- 17 May 18
Folk singer Ciaran Lavery chats about his new album Sweet Decay, the challenges of songwriting, and why he might finally be reaching maturity.
There’s a nice “fine wine” cliché we could start off with – but let’s just say that Ciaran Lavery ages very, very well. With his deep, penetrating eyes, weather-worn beard of fiery red, and ear-to-ear grin, the only way I could possibly know that the Northern Irish folk singer is in his mid-30s is his casual mention of it. That, and maybe the fact that his latest album Sweet Decay is steeped in the kind of maturity only age can bring.
Coming off the back of 2016’s Northern Irish Music Prize-winning Let Bad In, Lavery’s third album was conceived not long after his last. However, a rigorous touring schedule prevented him from recording it right away. “We started off in June 2016,” he reflects. “But it ended up being the longest time I’ve spent on an album. Because I had a really aggressive touring schedule, I could only work on this record sporadically. I was on the road, doing shows, then coming back and trying to re-immerse myself.
“Initially, I was working with my producer Ruadhri Cushnan, and we were basically just trying to see if there was a theme we could hang our coats on. Generally for me, it’s easier to craft one good song that I think works and say, ‘Here are the ideas, or the sounds, that we want to replicate’. That’s how I like an album to sound. In the same way that if you pick up a novel, you know that each chapter is relatable to the one before. It could be a development of the original idea, but you have the same style throughout.”