- 19 Jun 20
In our continuing support of Safe Ireland and Irish Women in Harmony, we chatted with Galway-born dream pop artist Laoise about what Dolores O'Riordan's legacy means to her.
The first time I saw Laoise perform, we were upstairs at a pub in Dingle for Other Voices. It was well after midnight, early December, and Laoise’s particular brand of ethereal pop was the perfect remedy for the cold weather. She was cool and confident. You’d never have guessed that there was a time the Galway native didn’t know she could own a stage.
“Growing up in Ireland, I didn’t have many female artists to look to bar a handful,” she admits.
“Dolores [O’Riordan] was one of those. I remember getting my first computer and discovering YouTube, where I binged watched any type of music video I could find. I was familiar with the Cranberries’ music as my Dad would play them for me often, but I particularly recall watching the Zombie music video and realising how powerful Dolores’ energy was.”
It was that energy – at least in part – which gave a young Laoise the confidence she embodies so stunningly now. “My 8-year-old self thought ‘if she’s from Limerick and I’m from Galway, I could do that too!’. Seeing that representation played a pivotal role in the artist I’ve become today.”
Naturally, when Laoise was approached for the single, she said “Fuck yes!
“It’s been an honour to sing alongside such talent, and badass female talent at that,” she says enthusiastically.
“We all know everyone has had to spend a lot of time at home the past few months,” Laoise says of the Covid-19 crisis, “and I think it’s very important we highlight that people are living in fear in their own homes, with no escape.” Safe Ireland’s mission statement – to make Ireland the safest country in the world for women and children – is not one Laoise takes lightly. “The fact that domestic violence is often an invisible crime means that supporting Safe Ireland is more important now than ever.”
As for looking to the future, Laoise knows “there is room for diverse talent to be manifested and celebrated – not only in the industry – but in general. Having 30+ talented women come together for this project is monumental! Like me looking at Dolores at 8, I imagine all the young girls in Ireland watching this and seeing themselves represented, knowing that they too can own the stage.”
Watch Irish Women in Harmony's 'Dreams' cover below.