Vocalist, producer and musician Aisling Jarvis told David Hennessy why, six years since she released solo material, she decided that now is the time. Daughter of Moya Brennan of Clannad and one half of electronic duo Banyah, Aisling was on the road with Clannad last year when the pandemic changed everything.
Aisling Jarvis, daughter of Moya Brennan of Clannad, has returned with her first solo single in 6 years, Fade to Black, featuring electronic vocal duo Hvmmingbyrd and Dublin-based producer Kipunji who is her brother Paul.
It was all the way back in 2014 that The Irish World interviewed Aisling about her debut album A Handful of Bad Ideas which was well received and earned her comparisons to singers like Lily Allen and Kate Nash.
However, it is not like Aisling has been idle since then. It is other projects like the sibling duo Banyah, clocking up hundreds of thousands of streams featuring on multiple electronic/dance records as a vocalist and of course touring with her mother and Clannad that has delayed her in releasing music under her own name.
Aisling told The Irish World that the new song explores feelings of disconnection within a relationship: “It’s an incredibly personal song.
“It’s about a loss of communication or a loss of a connection with someone that you didn’t see coming. You’re trying to desperately hold onto it but you kind of have this feeling that it’s gonna fade.
“I wrote it with Hvmmingbird and Paul a couple of years ago. It was very personal. Obviously everyone’s gone through disconnection within relationships and whatnot and it became even more personal when I revisited it the end of last year. Somebody that I loved actually ended up moving back to the states so it became very, very personal for me.”
When Aisling was touring with her debut album she would have expected to follow it up before now.
“It’s mad. The only stuff I’ve released since then is all the trance and electronic music that I’ve been vocalist for. It’s nice to be coming at it again with probably with a lot more mature sound. I think I was only 21 or 22 when I did A Handful of Bad Ideas so my ability to produce and sing has definitely grown since then.
“I was for the last couple of years trying to collect a bunch of songs to make a new album. I had been doing that for so long but as years went on my stuff had kind of gone on the backburner so this year I kind of decided to revisit that and thought this track would be perfect to bring out as my first single in so many years.
“I guess I’ve just been working behind the scenes for a good while. Obviously working with Mum and going on tour with her, going on tour with Clannad. There was just always stuff happening which was great. I was happy to have a job as a musician so it just kept getting pushed back and pushed back and then this year I saw a gap in time. We were going back into lockdown and I just figured, ‘Now is the time. Why not this year?'”
Aisling was on tour as a supporting musician with Clannad when the pandemic hit last year calling an early halt to what was intended to be their farewell tour.
“We had just arrived at a hotel. We were sitting in the lobby and I think there was one big announcement Boris Johnson was making. They had it on the screen but we all just looked at each other, ‘Pint?’ We just knew that the end was coming and it was so strange.
“I think we were only eleven shows in and it was Bournemouth. We found out halfway through the Bournemouth gig that we weren’t doing the show the night after in London which was such a shame.
“Because my mum has underlying health conditions we were adamant on not flying so we ended up getting the ferry and it was so strange. I would say I saw two other people on the ferry the whole time we were on it. It was so, so weird but it was like, ‘We’re going home and we’re sitting still for who knows how long’.
“It’s just been nuts. We’ve also been very fortunate there’s been the odd thing coming in for Clannad over the last year, TV stuff and whatever but it’s just so weird to have a full year of no touring. Even without Clannad, for the last ten years I’ve been out on at least two or three tours a year with my mum for her solo shows.
“I think this lockdown has definitely been the toughest. It’s really just monotonous now and you’re trying to find anything to break up your days.
“It’s kind of weird to not be able to plan a show like a single launch but now we’re looking at the end of the year booking a show or a couple of shows.”
The last year has seen Aisling and her brother Paul releasing music under the moniker Banyah. The electronic music duo have had success with tracks like Watch You Go, Stuck Under and Nothing Free.
“We have got a couple of things on the way. We’re putting together a bit of an EP which, fingers crossed, hopefully will be out some time around the start of summer and then there’s a couple of collaborations that should be out soon. We’re just doing bits here and there.”
Will we see an EP from Aisling or perhaps a long-awaited second album? “Yeah, hopefully an album by the end of the year. It will probably take me a bit of time to gather together but I’ve been working on another single so hopefully that will be out before the summer. It’s a bit more of an upbeat one. It’s a bit more heavy hitting which I’m excited about and definitely an album. Why not?”
Fade to Black by Aisling Jarvis is out now.
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