Ailie Blunnie

Songwriter :: Singer :: Musician

News

Double A-Side & Album Launch News

Posted by on 11:37 pm in News | 0 comments

Hi, How are ya? I forgot to post the two songs from my new double A-side up here. Sorry! The first, And So To Sleep, is about working through feelings of loss. I was very lucky to have it included in the Irish Times Culture Best 8 New Irish Tracks of the Week, and also Nialler9’s Spotify Playlist. The second, There Is No Sound, is about walking around in life as a perpetual blur of your past experiences, and it was playlisted on Dublin City FM which was lovely! I’m at the PR stage of this album process at the moment, which is about contacting people to try and arrange interviews & radio/newspaper features to help promote the gigs and album and that sort of thing. It’s hard-going to be honest. I find it hard. I’m not from the go-getter school of life! Maybe you can relate to that? Maybe we could start a support group? :-) When you’re actually doing interviews and things themselves though, it can be very rewarding. I had a couple recently that I really enjoyed. One for The Irish Echo, New York – which is beautifully written by Colleen Taylor. And one for 8Radio “A Cuppa With..” (interview starts at 17.35) by presenter and blogger Rachel Masterson. The main thing on my horizon at the moment though is these album launches! I’m really looking forward to them: Friday 10th November: Dublin Unitarian Church, 7.30 pm, 10€ Friday 17th November: The Dock, Carrick on Shannon, 8.30 pm, 15/12€ And I can’t tell you how welcome you are to come! There are tickets at the links, or, for the Dublin one, you could try coming to the door on the night because it’s a lovely big venue. I’ll have Laetare Vocal Ensemble with me, who are a beautiful choir – Choir of the Year at this year’s Cork Choral Festival, no less – and feature on one of the songs on West to the Evening Sun called “Would That You May”. And I’ll also have a wonderful band: Aideen Rickard (trombone/vocals), Vyvienne Long (cello), Roisin Blunnie (keyboards/vocals), Gráinne Logue (vocals), Eoghan Regan (elec. guitar) and Eoin Coughlan (bass). And together, we’ll do our level best to give you your money’s worth! Anyway, moving away from the music – any craic with yourself? There’s a grand opposite-of-a-stretch-in-the-evenings, isn’t there? Had you noticed? Ha! If you’re lamenting the passing of summer, I sometimes like to look at this view from the space station and imagine the hemispheres tilting towards and away and towards and away etcetera forever and ever from the sun. I’ve shared the link before, but I just think it’s good for everyone’s mental health and that’s that. Forced relaxation ;-) I hope things are well with you, And if they’re not, that’s grand, ..I’m fairly sure you’re doing your best, no? Yes. Mind yourself ❤️ Ailie xx...

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And So To Sleep

Posted by on 4:46 pm in Music | 0 comments

And So To Sleep

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There Is No Sound

Posted by on 4:44 pm in Music | 0 comments

There Is No Sound

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Dealing with Feeling Like Other People are “Getting Ahead” // Podcast

Posted by on 7:47 pm in News | 0 comments

Hi, Here’s a new podcast episode :-) It’s about living and working as a singer-songwriter/songwriting-musician. I chat about some areas where you might feel like other people are “getting ahead” of you in life: — For example — 1. Career progression in general 2. Relationships 3. Within the music industry itself ..and give some suggestions for how to manage those feelings. I hope you enjoy it :-) Ep. 2 Podcast: Dealing with Feeling Like Other People are “Getting Ahead”...

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Prayers and Feminine Wiles

Posted by on 12:04 pm in News | 0 comments

Prayers and Feminine Wiles

Hi, I confess, I might have got a bit carried away being a serious-musician in the last few blogs – with my forthcoming album of serious-musician music. I want to go back to the old-style rambly ones for a minute – is that alright? I confess to almighty god. [And to you, my brothers and sisters] How are things? How’s the summer going? Any craic? I hope you’re well. That opening confessional reminds me of something: I went through a phase of saying an enormous number of prayers before bed as a child. Did anyone else? I can remember one night in particular when I was.. it must’ve been 7 or 8 – around Communion age – counting all the way up to 150 Hail Marys. I was praying for my parents not to die. Because I thought that the more prayers I said, the more God would listen. I was really proud of myself for being able to stay awake. And you know something, they didn’t die either.. so if that’s not rock-solid scientific gospel evidence.. :-) There was a lovely comfort in it though, I have to say.. repeating the same prayer over and over. I was a mega-worrier as a child. Like lots of children. The existential trauma of it all. I’m still a bit of a worrier actually, especially when I’m hungover. Last Sunday for example, I pushed the boat out the night before – took a shine to the whiskey, ginger and lime promotion that was on – and by the end of the Sunday evening, I had my head buried in my hands and was doubled over in utter hopelessness. (My sister will confirm it). And it struck me.. it’s only with the grace of God, and hangover-busting homeostasis, that I don’t wake up like that every day of my life. The brain is such a wonderfully precious thing. As you know. It mystifies me to think of it encased in our dark skulls, never seeing the light of day, and yet constructing every colour, sound, taste, smell and touch of your reality. And it amazes me also to think of how phenomenally different people’s realities are from each other’s. And how we get on with each other at all? It makes me think about the level of care and respect it deserves too. “Alcohol, fun though it be, is nevertheless a depressant, Ailie”. That’s what I’ll be saying to myself next time Jameson number 5 bats its eyelashes. On a side note, ‘bat’ is a very funny verb to use in that context, isn’t it? You don’t ever really bat anything else on your body, do you.. “He bat his hand at me as we parted ways” “Bat your head if you agree” Actually, if I’m honest, I don’t really like the phrase to begin with, because it sort of paints women as provocateurs, I think. Batting their eyelashes. That’s how it feels anyway. And, to paraphrase a wonderful woman: using the power of your sexiness to get what you want, isn’t actually a ‘powerful’ act in and of itself, but more a means of tapping into someone else’s power. That rings very true, I think? ..the great myth of feminine wiles and charms. Those evil muse-creatures.. sirens.. sent to try, and torment.. It was Chimamanda Ngozi Adichie, the writer, who first drew...

