Galway songstress, Aisling Quinn spent her formative years devouring music without prejudice to particular styles or genres. Home was full of instruments and Aisling was tinkering on pianos and strumming guitars for as long as she can remember. Piano was the first instrument she learned formally, but like most teenagers, the discipline to practice escaped her.
So, inspired by jazz and blues albums from the 30’s and 40’s and her mum’s Carole King LPs, she decided to go down a more laid- back style of jamming, teaching herself as she went rather than being penned in by formal, structured lessons. Her curiosity and love of sounds led her to pick up many other instruments such as mandolin, flute, violin, melodica, bodhran and glockenspiel.
One of her first breaks in the industry came in 2009 when musician Albert Niland happened upon her music. This discovery resulted not only an Irish tour with Albert Niland but also, as word spread, another Irish tour with much lauded performer, Roesy.
But even without this leap into the spotlight in 2009, Aisling had not gone unnoticed by the industry. Her EP, A Simple Arrangement, released in 2007 was praised by Hotpress Magazine, noting her ‘winning vocal style’ and singling her out as an artist who ‘avoided singer songwriter clichés and offered something less predictable’. With influences ranging from Gershwin, Sarah Vaughan, Ella Fitzgerald, Joni Mitchell, Carole King to Merz, Rufus Wainwright, Ed Harcourt, Ben Folds, Fiona Apple and Nick Drake what could be predicted except the unexpected.
“Songwriting, for me, is like having my own language where the hum of a bus, the sound of footsteps, a typewriter can all form part of the dictionary.”
With a qualification in music production also under her belt, Aisling began to delve into the world of theatre. Her work in this area was also drawing media attention with Irish Theatre Magazine describing her collaborative theatre work as ‘intelligent, truly inspiring theatre.’
Aisling’s focus, however, was still very much on creating her own musical entity and during this period she had been writing a collection of songs with a view to releasing her debut album. In 2008 she settled herself into Jam Studios with co-producer Martin Quinn to do just that. The end result is Let The Games Begin, a collection of eleven beautifully crafted songs, packed with energy, colour, personality, melody and an endearing vulnerability.
The album, which was released in May 2011 was received with a 5***** review in UK’s Maverick Magazine and equally positive reviews in Ireland. Having spent 2011 playing Body&Soul, The Galway Arts Festival (supporting The Walls), Knockanstockan and Body&Soul at Electric Picnic, Aisling kicked off 2012 by playing at Celtic Connections Festival in Glasgow where she was invited to play on the Danny Kyle Open Stage, which showcases upcoming talent
‘Song I Wrote For You’ is the second single to be released from Aisling’s debut album. The song is typical of Aisling’s quirky style of songwriting, this time feature a typewriter as percussion! It has already received international recognition reaching semi-finalist status at the prestigious ISC (International Songwriting Competition) 2010 a prestigious US based competition that recognises new songwriting talent from across the world. Judges included Tom Waits, Rhianna, Jeff Beck, Robert Smith, Jerry Lee Lewis and a host of industry names.
Aisling Quinn will perform tracks from ‘Let The Games Begin’ in Bewley’s Theatre, Dublin on Thursday 19 April, The Grand Social on Sunday 29th April & The Purple Room, Drogheda on Saturday 16th June, more dates to be announced.
“oozes songwriting class from the beginning…I’m not going to say that Quinn sounds like any artist in particular, because she simply doesn’t. There’s something authentic and original running through this album that is hard to pin down. Reference points are as varied as The Beatles, Laura Nyro, Rufus Wainwright and Ella Fitzgerald” – Maverick Magazine UK
“an impassioned and eloquent debut, lovingly made and expertly played” Johnnie Craig -Sunday Business Post