“There is a unique note inside each person.
Like an inner squiggle. I’m just trying to find it and let it out!”
Galway songstress, Aisling Quinn spent her formative years devouring music without prejudice to particular styles or genres. Home was full of instruments and Aisling was tinkering on pianos and strumming guitars for as long as she can remember. Piano was the first instrument she learned formally, but like most teenagers, the discipline to practice escaped her.
So, inspired by jazz and blues albums from the 30’s and 40’s and her mum’s Carole King LPs, she decided to go down a more laid- back style of jamming, teaching herself as she went rather than being penned in by formal, structured lessons. Her curiosity and love of sounds led her to pick up many other instruments such as mandolin, flute, violin, melodica, bodhran and glockenspiel.
Her EP, A Simple Arrangement, released in 2007 was praised by Hotpress Magazine, noting her ‘winning vocal style’ and singling her out as an artist who ‘avoided singer songwriter clichés and offered something less predictable’. With influences ranging from Gershwin, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Carole King to Merz, Rufus Wainwright, Ed Harcourt, Ben Folds, Fiona Apple and Nick Drake what could be predicted except the unexpected.
“Songwriting, for me, is like having my own language where the hum of a bus, the sound of footsteps, a typewriter can all form part of the dictionary.”
With a qualification in music production also under her belt, Aisling began to delve into the world of theatre. Her work in this area was also drawing media attention with Irish Theatre Magazine describing her collaborative theatre work as ‘intelligent, truly inspiring theatre .
Aisling’s focus, however, was still very much on creating her own musical entity and during this period she had been writing a collection of songs with a view to releasing her debut album. She settled herself into Jam Studios with co-producer Martin Quinn to do just that. The end result is Let The Games Begin, a collection of eleven beautifully crafted songs, packed with energy, colour, personality, melody and an endearing vulnerability.
The album, which was released in May 2011 was received with a 5***** reveiew by Maverick Magazine in the UK and to equally positive reviews in Ireland with comparisons to Rickie Lee Jones and Laura Nyro. Although the album had already received international attention with the tracks ‘Song I wrote For You’ and ‘When You Come’ reaching semi-finalist status at the prestiguous International Songwriting Compeition 2009 and 2010 respectively.
Having spent 2011 playing Body&Soul, The Galway Arts Festival (supporting The Walls), Knockanstockan and Body&Soul at Electric Picnic, Aisling kicked off 2012 by playing at Celtic Connections Festival. She then toured Ireland, along with featuring at The Galway Fringe Festival. She ended 2012 with her theatre collaboration, ‘Oh Look, Hummingbirds’ at Dublin Absolut Fringe 2012, followed by joining the line-up of Hard Working Class Heros 2012 in celebrating their 10th Anniversary. In early 2013 she continued touring Ireland and was also commissioned to write musical works for numerous radio plays. In late 2013 Aisling relocated to Glasgow to persue a Masters in Sonic Arts at Glasgow University and began work on her second album.