- 31 Jul 20
The singer-songwriter and actress has returned with a stunning new single.
You probably recognise Maria Doyle Kennedy from her vital roles on television programmes like Outlander and the sci-fi thriller Orphan Black (or, if you're a die-hard, her work in The Commitments), but The Dubliner is also a staggeringly talented musician. With multiple albums under her belt, she's returned to offer the world a stunning new single – her first since before the Coronavirus lockdown.
With both the film and music industries on indefinite hold, Doyle Kennedy has been faring much like everyone else during the pandemic. The actress and singer-songwriter has been using music to keep herself entertained, wondering when live gigs will make their comeback, and cutting her own hair. "The world has shrunk to the size of our kitchen," she laughs down the line from her home. She's also been playing Instagram live sessions with her husband and musical partner, Kieran.
"We had no idea we would be doing them for so long. But it seems to me that music is good, it's the one thing that you can do that will offer some kind of comfort or balm, or at the very least a distraction."
She never predicted the strength of the response to those gigs. Ten thousand people viewed each stream, left up on Doyle Kennedy's IGTV for a fleeting 24 hours. "It was just a brilliant way to connect with people over music, and it gave us such encouragement and belief in what we were making. We really had to re-think the songs, and find new melodies and new ways to make them. That was very exciting for us, and it kept us very present."
This resulted in Doyle Kennedy's latest single, 'Cyane'. Ever-expanding and cavernous, 'Cyane' is infused with Doyle Kennedy's warm and world-weary vocal tone. And it is one of her best to date.
"We started to play it in a completely different way with a completely different timing," she says. "It came to us again, after being forced to re-work it." Recorded in Doyle Kennedy's home studio, the single was produced by Kieran. "We're lucky that we do have the facilities to record," she says. The couple have been releasing Doyle Kennedy's music via their own independent label, Mermaid Productions, for years. "And Kieran is just one of those people who can disappear into music for several hours a day," she notes.
"I found it more difficult," she admits. "I was more just anxious about what's going on, I suppose, and circling the children –making sure they had something meaningful to do. He was really able to focus. He's a bit of a machine when he has an idea to hone in on. It kind of saved him, in a way. Apart from the fact that he made beautiful things, it shut out the madness of the world."
Listen to the 'Cyane' below, and keep an ear out for more from Maria Doyle Kennedy in the coming months.