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Arcade fire

David Hennessy talks to Heidi Talbot about her new album with Adam Holmes, reaching 20 years in the industry and why she is not that interested in rugby since her cousin (Jamie Heaslip) stopped playing..

Kildare’s Heidi Talbot is well known from success with both American supergroup Cherish the Ladies and as a solo performer. However, although she is known for her haunting folk style, she has gone in a new, more contemporary direction with her new album, Face the Fall. Recorded with Adam Holmes, the duo call themselves Arcade and got the idea of playing together after doing much together with John McCusker (Heidi’s husband) and realising they shared many inspirations. 

We started writing songs together and we quickly discovered that they weren’t really folk songs that we were writing but we just sort of went with it,” Heidi told The Irish World. I guess it’s quite poppy. We’re into a lot of the same music. Bruce Springsteen, Fleetwood Mac and Tom Petty have quite a big influence on this record. 

“We loved singing together, I have to say I think our voices work together quite well so we went with it from there: ‘Let’s make a record, see what happens.  We were both juggling childcare and other work commitments and stuff to make this record so what we did was make it in my garage and Adam’s flat between the two of us looking after the kids and the cats,” she laughs.  

It was quite an organic process in that way. Everything was recorded in our houses apart from the drums and bass, they were done in the studio.” 

The duo have been touring the UK and been pleased with the reception the new material has gotten: “It’s been a really positive experience. We’ve had amazing feedback from the audience. You can be in the studio and think, ‘This is good’. But when you actually play it live and you get to hear people’s reactions to the songs, that’s always the most nurturing feedback to get. It feels really good, I have to say. 

Heidi reaches a massive milestone next year, celebrating two decades in the industry: “Next year is my 20th year as a musician and I’m also turning 40 so I’m going to do a compilation album and a solo tour.” 

Heidi can find it a bit hard to believe just how long she has been playing: “I was talking to people the other day about a song that I recorded and I said, ‘When was that now?’ I realised it was 15 years. It doesn’t feel like that at all. How did that happen? I guess it’s like that for everybody. But it feels good. I’ll really enjoy doing that next year, going back to songs that I did years ago and I’d like to do some concerts and invite people that I have worked with over the years to come and play with me. It will be such an enjoyable thing, revisiting old records and songs. I’m really looking forward to that. 

As Heidi lives in Scotland and is collaborating with a Scotsman on her latest record, has she endured any slagging over the rugby (even though Ireland did beat Scotland)? “I will always win because one of my cousins is Jamie Heaslip (former Irish international with 95 caps). If he was playing, I would be keeping an eye on it but I’m not really good at watching the old sports.” 

Face the Fall by Arcade is out now. Arcade play Kings Place, 90 York Way, London N1 on Wednesday 23 October. 

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