Introducing Interview: Saint Sister

Northern Irish duo Saint Sister have previously charmed our ears with the spellbinding beauty of singles such as ‘Tin Man’ and ‘Causing Trouble’, and have now announced the release of their upcoming debut album Shape Of Silence. 

And the duo are certainly keeping busy; as well just sharing the twinkling, emotion-strewn splendour of single ‘Twin Peaks’ in a brand new video, they’re also about to head off on an epic US and European tour.

We caught up with Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty to find out more…

Hi Saint Sister! Can you tell us a bit about yourselves and what you do?
Gemma: We’re an Irish duo making electronic-folk inspired music with harp, vocals and synthesisers. We’re just about to release our debut album!

How did you initially get together and start creating music?
G: We’ve been making music together for the best part of four years now. We both studied in Dublin and met towards the very end of our college years. Morgan was looking to form a band at the time, and in a fortunate turn of events reached out to me; I was pretty much looking for the same thing. We met for a drink one day and it pretty much spiralled from there.

Your dreamy new single ‘Twin Peaks’ is out now, can you tell us a bit about it? Are there any themes that inspired it?
Morgan: ‘Twin Peaks’ was a very instinctive reaction towards a friend who was going through a difficult time. I was hoping to distract them by suggesting loads of things we could do together, like watching Twin Peaks or listening to Judee Sill. On the surface it’s a happy song, but it’s steeped in denial. And listening back, I know it’s not the best advice for anyone dealing with something but at the time, it felt like the only thing I could say or do.

And the video for the single is a tour diary – looks like you had fun! Was there a particular highlight of your trip?
G: It has been a lot of fun, those clips came from a handful of shows from the beginning of this year in Sweden, Russia, the US, France and Ireland. We sold out our first show in New York in March which was mad, and getting to see Russia was a definite highlight too.

You’ve been compared to the likes of This Is The Kit and Bon Iver, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
M: We really love Bon Iver, James Blake and James Vincent McMorrow. We spent a lot of time together listening to their albums when we first started the band. But we don’t necessarily like all the same stuff which can make answering a question on influences kind of tricky. Personally, I take a lot of inspiration from some of the great songwriters, like Joni Mitchell, Leonard Cohen and Judee Sill.

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see much live music?
G: Irish music is buzzing at the minute, and it’s so diverse. We spend a lot of time at gigs whether it’s friends’ bands or hanging around at festivals and meeting bands on the road. It’s such a nice way to meet musicians and discover new music.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other new upcoming bands/artists who you’d recommend we check out?
M: Oh yeah, they’re loads, it’s hard to pick just a few! I’m listening to a lot of Maria Kelly, Rachael Lavelle, Pillow Queens and Tandem Felix at the moment.

And how do you feel the industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
G: It’s getting easier for artists to make and release music almost completely DIY, which is a good thing in so many ways, but it’s become harder to make a splash and make your voice heard. Steaming has made it possible to have any artist available at your fingertips in an instant, and has made it very difficult for an artist to earn a living. The experience of a live gig hasn’t changed. Getting out and playing to as many people as possible feels like the most organic thing you can do, and hopefully the internet can’t do much to replace the physical connection you experience at a live show.

Finally, what does the rest of 2018 have in store for Saint Sister?
M: We’re really looking forward to heading off on tour in September. We’ll be playing a lot of places we’ve never been to before particularly in America, Canada and Australia, so that in itself is exciting. If anyone at all shows up, we’ll be delighted! We’re also releasing our debut album, Shape of Silence. That’ll be a big moment for us. We’re very proud of the record and we just can’t wait for everyone to hear what we’ve been working on.

Huge thanks to Saint Sister for answering our questions!

Shape Of Silence, the upcoming debut album from Saint Sister is set for release later this year. Find all their tour dates and ticket info here.

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