April 30th saw the release of Ciara O’Neill’s first single from her new album Arrow, the double A side single Hurtin’/Dreamer is a precursor to the album release on July 9th.

Ciara spoke to The Fountain about performing in Nashville and being influenced by the likes of Lisa Hannigan and Damien Rice.

TF: A new single release, a later album release, there is much to be happy about?

There is indeed! I’m very excited to finally get this music out into the world. I’ve been in the studio for a year (on and off) so it’s great to finally have the finished product in my hand and ears.

TF: And with the new LP, what can we expect from that?

I’ve travelled back and forth to America, mainly Nashville over the past few years and have gathered a lot of experiences and songs along the way. The album is organic but with an urban feel, folk but also with a slight Americana feel. I recorded the album in the heart of the Irish countryside in a drafty creaky old country house…if you listen closely you’ll hear crows squawking in the background. It is both hopeful and plaintive and is easy listening so perfect for a lazy Sunday evening drive!

TF: And what are you hurtin and dreamin about?

I’m Hurtin’ that we are so wrapped up in digital screens that we can’t see the beauty around us. I’m dreamin about a beach and twenty-five degrees (I live in Ireland after all)

TF: And how much has Ireland played it’s part on your music?

A huge part, I grew up singing old Irish folk songs in school and in pubs growing up. I still play them the odd time especially if I’m in America, they love a wee Irish song! Lots of my favourite artists are Irish including Glen Hansard, Lisa Hannigan, Damien Rice and some of my favourite writers include Seamus Heaney. Books and poetry have influenced my song writing so much.

TF: What has been your favourite gig to date?

I’ve been lucky enough to play the legendary Bluebird cafe in Nashville a number of times. It’s a very important venue for songwriters, everyone from Willie Nelson to Dave Grohl, Steve Tyler to Garth Brooks have played there so there is a lot of music history in that little room. There’s always a guarantee of a sold out listening audience as well, it really is a beautiful place. Closer to home the Belfast Barge (a little boat docked on the river Lagan, where I had my recent album launch) or the Spirit Store in Dundalk are other close favourites.