP a couple of years ago,” Loah told the Gazette. “I had most of the tracks back in 2015, but when I went to record it I just had a bad feeling. I decided to wait. In June 2016 I went up to Hellfire Studios and spent a week there. I had planned on doing it all in one go, but I decided to take longer on the vocals, and worked with Ken McCabe [of Dublin act Come On Live Long] on sorting out the arrangements.”
Matu Garnett, from Maynooth, has long flitted between an astonishingly broad assortment of projects, which probably explains much of the time taken getting her sound down on record. Self-described as ‘Art Soul’, her music explores a wide mix of genres including funk, soul, jazz, blues and afrobeat. The entire process has squeezed between work as a pharmacist, and a period in which she was working largely as a screen actor, and making music around it.
“I was acting full time at the same time as recording in 2016,” she recalls. “I struggled to keep up my steam, I’m not sure I’d recommend it. This EP is quite out there. When I was a student I used to write really happy music, but a lot of what’s on the EP explores my internal fears. It’s a lot about insecurity. When I grew up, I told my parents I wanted to be a poet, but I’ve never felt entitled to be an artist, and in some ways I’m my own worst enemy. At times it’s direct, it’s spiritual, political and painful. Not everyone will get it, and that’s fine.”