Interview

Stirring Up A Hurricane with Sorcha Richardson

by Sofie Vasquez

Inside the little green room of Rough Trade NYC, the Brooklyn-based singer-songwriter, Sorcha Richardson, and I immediately bond over our mutual love and appreciation for the coming-of-age musical Sing Street (John Carney, 2016).  Richardson, who was born and raised in Dublin, Ireland until moving to New York City at eighteen, ecstatically shares a fun fact: “The scene where the band is by the water and Conor and Raphina jump in, I live only five minutes away from there! It was amazing to see a place so close to home in a film I love.”

Speaking about her hometown, Richardson fondly recalls her earliest memory of discovering her love for music. “My parents had this Vanessa Paradis cassette tape and despite me not knowing any French, I would sing along to it in English and make up my own words that I thought she was singing,” Richardson laughs. “But I can say that was really the start, and I was on a path. Also, when I saw All Saints at eight years old, that pushed me further to start playing guitar and drums. At ten, I started a band in school with two of my friends and we would do concerts for our parents haha.”

Sorcha Richardson

Richardson moved to New York City at eighteen to study creative writing. Living in a dorm surrounded by graphic designers, Richardson didn’t really have anyone with to share her music. “I never sang and all I did was just write until I moved here. I wanted people to hear my songs, but I had no bandmates so I started singing. My friends would have art shows and I’d play there, and that was my learning curve of singing to people and it was terrifying, I was so nervous.”

Sorcha RichardsonYears later, now out of her dorm room and in a Brooklyn apartment, Sorcha Richardson shines with a confident but humble presence. Pulling from personal, little anecdotes and stories she’s shared with her friends as the inspiration for her songwriting, Sorcha Richardson’s music holds something sentimental that everyone can resonate with. During her performance at Rough Trade NYC to a packed crowd, Richardson’s music is dominated by her acoustic-guitar strumming but her gentle, angelic voice soars wonderfully as her singing animates what we all universally feel but can’t always express. Unplugged and raw, Richardson manages to echo the pain, the worry, the joy, and all the emotions that are emitting from her craft, allowing her to build a connection with everyone who is listening. “It’s incredibly awarding and so fulfilling when people can relate to my music. It’s special when someone can email me and tell me something like that, and then I can have a conversation, a direct connection with that person instead of numbers rolling on YouTube or SoundCloud where it’s totally such a faceless thing. It’s more tangible, especially since I always wonder how my songs travel and find someone in all of these far-away places.”

Sorcha RichardsonAmazingly enough, Richardson admits songwriting is a continuous challenge. “It’s an incredibly stressful process because I play a lot of instruments and I feel like I’m hitting a wall with my lyrics,” but Richardson manages to find a solution. “I have to use a different part of my brain. Sometimes it’s more of a subconscious and instinctual thing that happens, but when I’m hitting a wall with lyrics, I switch to ‘Ok, I’m going to pick up a guitar and play piano and work on the melody.’ When you have both sides at work, your brain feels fried and you can feel like you’re getting into your own way, so it’s best to just bounce back between the two.”

Although her Spotify track list is small, Sorcha Richardson has a generous abundance of unfinished and unmixed songs floating on her YouTube and Bandcamp where she uploads bedroom demos that were written years ago or were never finished – “I want to give these songs a life beyond my living room!” Sorcha Richardson is comfortable going at her own pace, as she self-releases all her music which she prefers instead of doing a big, planned EP release. “I’ll definitely do a planned release down the line, but for the next few months, I like the freedom of doing single releases. People have asked me why I haven’t put my music in an EP or an album because there’s enough, but I just didn’t want to do that – yet. A more traditional release is something I’ll do maybe next year, but for now, I’m releasing demos more freely.”

On the topic of the future, when asked what are her plans for the upcoming months, although she’s mentioned she is in collaboration with writers and producers she’s excited about, Sorcha Richardson smiles and lightheartedly responds, “Who knows what the future holds? I don’t even know, but I’m very excited.”

You Might Also Like