slow skies

Slow Skies released their second EP Close last week. It’s safe to say that I absolutely loved it. A three piece, Karen Sheridan, Conal Herron and Patrick O’Laoghaire have really made something special and, well, the sky’s the limit. I asked Karen some questions about the band, how they got together, whether it’s difficult being so upfront with her lyrics, and what the plans are for the future.

How long have you been writing songs? Were you in a band before Slow Skies?
I starting writing a few songs when I was a kid… they were terrible. I still remember the first song I wrote word for word. I wrote it for a girl band I was in with my friends at the time. It was called ‘Forever’ and it was about wanting to live forever and about heaven and sleeping on clouds. I thought it was a number one hit at the time. I was in a band before Slow Skies called Kasette with my two friends from school. That was probably when I decided I wanted to learn to write songs properly and really work hard at it. I moved to London after that and studied music there.

How did the band begin? was it natural for you and Conal to come together?
Slow Skies started out essentially as a singer/songwriter project when I moved back from London to Dublin. I had met Conal in music college in London and we had been working together throughout that year. It was really natural for us to come together partly because we are both Irish and love tea but mostly because we work really well together and we discovered that pretty early on. When I moved home we decided to start recording some of my songs in his house in Donegal. During that process of recording the first EP, it became more of a collaboration. It was a really exciting time as we didn’t have a clue what we were doing. We were just having a look through Logic and going ‘oh cool, let’s try that organ sound and then record those birds in the trees over there and see if that sounds good’. I am really open to other people’s creative input and I never wanted Slow Skies to be stuck in the singer/songwriter mould. It had to start there but it is really evolving into something bigger which is what I wanted.

Were you taken aback by the reaction to the Silhouettes EP?
Well it was nice that people seemed to like it. It’s always nice to hear when someone likes what you are doing. It was pretty slow-burning, though, too, which I liked. I knew it wasn’t going to get this enormous reaction. I kinda saw it as a learning curve for us more than anything else. With that in mind, every nice word written about it or any attention it got was really unexpected and appreciated by Conal and I. We are really proud of that EP.

Slow Skies Camden Crawl Dublin

Your songs are filled with emotion. How personal/autobiographical are they? Is it difficult to articulate such feelings, and sing them both to the other guys in the band and to an audience?
Yes I think they are both personal and autobiographical. It’s not difficult to articulate those feelings as I don’t think it’s really a conscious thing. I don’t sit down and go, ‘Right, time to write about my feelings again!’ But that is what I usually end up doing in one way or another. I usually will look at a song after and realise what it’s about or what it could be about. Not always but most of the time.

If I really thought about it, what I’m actually doing (singing about my feelings to other human beings) I would probably rather die than go on a stage. It sounds horrendous. But I just don’t really think about it. I think there is a certain vulnerability and an openness you have to have or be willing to have if you want to write songs and perform them for people. You have to be honest otherwise what’s the point. That’s what I love about other performers and songwriters. At the same time, I think I am still learning as a songwriter and I want to be even more honest when it comes to my lyrics. The lads in the band are all songwriters too so it’s pretty easy to sing my songs in front of them. They are sensitive souls. Having said that they have slagged me over a lyric or two in my time.

What are you hoping to achieve with the new EP?
I am hoping that with the new EP we will be able to play more gigs and more people will hear our music and want to hear more.

Do you have long-term goals for Slow Skies or are you just taking it as it comes?
I want to start writing and recording an album this summer. I want to play loads of gigs and just keep getting better. That’s it really.. I have no huge expectations… I just want to keep it moving.

Slow Skies play the Pavilion in Cork on June 13 alongside Slow Magic and Giraffrage as part of Feel Good Lost’s second birthday. More info here.

feel good lost birthday