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Why Singer-Songwriters Might Drive You Mad // Podcast

Posted by on 5:20 pm in News | 0 comments

Why Singer-Songwriters Might Drive You Mad // Podcast

Hi! Hope you’re all well :-) I was trying to think what to write about this month and have opted for something slightly different, but I’ll do the music news first: I’ve two new singles – double A-side – coming out next month Whelan’s headline gig on Thursday 17th August (upstairs) And, album launch shortly after that! But to change things up a bit – I’ve recorded this blog as a podcast, and it’s about: Singer-songwriters, and their frustrated family, friends, husbands, wives, children, partners, cats..  I talk about five potential bones of contention you might have with them: They’re flaky and always canceling at late notice They lack direction in life They “overthink” They’re “oversensitive” You can’t get a proper grasp of their personalities ..and my hope is I might be able to demystify some of the reasons we behave the way we do, and also to offer some emotional and moral support to those of you fending off these accusations! Housekeeping: When I say singer-songwriters, I’m broadly talking about people who write and perform the music/songs behind an act. So, that could be as a solo artist, or it could be as part of a band (I’ve called them “songwriting-musicians” in the podcast, just to be a bit clearer about it). And by way of a quick disclaimer: I have a psychology background, but I’m not a qualified counsellor or psychologist, so it’s just from my personal experience I’m talking! Hope you enjoy it xx Ep. 1 Podcast: Why Singer-Songwriters Drive You Mad (or might anyway..) Oh and the theme music is from one of my forthcoming new singles, ‘There is No Sound’. [Photo by Loki...

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Beat of your Heart

Posted by on 8:09 pm in Music | 0 comments

Beat of your Heart

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Beat of Your Heart, single release

Posted by on 3:27 pm in News | 0 comments

Hello! Happy May Day! How are ya? Just a quick blog about the second single release last week. Here it is: I didn’t choose that thumbnail photo – that was YouTube’s decision. It looks like I’m about to burst into a bit of break-dancing, doesn’t it! I’m very happy with this song. I was anxious about releasing it because it’s quite different from my EP songs. But it felt like the right way forward and I’m delighted with the reaction. Thanks a million for your messages and comments! I was thrilled too that it was included in Nialler9’s Irish Songs of the Week in the Irish Times. You don’t think of those things when you’re writing a song, but it really is very validating when there’s a positive outside response. So thank you. It took quite a while to get the final version of this together: we started with the piano and voices, then added some guitar and percussion, and then cello, trombone and double bass. I had in my mind that the song should strike a balance between destabilising, and soothing, so that by the third verse (2:40), you’d feel a bit like you were firing things around the kitchen, but in a cathartic rather than a frustrated sort of way!* Did it work? ..or am I just talking singer-songwriter rubbish? In terms of the words, the song is about letting someone go who isn’t doing you any good in your life, and it feeling like you’re abandoning them (rather than the other way round – or that you might be abandoning yourself by not doing it). I remember describing the feeling to someone (of letting that person go) as like clutching a baby really close and then stretching out your arms and dropping them into a river. And I can’t remember their exact response, but it was something like “but he’s a grown man..”, which was very true ..but it wouldn’t have mattered what he was – objectivity had left the building by then! It’s very easy to fall into bad patterns with relationships, isn’t it.. especially in your 20s, I think. I sometimes think you shouldn’t be allowed near another person until you both pass a rigorous battery of healthy-boundaries tests first! I suppose you have to learn to do that for yourself along the way.** Anyway, God, I got very serious there. Any craic..? I really hope you like the song. You can just dance to it if you like :-) Ailie xx ________________________________________________ * The glissandos in that third verse (the screechy bits that sound a bit like guitar feedback) are Vyvienne Long’s doing – they’re one of my favourite parts. (And rumour has it we’ll be hearing new music from Vyvienne soon too) ** This might help too: Baggage Reclaim – I love this website. Great, semi-informal, no-nonsense blogs and podcasts. Particularly good if you feel like you need a hand recognising red flags (in friends, partners, colleagues, relationships in general). – Previous blog – about the background to the musical elements in Beat of Your Heart SONG CREDITS Vocals, piano, electric guitar, body percussion: Ailie Blunnie Backing vocals, trombone: Aideen Rickard Electric guitar, body percussion: Eoin Coughlan Cello: Vyvienne Long Double bass: Neville Lloyd Electronic percussion: Daragh Dukes Produced by Daragh Dukes, Dukes Productions Additional production by Eoin Coughlan Mastered by Richard Dowling, Wav Mastering  ...

