5 Minutes With Aoife Nessa Frances

Irish artist Aoife Nessa Frances heads out on a UK wide, headline tour throughout November in support of upcoming sophomore LP, 'Protector.'

With blissful instrumentation and idyllic lyricism, it is the perfect Autumnal album and one that we can't wait to hear live in intimate surroundings next month.

We caught up with Aoife to discuss her inspirations for 'Protector', how she makes touring a home away from home and more.

Check out the full interview below.

Firstly – your new album ‘Protector’ is out this week! How does it feel to finally be preparing for your second record to be released onto the world?

This album feels so close to me now, I don’t know what it will be like to let go of it as a whole. ‘Protector’ feels like an extension of myself at this moment. I want more than anything to be able to share it with people. I feel like the cycle of creation isn’t complete until people hear the full thing. and when it’s gone out into the ether it will take on a life of its own. I’m both excited and nervous for that to happen.

What can fans expect from it, and were there any striking differences this time around?

I feel like there’s something that lives at the centre of all the songs I’ve written that has found its way through. But I think ‘Protector’ is like a fuller, more thought-out version of what I’ve made previously. I feel like I really found myself when making this record. My voice is stronger. It’s more honest and true. The arrangements are bigger. The songs are long with psychedelic wanderings.

Were there any artists or pieces of media that inspired any aspects or the album?

I’m always inspired by Irish artist Mainie Jellet. I had a print of one of her paintings on my wall in the room where I spent time writing the record. Also by three other Irish Artists Kathy Tynan, Banbha McCann and Kathlyn O’Brien. A French artist called Bernard Bonhomme whose work I found on the cover of an old edition of ‘One Hundred Years of Solitude’. A book that I often revisit… I was watching films by Swedish director Roy Andersson. I was reading ‘Ghost in the Throat’ by Irish writer Doireann Ní Ghríofa and ‘Acts of Desperation’ by Megan Nolan. I was listening to a lot of different music around the time of making the record. I know it didn’t necessarily end up sounding like these things but when I went in I was like I want this record to sound like Jim Sullivan and Serge Gainsbourg, and Nico, and Alice Coltrane while containing the spiritual centre of Johanna Brouk and Laraaji, just the feeling of that music, not necessarily sonically. I’m always carrying around my love for Nico and The Velvet Underground, Lee Hazelwood, Harmonia and My Bloody Valentine. I was listening to a lot of Cetano Veloso.

Alongside the album you’ll also be heading across the UK this November – how excited are you to return to life on the road?

Very very excited. Couldn’t be more excited. I’ve done a lot of touring over the past year with various different set ups. I’ve played as a trio, as a duo and also solo. I’m looking forward to getting to present my music in a fuller way this winter for my headline tour.

Is there anything about touring – not particularly the performing side of things – that you miss when you’re not on the road?

Honestly, I miss everything about touring. I find it really hard to come home. I’ve been moving around so much in my own life that touring feels very natural for me. I love driving from city to city. Seeing new things and meeting new people.. I love listening to music on the motorway. I love petrol stations that sell real vegetables.

Similarly, what tips have you picked up over the years that have been most useful for playing across the UK and beyond?

I’ve learned how to pack better for tours and to take better things with me. The first tour I did was a nightmare, with heavy suitcases and unnecessary things. I try to take the bare minimum, but I find it helpful to bring along some small objects that connect me to home like my tarot cards and one or two precious stones. I like to place these somewhere on the stage near me when I’m playing a show - to make the performance sacred for myself. I’ll take a tarot card or two, to bring that energy with me. Like the Fool, the Magician or the Ace of Cups.

What else can we expect from you later this year and into next?

‘Protector’ comes out on 28th October. On 1st November I start a six week tour across the UK, Europe and North America. I’m planning on doing a lot of touring next year too. I supported Destroyer around Europe last moth. I’m a big fan of Dan Bejar’s so was really looking forward to it.

Remaining tickets for Aoife Nessa Frances' tour are on sale now.

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Hey - I'm Callum. Fan of The National, collector of vinyl, season ticket holder at Leeds United, owner of Dougal the cat.

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