INTERVIEW: Karrie

Hi Karrie, welcome to VENTS! How have you been?

Hi Vents, thank you for contacting me. I’m very well thank you. 

Can you talk to us more about your latest cover for Rod Stewart’s “You Wear It Well”?

Rod Stewart is one of my favourite writers & singers. 

You Wear It Well is typical of his style, it’s lyrically rich and tells a story. I’ve always thought of it like a short movie.   

What was the approach you went after with this cover?

We were conscious of the perfection of the original and were respectful of the genius behind it. We used an instrumentally stripped-down approach but we retained the melody completely I hope you’ll agree. 

The cover comes off your new album Home Thoughts – what’s the story behind the title?

During the Lock Down people couldn’t go to see their relatives. I live 15 min. from my parents’ home but I wasn’t inside the house for weeks on end. 

Home Thoughts from Abroad is on the album because it played in my mind every time, I thought about my old home stead. The title of the album, Home Thoughts, by Clifford T. Wall, is influenced by this song.  

How did you come up with the idea of making a cover album?

It came from getting such a great response to the first recording, ‘You Wear It Well ‘. 

I consider music to be a necessity we were able to provide entertainment to people who responded very positively to our recording’s and this encouraged us to continue throughout Lock Down. 

How was the recording and writing process?

Good fun, all done remotely, I sang into my iPhone at home in Co. Kerry and Jimmy recorded in his studio 4 hrs. away in Co. Dublin!  Each song is a favourite of either mine or Jimmy. It’s lovely to sing songs like this. 

How did you stick to the sound of the original while bringing your own touch?

If there’s a slight phrasing difference or melody difference in the vocal parts it’s because I deliberately didn’t listen to the originals, I sang from memory, which of course wasn’t exactly as the originals went. I made sure the lyrics were correct! 

I can’t Really speak for Jimmy but I know he has written scores for orchestral pieces so he must have a much more methodical approach, I think! 

What was it like to work with Jimmy Smyth and how did that relationship develop?

A few years back we were introduced to one another by Mary Coughlan, who incidentally has just recorded my song Elbow Deep. It’s on her new album.

 I consider Jimmy to be one of my best friends. We get along well. He’s a superb guitarist, producer and arranger. Working with him is great! 

How much did he get to influence the album?

I’d say this album had worked out 50 / 50. 

What role does Ireland play in your music?

Ireland has been my home for all my life. I’ve never lived abroad. I think this little country punches way above its weight when it comes to art. I guess art is in our genes. As a culture we are not very freely expressive in conversation. We are guarded. Most of us are in some way artistic, I think our inner feelings come out through our art. 

Where do you find the inspiration for your own songs and lyrics?

I observe people, I watch movies, and I try to stay out of my own way when writing, as in I use the first draft of a song as much as possible. 

What else is happening next in Karrie’s world?

I have two original albums and some singles prior to Home Thoughts, and I hope to record another album of originals very soon.

‘Home Thoughts’ by Karrie & Jimmy Smyth is out August 28th.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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