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Background to ‘Beat of Your Heart’, the next single

Posted by on 3:00 pm in News | Comments Off on Background to ‘Beat of Your Heart’, the next single

Background to ‘Beat of Your Heart’, the next single

Hello, How are things? Gorgeous bit of sun these last few days. I hope you’re getting to enjoy some of it. I’m in the process of getting the second single, ‘Beat of Your Heart’, ready for release. We’re working on the video at the moment, and aiming to release it in early April. It’s upbeat, and has a bit of an electronic and grungy edge to it – a slightly new departure. I started writing it on the way home from work one day last year, just as I was beginning to feel the early phase of a migraine coming on. (I’m prone to migraines. Info below if it helps you*) While not positive experiences, some of the things that happen during that early phase – the aura or ‘warning’ phase – can be kind of funny! That day, I had just finished teaching an English class, and somewhere along the way home, one of the pronunciation exercises we had been doing popped back into my head. Not a problem under most circumstances.. The problem was that it replayed itself at the same volume and enthusiasm-level as the real-life version. My auditory world spontaneously filled up with a chorus of just-landed-in-the-country Brazilian and Pakistani voices, diligently chanting elementary English phrases, while I walked like an otherwise normal-looking person past the local Bingo Hall in Cabra (“WHERE are you FROM, WHAT’S your NAME, how OLD are you..?”). It was like chunks of time had been copied and pasted on top of each other and put on a loop. Absolutely bonkers. So, in this new song, I’ve tried to channel a bit of the sense of disorientation you feel at those times, but in a tightly-structured way so that it might also be soothing for people for if their own life feels a bit out of control. I’m hoping it won’t actually give people a headache.. :-) Aside from that, I’ve been doing a bit of thinking about what to do after the album. I’m conscious of feeling a bit directionless.. like the way you hear of people planning a wedding or something, and then coming down like a tonne of bricks afterwards. So I’m trying to get a few things lined up. College, for one, but in terms of music, maybe getting onto the support circuit and doing some opening slots for more established acts.. or writing music for different types of projects and/or collaborating with different types of artists. We’ll see. Anyway, enough about me, I hope March has been treating you well? Have you ever done this: draw a stickman? I rediscovered it yesterday in an idle moment and it’s absolutely brilliant, I love it. Give it a go if you’ve a minute or two to kill. I’ll keep you posted on the single (won’t be long, I promise), but in the meantime, don’t forget your sunscreen.. ..and look after yourself :-) Ailie xx _____________________________________________________________________________ *Managing migraines I don’t normally talk about this much, but hopefully it’ll be of some use to you or maybe someone you know. What helped me most has been identifying the chief culprits (my triggers) 1. hormone fluctuations (especially week 2 into 3 & week 4 into 1) 2. over-exertion (things that cause your internal phone-battery to fall below 25%) 3. changes that put the body out of balance, especially...

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‘West to the Evening Sun’ single // process (pt 2, video)

Posted by on 7:59 pm in Uncategorized | 2 comments

Hiya, In the last post, I talked a bit about the song and the musical elements. I just wanted to add a quick note about the video. The video had a few incarnations: I originally recorded it very simply, with just clouds going across the sky in my garden in real time. I really like simple videos. But actually, that one ended up looking a bit too simple, even by my standards :-) So I decided to try out a different idea, and made a stop-motion one about a little cartoon girl who lost her balloon: I spent the whole Christmas making that one! ..but then I saw this cool thing on Wonders of the Universe (Brian Cox, BBC) – a wall of towers in Peru which was built as a giant sundial – and that made me think about the cloud idea again, but with some sort of sundial idea incorporated into it. I started looking up homemade sundial videos on YouTube and had all sorts of elaborate plans to construct one out the back. But I figured it would have to be vertical to work in the video (..my skills are limited in these areas), so I decided it’d have to be the window and some whiteboard markers.* The main concern for me with the video was that it would just kind of float by as you watched it, and not take up too much of your attention, so that you could hear the layers and atmospherics in the song properly. I hope you like it, Ailie xx * Incidentally, whiteboard markers work great on windows! (but don’t tell any children) ** I should probably also add: as a sundial, it’s not exactly scientifically...

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