Interview | Clara Byrne

Clara Byrne is a socialist singer songwriter from Bray. To mark the release of her new single ‘To Rome’, MNÁSOME member Alison caught up with Clara to chat about her hometown, traveling, and collaborating with other musicians.

‘To Rome’ is second single from Clara’s upcoming debut album Handstitched. Stick it on, make a cup of tea and wind down with this interview.

Hey Clara! Congratulations on the release of your new single “To Rome.” This song was born out of a creative slump and an impromptu trip to Rome. How impactful was this trip on your creativity?
Hi Ali, thanks so much. I’m very excited it’s here! So the trip was a great lesson for me. I had felt as though I was scraping the bottom of the barrel creatively and there was nothing left in my personal life to write about. Stepping outside my little world and getting a chance to
explore another taught me that there are endless things to be inspired by. My approach to writing has changed ever since, I tend to look to the news or documentaries rather than what’s going on for me personally. There’s so much happening in the world around us to
ever have the well run dry again.

The video for this single heavily features your hometown Bray. How important is your relationship with your hometown to you?
Bray has my roots embedded in it. It’s been a backdrop for each stage of my life. When I was younger I was pretty dismissive of it, but being back here as an adult I have new found appreciation. It’s taught me I can’t be away from the sea or close friends for too long and though I’m the last immediate family member living here it’s always going to be where I consider home.

Your last single “Conflict Bound” featured collaborations with members of Thumper, A Sleeping Giant, and other outfits. How important is working with other artists to
you, and how does it affect your songwriting?

I have been overly lucky with the talented musicians who have agreed to play on all the tracks. I sat down and wrote a list of who ideally, I would like to play on each song. Thankfully they all said yes! Getting to work with such creative musicians and seeing the new and exciting sides they brought out in the songs has helped me to imagine bigger and better things for the songs I’m currently writing. I’m eternally grateful.

Who are you listening to at the moment? Who would be your biggest musical inspirations?
There are the regulars that I go back to often. These are the ones that work hard on their lyrics like they work hard on the sound to go with them. I’ve always been drawn to lyrics first. Ireland has a wealth of musicians that I consider to be great lyricists; Mick Flannery, The Villagers, Anna Mieke, Lankum, to name but a few.

Have you any other news you would like to share with the MNÁSOME readers?”
I’m currently sitting on a finished album that I’m dying to release! I’m resisting the urge to let it go without a live send-off in a crowded sweaty venue somewhere, which hopefully is on the horizon. “To Rome” is the second single from it and the next single will be out in June so stay tuned and thanks for reading!

Listen to To Rome by Clara Byrne on Spotify and watch the music video on YouTube.

Follow Clara on Instagram for more updates.

Interview by Alison Kenny.

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