Interview | Dani Larkin

Dani Larkin is a rising alt-folk artist hailing from the Armagh-Monaghan border, and is already being heralded as ‘one of the finest songwriters of our times’. Ahead of the release of her debut album “Notes For A Maiden Warrior”, MNÁSOME contributor Ema caught up with Dani and talked themes explored in the album, being a multi-instrumentalist and life away from touring. Please, have a read and pre-save Dani’s album.

We have seen you playing several instruments in your performances, including guitar and banjo. What instrument(s) do you enjoy writing for most? How does a song usually come together?

Guitar is my first instrument and while I don’t have favourites, because each instrument has it’s own voice and sound, guitar is the instrument that feels most like home to me. I have only been playing banjo since just before the pandemic started so I’m sure it will feel as much like home to me in the next few years of writing. Usually the music comes first and the lyrics follow soon after but it’s not a prescriptive process. Songs have their own way of unveiling themselves and I love that.

You boasted an impressive run of gigs in 2019, supporting Lisa O’Neill and Rufus Wainright, and performed at Other Voices in early 2020. Congratulations! You had an Irish tour planned for 2020 also. How did you fill your time when live performing was halted?

Thank you! It’s been hard to have the essence of what I do completely come to a halt. However, I’ve been working away on getting everything ready for the album and working with new people in order to do that has been an incredible way to spend time. I’ve also taken up the trombone of late so we’ll see how that goes…

Your album was cancelled last year and is now set to be released on June 18th 2021, over a year later. How do you feel about the songs after the past year we’ve had?

For me, the songs on Notes For A Maiden Warrior are not time limited and in taking extra time to listen over the past year I’ve only come to enjoy them more. I’m very much looking forward to sharing them with the world come June 18th – just in time for the Solstice!

Your music portrays a strong sense of identity. We particularly like ‘Change,’ written for the Cultural Harmony programme and ‘The Mother Within.’ Will similar themes be explored in your album, or can listeners expect to hear something new?

Listeners can expect to hear something new with a sense of familiarity throughout the album. The fluidity of identity is explored throughout as well as themes of change, kinship, love and mystery.

Have you any other news you’d like to share with the MNÁSOME readers?

“Notes For A Maiden Warrior is out on vinyl on the 18th June 2021 and is now available to pre-order from: I’ll also be touring the album this Autumn all around the country, and would love to see anyone at a show. Tickets are on sale now!

Listen to Dani Larkin on Spotify.

Follow Dani on Instagram for more updates.

Image by Sarah Pannasch.

Interview by Ema Stapleton.

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