Marie Keane is an Irish musician self-styled as a mix of folk, blues, and rock. Her debut album ‘Russian Doll’ is due to drop this November. In anticipation, my brain formulated some questions about the album and the creative process.
Who is your dream collaboration?
Radiohead/ David Byrne/ Kate Bush / Joan as Policewoman/ Portishead/Breadyman ….(ie. in an actual dream)
Who was your earliest musical inspiration as a child?
Zig & Zag, Micheal Jackson, Whitney Houston & Natalie Cole won those titles
What has the music taught you during the creative process of ‘Russian Doll’?
The creative process seems to span from the conception of a song which may or may not end up as part of the final cut. You’re recounting a segment of your personal journey at that time. Writing the songs is the lovely, secluded part of the creative process. It’s like a dirty secret that you have to vanquish and deliver to a potentially innocuous or facetious listener. However, performing & recording the album is like the ultimate mindfulness exercise where you have to balance alertness with ease and trust in the process and the people around you, but ultimately within yourself, which is the difficult part. You have to let go of any preconceptions of who you are and investigate like an eager child. I also learned that although I wrote most of these songs between 2004 and 2013, it was a complete rebirth in revisiting them, realigning their arrangements and protecting their integrity as an older version of the person who wrote them. The joy was that not only did I not hate them, allowing others to influence their evolution is what has made them grow even more. I know I picked the right people so at least my instincts are still sharp even if my sanity is not.
Were you influenced by any musicians/albums while writing Russian Doll’?
Lauryn Hill (miseducation album), Joan as police woman (real life), Schubert, sessions I was a part of growing up and with my mates hammering out songs til eight in the morning on trips in the west of Ireland, Roberta Flack, Marlena Shaw, Radiohead (the bends, OK computer), Jeff Buckley, Gorillaz, Bonnie Raitt, Queen, Muse, Beethoven.
What are your main motivations to write music?
Anything that moves me sideways or that gives me a bubble in my chest that makes me get up in the morning, anything I notice that captures my gra or that gets into my cra.
How would you describe the music scene in your city and how important was it in terms of writing ‘Russian Doll’?
It’s currently at boiling point in a tremendously important way, in fact at least three of the songs were written specifically about Dublin, but most themes that permeate the songs on the album are somehow related to growing up in Ireland.
Is there a particular song or musical passage that never fails to move you emotionally?
Roberta Flacks’ live version of Simon & Garfunkels ‘the sound of silence’.
What’s the best compliment you’ve received regarding your music?
When I was talking with my friend recently about the album, although we’ve only reconnected in the last two years following a five year gap, she asked me whether one of the songs she remembers from 12 years ago was going to be on the album and it was so lovely to tell her it was and that she remembered the song, which is one of my favourites on the album.
Will we get any music videos from ’Russian Doll’’?
We will indeed. I’m heading into Camden recording studios on Nov 10th to do about four tracks so hopefully they’ll all be edited and ready before Christmas.
10 What song of yours is your favourite and why?
It’s the final track on the album and it’s a piano instrumental, so it’s probably why I like it so much, I don’t have to sing it and it was a tune that I was able to write in about twenty minute. When they come that quickly and easily to you that it feels like it’s a natural thing to play. Although I also love the third track ‘Cranes’ so I suppose it depends on the day I perform them.
11. What would you like to say to your fans?
Life is fun, keep on moving, go for the love.
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She is also having a launch party on the 27th of January 2019, in the Sugar Club, Lesson Street, Dublin city.