April has announced a Dublin headline show
The Sound House
Sun 16th April 2023
Tickets €15.00 Incl. booking fee
Doors 8pm | Over 18's | ID Required
At the beginning of this year, everything changed for April. As well as relocating from her sleepy hometown of Kilcullen – a small town in County Kildare – to forge a new path in London, the artist was also throwing herself into single life following recent break-up, and getting to know the late-night spots of her new city. “I was going out a lot and partying – kind of escaping, reality,” she says. “Doing some dumb stuff and looking for that thrill of life.” It’s a journey that sent her roaming the city in search of something she couldn’t quite pin down. Those early months in London proved a pivotal, perspective-shaping chapter, and as April puts it “I learned to love being by myself again.” And hitting play on the artist’s forthcoming mixtape ‘STARLANE’, named after her recording studio’s local DLR station, threads of dance music and high-octane pop both weave their way into her boldest, brightest release yet. “The music feels like stars; a lane is a kind of road. It’s about going in a new direction. ‘STARLANE’ is definitely marking a new start; I want to cleanse the palate and start from scratch.”
As part of this exploratory new era, April drew on a set of influences ranging from the left-field indie-pop of The 1975 and The Japanese House, to the threads of UK Garage and drum’n’bass that pulsed through her countless nights out. Inspired by clubs in London, and the eclectic, genre-hopping pop of artists like PinkPantheress and Shygirl, ‘STARLANE’s lead single ‘54321’ is co-written with indie singer-songwriter Matt Maltese, and produced by Danny Casio (Joy Crookes, Griff). Drawing on skittering dance beats, it dissects a new era of independence, and the empowerment of fully embracing a newly-liberated chapter. “Baby I’m sick of wasting time,” she sings, “don’t wanna watch you change your mind.”
“I wrote that song about that after-relationship feeling of not wanting to wait around for someone anymore. It’s about being more sure of yourself, which is kind of the overarching theme of this mixtape.”
Rewinding back to her upbringing, April grew up in a loud, busy household in Kilcullen, the oldest of seven kids. When she wasn’t sneaking into abandoned houses and exploring nearby rivers, you’d find her hidden away at home writing songs about heartbreak she didn’t understand yet, and her dreams of pursuing music. Initially, “I used to write songs for my celebrity crushes,” she laughs, “Justin Bieber, One Direction and Jedward. There’s a video of me when I was fourteen, playing piano like crazy. It’s almost like show tune music – like Johnny Cash or Jerry Lee Lewis-style piano. I’m singing about waking up in the morning, putting on your makeup and going to become famous, going to The X Factor. My dream was to be on The X Factor, by the way!”
Still, she often felt nagging doubts that as an aspiring Irish musician, there was no place for her in the spotlight, and schoolmates who made fun of April’s earliest recordings drove her to quit making music for four years altogether. “I was like: Oh, I'm from Ireland. I don't think I'm ever going to be able to do music. I only saw successful people who were American, or big personalities from the UK.”
Moving to Dublin aged eighteen meanwhile was the huge catalyst that kickstarted April’s own journey. “When I first started releasing music in 2018, it was a really special time; I was listening to artists like Kojaque, Biig Piig and Soft Boy Records... I was obsessed with it.
They were so open arms, they let me in, and gave me all these tips. It was so exciting, and it felt very special, and supportive.” Even now, four years later in London, April still feels a kind of solidarity with that scene. “There's so many people I always see coming up, and instantly they become part of this little Irish circle.”
Created alongside rising producer RISC (Cat Burns, dexter, Sophia Alexa) with further contributions from Josh Scarbrow (Arlo Parks, Rachel Chinouriri), Tobie Tripp (Tom Misch), Jimi Somewhere and long-time collaborators Frank Collucci and Fred MacPherson of Spector - the spirit of collaboration is also alive at the core of ‘STARLANE’.
The stuttering ‘The Light’ – reminiscent of Charli XCX’s introspective lockdown record ‘How I’m Feeling Now’ – and the punchy ‘So Good At Being Lonely’ feel like April’s most freewheeling, experimental pop songs to date. The former, she explains, is about the conflicting juxtaposition that comes with falling for somebody new while still grappling with heartbreak, while ‘So Good At Being Lonely’ despairs at “a person using you as a friend but treating you like a past lover” atop a twinkling music box chime that explodes into full-blown melodic euphoria that belies its darker lyrical content. “Sleeping with your shadow in the room we never painted,” April sings, the inevitable ending of things creeping into the picture. “Never gonna do it if you know we won’t make it”
Though moments like the cavernous ‘Distraction’ unearth the moments of doubt and anxiety we all experience (“baby, I live for self-deprecation/not a nice word to use but it’s true”) ‘STARLANE’ has a newfound self-assuredness as its heart, blending the alternative strands of April’s earlier releases with pop punch. “I think it's so exciting that you can mix the two worlds together,” she says.
With April signed to Atlantic as of last summer, and fresh from a tour supporting Claud across Europe, ‘STARLANE’ isn’t only the beginning of a personal chapter. It marks a moment of newfound clarity, and an artist just getting started.