by Michael McCarthy
In addition to well-established artists, I like to introduce our readers to promising new artists. Today we have an interview with Lyra, an enthusiastic singer/songwriter who got her start at the age of 6 when she began singing at her local church. She wasn’t just a church singer, though. Also at the age of 6, she took up drums, including the traditional Irish ‘bodhran’ drum, a key sound in her music today. Recently, she released her debut single, “Rabbit in the Headlights,” a haunting song that features powerful drum beats alongside her unique and ethereal vocals. It was produced by Rupert Christie (Kate Bush, Coldplay, Aurora, Say Lou Lou) and I dare say it’s one of the best tracks he’s ever worked on. If you don’t want to take my word for it, you don’t have to. You can stream the track below and hear how mighty it is for yourself.
MM: How old were you when you decided you wanted to be a professional musician for a career?
L: I think I must’ve been about 7 – my parents had long careers that spawned from their passions..so I was encouraged to follow mine – I don’t think I could do any other job, it wouldn’t feel right!
MM: Were you in any bands prior to becoming a solo artist? If so, what sort of bands are they?
L: My sister and I had an imaginary band – we had tennis racquet guitars and would perform for all the family. We made quite a ‘racquet’…ha!
I’ve been in classical choirs & also messed around with friends in my teenage years but nothing that really stuck.
MM: “Rabbit in the Headlights” was produced by Rupert Christie. How did you connect with him? How long did it take to create the song from the time you joined forces until the time it was finished?
L: We had a session writing together and I loved his production. We just got on so well & I played him demos from my proposed EP – when he heard them he wanted to get involved and it just came together from there! We had 3 weeks to do 4 tracks from scratch so we worked our asses off. Rupert was brilliant and it was so much fun.
MM: Your sound makes me think of Florence + The Machine. Who are your influences?
L: I do really relate to Florence – we both have slightly unusual voices – and that does shape a song.
I’ve always been influenced by Kate Bush – I’d listen to her so much as a kid. I also LOVE Enya, she’s a dream. I’ve got to add Lykke Li and Sia in here too!
MM: Next month you’ll be playing a Communion Presents show at The Waiting Room in London. Aside from “Rabbit in the Headlights,” what will you be performing? Do you have enough songs written already to perform a full set?
L: I’m writing all the time – I’ve got a good collection of songs and I’ve picked a select bunch to start proceedings that I think go really well together. There will be the 4 tracks from my upcoming debut EP and some others that fit nicely into the set. My two close friends ‘T-Bone’ and ‘D-dog’ are in my band – they’ve helped me put it all together and and it should be a really fun night.
MM: Could you tell us the titles of some of your other songs?
L: I wrote a song today in Stockholm, called Lovers Paradise…
….then I have Purgatory, With You, Blue Blood, Child…all to come!
MM: What was the first album you ever bought with your own money?
L: It was All Saints, self titled debut album on cassette! I loved it and would dance around the living room with my mum’s crystal vase as a microphone…thankfully I didn’t break it!
MM: What’s the most useful piece of advice you’ve ever been given?
L: Don’t ruin a good today by dwelling on a bad yesterday. Let it all go!!
Lyra will be performing live Monday, May 16 at The Waiting Room in London. Buy tickets.
Special thanks to Lyra for taking the time to do this interview and to Tasha at House of 27 for setting it up.
Buy Rabbit in the Headlights:
Apple Music http://itunes.apple.com/album/id1105052154