I began recording music in 2007 using a Boss BR600 digital multi-track in Liverpool. In 2008 I began recording an EP called At the bay. I worked on the songs 8 hours a day, 6 days a week. I recorded it in my bedroom in London and took it to Dublin to be produced by Chris O’Brien, friend and creator of the Irish band The Riot Tapes. Chris supported me all the way through. It was group of songs born of a life of music, family and friends, attempting to piece together a life I had left behind when I left for university. Recording strings for the EP in Ireland was a very poignant experience for me, as I have strong Irish roots and the feeling of upheaval at the time was one that echoed down through my family history:
My recording sessions were continuous between 2008-2011 and from that process a full-length album came about. I was working under the name of Clay Curls, largely from a combination of Joanna Newsom lyrics and a lyric of my own from Clearing, the 7-minute long closing track from At the bay. My song writing and recording had advanced by this stage, in the main, and I turned to a more popular format with Oriole and I woke up. But I loved to experiment still. In January 2011 I released Clay Curls:
The importance of nature for me struck home in 2011 and I began recording songs that were not so inward looking and instead took inspiration from the places I was spending time in. Visiting the Picos de Europe in Northern Spain led to Hey mountain man! and Quebrantahuesos, a song about the lammergaier or bearded vulture, a bird I had travelled to Spain to support a reintroduction programme. Other local influences spawned Hey mountain man!, released quietly in 2014:
My songs have returned to the folk that began with At the Bay EP. In 2016 I released Blackbird sing, an EP of songs that had been brewing for a few years:
Thanks for listening.