Meet the Irish singer-songwriter in this week’s Spotlight x ReverbNation instalment.
Lou McMahon is an Irish singer-songwriter who makes fantastic, wondrous sounding folk music. Her song ‘A River’ caught our attention at the beginning of the year and with an album hopefully out soon, we spoke to her about her music.
McMahon cites the greats like Joni Mitchel and Tom Waits as influences as well as more modern acts like Conor Oberst, Dixie Chicks and The Decemberists, as well as producer Terry Woods, who “enhanced my style, took me from my shell and gave me a passage into the music business”. Although, she says, “cheesy American country” is her big guilty pleasure, “especially that one about going for a ride on a big green tractor.” Her style is very different from this, modern takes on Irish folk, like “Sinead O’Connor singing Foggy Dew” have helped her hone her own unique style. In fact, her “writing style is hugely inspired by Irish songs and sagas”, for example, she’s been working on a song called ‘Swan Song’ inspired by Irish legend The Children of Lír.
After ‘A River’ was played on The Apprentice and ‘Wide Eyed Lady’ featured on The Ultimate Guide To Irish Folk, McMahon signed a synchronisation deal and got airplay on the BBC. Due to this she’s working towards “becoming a songwriter and a composer for film and television.” However, she’s also working on an album. “I have been listening to a lot of American folk and country artists, film scores, soundtrack music and jazz lately, these genres will heavily influence my forthcoming album”. “But”, she insists, “I am still the same auld folky songwriter from Co. Clare in Ireland who sits with an instrument singing and writing emotional songs.” “To be mentioned in the same breath as great Irish songwriters and musicians as a newcomer to watch out for, is something to be really proud of and I am most sincerely proud to be Irish.”
Despite her passions and successes, her ambitions are humble; “I aspire to be busy as an artist. – I just want to be busy and earning a comfortable living doing something that I am passionate about.”