- 01 Oct 20
A day before Ailbhe Reddy releases her debut album, 'Personal History', the burgeoning indie rock artist talks recording in Donegal and how her degree informed the record.
You studied psychotherapy the year prior to writing your album. Did that have any impact on the songs?
I was going to do a Masters, but lots of opportunities came my way through music, so I stopped. I’ve always had this massive interest in figuring people out. When we went into record with Tommy McLaughlin and Erland Cooper, I mentioned that the song ‘Personal History’ was the linchpin of the whole album, and that in my head, I’d had that concept of meeting someone and running through their entire dating and family history – you feel like there is that kind of therapist vibe there.
What was their response?
Erland pointed out that there were all these phrases like ‘ego’, ‘self-improvement’, ‘personal history’ and ‘true intimacy’ that made their way into the lyrics. I remember someone asking me a while ago, “What’s the difference between these two career paths?” and I don’t think there is a lot of difference, because both are just figuring out what makes people tick. Writing about other people is taking an interest in their psychology.
When I was organising and writing the album, I was going through a break-up. And I spent a lot of time obsessing over what went wrong, and asking, “What’s in our psychologies and our own personal histories that made it so difficult for two people who care about each other to make something work?”
You recorded in Donegal. Did that affect the process at all?
Any time I’d ever recorded before, I would be going back and forth, but in Attica studio, we spent two weeks total just getting into the process and sinking our teeth in. Also, Attica is beside a national park, so it’s very isolated. The three of us – Tommy, Erland and myself – just worked on this album for the whole time. It felt very insular and intense, whereas recording in bits and pieces can kind of bring you out of it. The process had a nice flow to it.
• Personal History is out on October 2.