SON to shine at the Shed
Irish songstress Susan O’Neill (SON) felt as helpless as she did guilty when bushfires ravaged Australia.
Such natural devastation doesn’t occur in Ireland, the country that houses her loved ones.
She said while recording her new album (which was mixed in just eight weeks), she felt compelled to express these profound feelings through sound.
“One of the nights after recording, a whole new song came to my head about how we treat the world and nature,” she said.
“I wrote it because of what was going on with the news of the bushfires. My heart was filled with such mixed emotions that I couldn’t explain.
“I couldn’t comprehend what you (Australians) were feeling over here. The next morning, I came into the studio and I said to Martin, ‘we have to do this’. The song was recorded in an hour.
“It’s called ‘Do You Realise’, and it’s written to anyone who’s not paying attention to what’s happening or the people with power who are not realising what we’re dealing with in nature.
“It was very upsetting to watch, and I didn’t really feel there was much I could do but express the feelings that I felt and that was what I tried to do with this song.”
For its chorus, SON sings “Do you realise the earth is alive?”.
And to tie in with its imminent release, the up and coming vocalist kicked off her Australian tour with a bushfire benefit in Sydney.
“It was a really nice way to begin it all given everything that happened… to pay some kind of tribute to the (Cobargo) community.
“The very next night was actually in a church, and straight from there we were into Port Fairy for the folk festival. Every night is so different – from theatres, community halls, festivals.
“The outside venues will of course do the duty of playing with nature and people and that kind of freedom. It also offers an appreciation for that dark, intimate, quiet setting as well. I think different songs tend to be explored in different settings and are accentuated by their surroundings.”
In happier news for the land down under, Australians will be the first to hear SON’s new music.
Her song “You Will Never Know” was released on Spotify last week, along with a handful of others.
But her most recent collaboration with Mick Flannery has had the world talking for weeks.
Titled “Baby Talk”, the song is a poignant ballad between man and woman.
“I was so taken about how we could write so well for the female and male perspectives. The song really encapsulates this idea of the female and male having a fight, but there’s so much emotion in it and yet it’s still very much written in a spoken mannerism.
“They’re speaking these hard truths to each other. It was a beautiful way to collaborate with somebody because it’s not my usual writing style.”
O’Neill will bring Irish folk, rock, gospel and blues to the Potato Shed on Thursday, April 2 for a soul-charged performance.
She couldn’t help but let out a chuckle when she identified the connection between Ireland and potatoes.
“Geelong is actually new territory for me, we haven’t made it there yet. I’ve never played in any venue that has anything to do with potatoes!”.
For tickets, head to geelongaustralia.com.au/potatoshed.
This performance has been cancelled as the Potato Shed is temporary closed in response to the coronavirus pandemic.