Elaine Malone Interview: “Improvising is beautiful.”

Elaine Malone

Elaine Malone plays Merakindie’s first birthday this Saturday, 31st March in Connolly’s of Leap.

Psych/folk singer/songwriter Elaine Malone is on a roll. She recently released the tender and low-key love song ‘You’, she’s lined up to play the inaugural It Takes A Village festival in April, and she has an EP titled Land ready to go. On top of this, she will play the first birthday party of Cork promotor Merakindie in Connolly’s of Leap this weekend.

To celebrate all her activity, she very graciously spoke to us about ‘You’, the musical direction of her EP, and spontaneity.

Overblown: You’ve just released a new track called ‘You’. What inspired the song?

Elaine Malone: ‘You’ came about at the start of a relationship, it marked the beginning of a burst of writing and obviously it’s about romantic hopeful love when infatuation just overwhelms you and you can’t think of anything but them. It’s awful.

Overblown: Soon, your debut EP Land is set to be released. Is ‘You’ representative of the music on the EP?

Elaine Malone: I suppose it’s the poppiest thing on the EP. It was the song I had the most trepidation about, having written it so long ago. The rest of the EP has elements of raw enough folk and grunge. The songs were all recorded over a long period of time so their context is very different now.

Overblown: The EP was recorded with Sam Clague. What was it like working with him.

Elaine Malone: Sam’s been one of my favourite musicians for years now and it was such a dream making things together. He’s got a great ear and intuition. He also stopped me from doing stupid things. We recorded it in Sam’s bedroom (Sammy Road). It’s taken a long time to get this made and to be able to leave it be. I wouldn’t have done it if it wasn’t for Sam.

Overblown: This weekend, you will be playing the Merakindie birthday party in Leap. Have you played Connolly’s before?

Elaine Malone: Never, but I love that room so much. It’s got some very gracious spirits inhabiting its walls. Playing with O Emperor and Arthur Itis will be unreal. I’ve loved O Emperor for years and Arthur Itis is like Captain Beefheart’s reincarnation. I’ll have my beautiful band of Josh Sonny Sampson and Sam Clague

Overblown: The video for ‘You’ came about when you were locked out of your house. So you find that spontaneity can sometimes be a wonderful spark for creativity?

Elaine Malone: I don’t plan well. I enjoy the threat of a looming deadline for inspiration. I’m sure it’s a head-wrecking thing for my loved ones. I think it focuses the mind on a directive that time can sometimes hinder. Improvising is beautiful, it makes you present.

Overblown: What gigs have you planned for the summer? Any that you are particularly looking forward to?

Elaine Malone: It Takes A Village is the next one coming up. I’ll be supporting Myles Manley in April in Cork too. He’s such a good songwriter, there’s no one like him. I have some nice announcements coming soon too.

Overblown: What Irish bands/musicians are you enjoying at the moment?

Elaine Malone: Oh so many. The Altered Hours new EP is killer, they played in St. Luke’s at the end of last year and it was the best gig I’ve ever seen. GO SEE THEM. Fixity are so provocative and exciting. Percolator blew the skull off me at Quarter Block Party in February. Crevice’s tape has been on in my kitchen for weeks and I can’t get over it. I’m seriously digging The Bonk’s album The Bonk Seems To Be A Verb, Horse, Not Earth, Ye Vagabonds and Anne-Mieke. The country is fertile with serious talent and experimental shit.

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