5 Minutes With Damien Dempsey

After emerging from the Dublin scene in the mid 90's, Damien Dempsey has continued to achieve chart status with his unique style of folk music.

With a new album on the way later this year, and a UK tour in March, we had a chat with Damien about his new music, recording process and more! Check out our conversation below.

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Last year saw you release ‘Hope Calling’, your first new music since 2018’s ‘Union’ album. What made you choose this as the lead single? And what inspired the track?

A lot of people are still struggling after the lockdown, but there’s hope in practising gratitude, meditation, yoga, getting into nature, learning an instrument, learning a language, joining a choir, writing poetry, joining an acting class.

Your new album is on the way this year, what can fans expect from the new record?

An album to get them on a better trajectory hopefully and if they’re already on a good one it’ll get them on and even better one.

You’ve been writing albums for decades now, have you developed any traditions in your writing and recording process? Or is each new record a different experience?

Some songs have to be a cinematic for people and take them on a journey and then you need a few sing along choruses, but we do try to change the sound on every album.

As a Dublin man yourself, its clear the city produces some incredible talent. What influence do you think the city has had on your sound? And who are some of your favourite artists coming out of Dublin in recent years?

The young people when I was growing up were mad about Ska and reggae, the older people were in the thick of the ballad boom so traditional music and ballads were going in one ear and reggae and ska in the other, so I was sandwiched in between them and they are stamped on me now. Some of my recent favourites are Alazarus Soul, Lankum, Fontaines D.C., Pillow Queens, For those I love.

You’re heading out on tour this March – what are you looking forward to the most about these live shows?

On the day of the show in my mind’s eye I can see people across the whole city and out into the country all excited and getting pumped up for a big communal sing song with likeminded emphatic people.

What song in your discography is always guaranteed to get the crowds energy up? And do you have your own favourite that you always want in the set list?

Sing all our cares away. Negative Vibes. Apple of my Eye. It's all good and Chris and Stevie.

If you could sum up the upcoming shows in 3 words, what would they be?

Fun. Emphatic. Singsong.


Book tickets to his UK tour now!

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I'm Abi - a lover of festivals, food and all things music.

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