- 02 Oct 20
Dublin singer-songwriter delivers raw, emotional debut.
Her Hollowed Out Sea EP marked Ailbhe Reddy as one of the most compelling young songwriters on these shores – and now, four years later, her full-length debut Personal History cuts straight to the heart of the hype with tremendous consideration and care.
Informed in no small part by her studies in psychotherapy, the record is unflinchingly honest and captivatingly human. Realist lyrics tenderly explore modern life and all its associated joys, disappointments and confusion – following Reddy as she navigates everyday life as a young, queer artist in Ireland.
Comparisons to the likes of SOAK, Sorcha Richardson and even Pillow Queens are tempting, but Reddy’s voice is as distinctive as her personal coming-of-age story. Generous helpings of Dublin grit add a unique dimension to her intimate indie-rock sound – while also featuring nods to earnest alternative rock acts of yesteryear.
Finding her greatest strength in simplicity, Personal History is, for the most part, an understated affair. Despite polished production, courtesy of Tommy McLaughlin and Erland Cooper, the raw vulnerabilities at the heart of Reddy’s songwriting are brought to poignant new heights, as her voice and stories take centre stage.
Following reflections on social media-related angst on ‘Looking Happy’ and the loneliness of the road on ‘Time Difference’, Reddy’s journey finds a natural conclusion in ‘Self-Improvement’ – which builds from devastating acoustic ruminations on mental health to a triumphant sing-a-long.
A remarkably accomplished debut, Personal History marks a crucial step on Reddy’s path to stardom.