Carrick on Shannon, County Leitrim
“West to the Evening Sun”, Ailie Blunnie’s forthcoming début album, is, at its purest, a love letter to her native home patch, and at its rawest, an emblazoned cry for hope and adventure.
The title track gently weaves both of these threads into its fabric, its repetitive closing line “I’m going west to my freedom and west to the evening sun”, almost tribal in its chant-like pulse.
From Leitrim in the north west of Ireland, Ailie has been quietly confiding in music since her late teens, when earlier ambitions of reaching dizzying heights through a full-time gymnastics hobby fell through.
Her début EP, “On love.. and other murder mysteries” (2013), marked her first tentative foray into the forests of independent musicianship. From it, her wistful love song “How much do you love me?”, and the starkly despondent “You Compare Her to a Rose”, were selected as winner and finalist, respectively, in the prestigious UK Songwriting Competition (2014).
Her recent single, “I Will Count my Blessings” – a commitment to honouring core values (‘I will count my blessings/I will speak my heart and my mind/I will not be more or less than I am for you’), was chosen for inclusion on the 2015 release, ‘Don’t be afraid of the light that shines within you’ – a CD produced by, and in aid of, Samaritans Ireland – alongside Irish artists Hozier, Imelda May, Paddy Casey, Luka Bloom and more.
Ailie’s début album is the crystallisation of a relentless drive to transmute bare human emotion into full-colour sensory experience. Recalling Sinead O’Connor in its unapologetic resolve, Ger Wolfe’s tender storytelling style, and an unmistakably Irish sense of fun (suggesting influences like Flann O’Brien and Samuel Beckett), “West to the Evening Sun” will be released in early 2017, with the title track available from late January.
“So new, so fresh, and so good” (Carl Corcoran, The Blue of the Night, RTÉ Lyric fm)
"Describe the Carrick-on-Shannon songwriter as a novelty at your peril [...]; while songs like the cabaret-pop lilt of Coming to Get Ya and Monster are positively packed with idiosyncrasies, there is a tenderness and beauty to You Compare Her to a Rose, that lends weight to her sweet-natured compositions." (Lauren Murphy, The Irish Times)
“One of the country’s leading young poets” (Brian Lynch, writer)