From behind a looping station and an acoustic guitar, Elaine Mai sings with a voice that is striking with a nuanced accent and ringing clarity. Delivered with certainty, Mai’s songs have layers of vocal harmony and direct lyrics. She played a series of support slots in 2011, including a stunning set in Dublin’s Unitarian Church with Julianna Barwick. 2012 will surely see Elaine Mai climb the bill right to the top.
How did you get started making music?
I’ve loved music since I was a little kid, and have always been involved one way or another, in choirs, bands so on.. but I’d always wanted to try and do something solo so about a year and a half ago, I bought my first little loop pedal, a pretty simple guy. I just bought it to play around with really. The more I messed with it, the more I liked the sounds I could make and how I could elaborate on the stuff I’d been working on.
Who or what inspires you?
To be honest right now the Irish music scene itself inspires me most. There are so many amazing acts in this country right now and a thriving music scene. It pushes you to work extra hard because you know the level of talent that is out there. It’s exciting to see.
Photo: Sean Conroy