- 14 Aug 23
Following the release of their debut album Say Old Man, folk trio Alfi discuss their first ever full-length project, combining tradition with modern influences, and their thoughts on the Irish folk scene.
What made you decide this was the right time to release a full-length project?
Ryan McAuley: We would have released it earlier, but a few things got in the way. Indirectly, it was Covid. I suppose we didn’t want to sit on it any longer at this point!
How does the music on the album differ from your past work?
Alannah Thornburgh: As musicians we've developed so much. You can really tell that we've gotten better in the last three years.
Fiachra Meek: There’s a difference in the arrangements and the themes. We’ve been experimenting with instrumentation and layering as well.
Ryan: The first EP was just different. Some tracks were kind of dainty, whereas this one's a bit more serious. We’re trying to change it up a little.
Is there a challenge in creating music that’s relevant to modern life, while still holding true to the folk tradition?
Fiachra: There's a vocabulary that exists which gets ingrained into you, and then you’re able to compose in that style. We just apply the formulas from the genre and if we want to make it different, we can take from other genres like pop or jazz. I love French hip-hop and hip-hop in general, and I feel like anything that comes out of me on the bodhrán is influenced by that.
What are your thoughts on the current Irish folk scene?
Fiachra: It's going pretty strongly! The likes of Lankum, The Mary Wallopers, Junior Brother and Ye Vagabonds are all making a name for Irish music around the world, which has given a platform to other bands like ourselves. It's class to see that folk musicians are filling theatres.
Alfi’s debut album Say Old Man is out now.