Wallis Bird’s new album set to be swan song

Wallis Bird. PHOTO: JENS OELLERMAN.
Wallis Bird. PHOTO: JENS OELLERMAN.

Groove Tube with Jimi McDonnell – tribunegroove@live.ie

A performer with charm and power, Wallis Bird comes to the Róisín Dubh on Friday, January 20. As with many musicians, touring is a vital part of Wallis’s life – she’s in Australia at the time of the interview. Unlike other singers promoting an upcoming Galway gig, however, she drops a fairly big surprise about halfway through the call.

But, first things first – how is the Australian tour going?

“It’s much better than I anticipated, actually,” Wallis says. “Because I anticipated a blank canvas, nobody showing up and if they did they wouldn’t be into it, and what have you. Then, it’s been the opposite. I’ve really enjoyed the people, I’m loving the wildlife. I feel different at this other side of the world, which I didn’t think I would.

“They’re really into the music,” she adds. “But I have to say the background that I have certainly helps, I’m not starting from scratch. I took my time in coming here. I have a good listenership, lovely local venues. It’s been surprising and worth it.”

Wallis Bird’s latest album Home was released in 2016 and opens with a song called Change. Does she strive to never make the same album twice?

“Every album has to be different, every conversation I have has to be different,” she says.  “I turn a corner on a street, and my life could change. Gaining experiences, I just have a lust for trying out things. So, that’s expressed through the music.”

Where did Wallis make her fourth studio album?

“The studio this time around was my home,” she says. “It was first time being in my own studio, being at home, using all my own equipment. Being alone for 70 percent of the time, just having only myself to question.”

It’s at this moment that Wallis Bird takes the interview into unexpected territory.

“I kind of wrote this album as my last,” she says. “Because after this I kind of figured, well you know, five albums – I want to do something for somebody else. I don’t want to do this just for myself anymore, it’s narcissistic. And I feel like I’ve reached an end-point where I’m like, what is the point in me doing this?”

For more, read this week’s Tribune.