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Ava emerging from the Mist as one to watch

March 1st, 2020 10:05 PM

By Emma Connolly

Ava and her brother Jack during one of their regular performances in De Barra’s in Clonakilty. (Photo: Richie Tyndall)

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A 16-YEAR old musician from Clonakilty has been described by music bible, Hot Press, as one to watch for 2020.

Ava Archbold caught national attention with her debut single Mist at the end of last year when critics called her ‘a serious talent.’

There’s been plenty of chatter since, suggesting a record deal is imminent, but Ava insists her focus right now is about working, independently to find her sound.

‘I’m working on the finishing touches to a few new projects at the moment in Wavefield Recording Studios, Clonakilty. I’ll be announcing news about new releases soon,’ she said. 

Describing Mist as having an alternative pop sound, she admits to finding it ‘a little difficult to put my own music into a genre.’

She wrote Mist when she was 15, a time when she says she listened to a lot more pop than now. ‘I think you can hear that in the song although my influences had really changed by the time I got around to recording it. This completely changed how I saw the song compared to when I wrote it first. ‘The sweetness of it really bothered me when I went to record it so one of my main aims was to change that. Overall, my alternative pop sound is slowly becoming less pop and more alternative. Regarding my lyrics, I’m particularly interested in writing modern day murder ballads and touching on other dark edges,’ she said.

Ava attended Sacred Heart Secondary School, Clonakilty until last year, third year. She’s now home schooled, using the unschooling method.

‘I follow my own interests instead of a curriculum. I’m also doing Fetac courses at the moment which I’ll continue doing until I turn 18 and can go to college. I recorded my single at Wavefield Recording Studios. I go there for two hour sessions weekly as part of my home schooling. This meant that the recording process for the single was more gradual and there was less pressure to get it done perfectly the first time. For example, for my vocals, we don’t set a day and say that we’re going to record all of them while thinking “this will be the final track.” We tend to record a few demo tracks that aren’t intended to be the final thing, but sometimes end up being just that, and sometimes they don’t!

‘Brian and Sarah (from Wavefield Recordings) have been really amazing, passing on so much knowledge about song writing, producing, releasing music and so much more. I can’t thank them enough.’

Ava has grown up in a household surrounded by music, with parents Ronan and Deirdre well known musicians. Her brother Jack hosts an acoustic session every second Tuesday night in DeBarras Folk Club and Ava regularly performs with him. 

Her own favourite music to listen to is grunge: ‘But to be honest, I’d listen to anything with a bit of guitar distortion. My favourite album would be Bleach by Nirvana. ‘I really like Radiohead too, both their earlier stuff and then their more experimental style that came later.  As well as those two, I listen to Led Zeppelin, The Frames, Damien Rice and local acts like Paula K O’Brien and Dukkha.’

•Catch Ava when she plays the Jolly Roger on Sherkin Island with Jack on 18th and 19th of April.

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