We recently featured Dermot Kennedy
's track "All My Friends" as our Song of the Day
, and for good reason. Think Jack Garratt, James Vincent McMorrow, or Bon Iver - if any of those artists have a place in your heart, then this Dublin-based artist is bound to make you swoon. Kennedy will take you on one hell of an emotional ride, especially with his upcoming EP, Doves & Ravens,
which is set for release on April 14th, and we got to talk to him all about it.
You're getting ready to release your new EP, Doves & Ravens, can you explain the title?
I guess the easiest way to describe it is that it's an image that represents the idea of good versus evil, and of light in darkness. A hopefulness in bad times. Maybe it's something that only seems obvious to me, but I think that idea comes across in the songs. I've had good times, and I've had times that weren't so good, and I've drawn on both when it comes to my music, so it felt like an appropriate title.
What can we expect to hear on this EP?
I hope you'll hear something honest. And I hope it's something unique, that doesn't necessarily slot comfortably into any one genre, and has elements of everything that inspires me, from lyrics, to the production, even the artwork. Something exciting, that is worthy of respect from my peers, regardless of genre.
Who were some of your influences during the making of this record?
The two records I was constantly listening to throughout the making of the EP was the latest Bon Iver album (22, A Million
), and Drake albums from a couple of years ago, particularly If You're Reading This It's Too Late.
There are so many reasons why I love both of those artists. Another thing that I always find inspiring is to watch Def Poetry videos on YouTube, especially Black Ice and Amir Sulaiman, those guys are incredible.
What was it like working with Stephen Kozmeniuk and Charlie Hugall?
It was so great working with those guys. To be in Toronto working with Koz was a situation I wanted to be in for a while, having seen who he had worked with in the past. And we made "Glory" together, one of the tracks from the EP, so that was a blast. His production on that track still excites me so much.
You really blend several different genres - feels like electronic, pop, sometimes even rap... how'd that unique mix come about?
The thing I'm most pleased about is the fact that the sound on the EP is something that happened naturally. Nothing felt forced at any stage, we were never trying to intentionally take a step forward from the more stripped back, acoustic sound in my older material. Rap is probably what I listen to most, so maybe that came through and made me lean towards that side of things in the production. But it wasn't a conscious decision at all, it's just the way I always wanted to do it.
What's next for you?
I've just finished a tour of Ireland and the UK, with sold out shows in Dublin and London. It's been great playing with other musicians for these shows, and bringing the tracks from the new EP to life. The reaction from people has been so lovely, and the energy at the shows has been super exciting. So it's time to move forward now, I'm just looking forward to releasing more music and to connecting with rooms full of people. I'm so excited for what's ahead.