Kilkenny’s Ali Comerford releases her debut album Knots on all major platforms this Thursday, marked by a live album show at Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre on Friday.
Recorded at Crossroads Recording studios in Kilkenny, Knots features current single Come Home, title track Knots and debut players come crowd-pleaser He Knows (see video below).
Classically trained, her intimate folk stylings have seen her become a daily play across multiple shows on KCLR. The classical upbringing, with Regina O’Leary sparking a joy of music in her, saw Comerford depart to London to study at Guild Hall and the Royal Academy of Music, then New York, before touring with a variety of ensembles across nearly 15 years before returning to Kilkenny when the pandemic broke in 2020.
For her debut album, it’s a move from classical performance to folk-rooted songwriting.
“Songwriting has always been a giant thing in my life”, said Comerford in a recent interview on KCLR.
“I started when I was 15 and I’ve been writing the whole time. Anything that happens, it’s how I analyse it and see what’s going on or how I feel. The pandemic, while it’s really terrible, gave me the confidence to do this (write the album). I couldn’t play classical music. I couldn’t go and play gigs and so it gave me the space to really delve into my own music and write and record. I recorded out in Crossroads studio Kilkenny with Shane Tobler and he really pushed me towards doing this and gave me the confidence to do it.”
Of course, releasing new music these days has gotten a bit on the tricky side as we’re only getting back on our feet with select venues able to host gigs. So how has that impacted the launch process?
“The biggest thing with releasing things now is that you can’t gig to promote”, she says.
“As someone who hasn’t released anything before that was very difficult to put things out but I have a really great PR person, Kevin at Vamp & Fade and I got a grant to get the PR so that was really brilliant.”
“It’s been played in the States, the UK, Australia, nothing too big but I’m definitely grateful for any play it gets. For me, it was very difficult to start this. Mostly because my songs are autobiographical, all about myself and it’s kind of hard to put that out into the public. You make yourself very vulnerable. Now that I’ve made that step, I owe it to all the work I’ve done to see it through.”
And see it through she will with a live album show in the outdoors at Ballykeeffe Amphitheatre this Friday evening.
Tickets are available via eventbrite.ie priced €10 plus booking fee and sold in pods of two or four.