In this episode, Irish singer-songwriter Sorcha Richardson explains why pizza is better without the toppings, the awkwardness that comes with seeing someone you’ve written a song about, and why she’s put a two-year ban on playing the game Taboo.
All fanboying and fangirling aside, there’s a hermetical energy that surrounds many artists, as if they are able to tap into a plane of existence that the rest of us sit on the outside of, gleefully digesting their dissemination of sacred knowledge.
This is not the case with Sorcha Richardson.
She’s more like the friend you sat outside your college dining hall with, drinking cheap beer, eating Lunchables, and smoking cigarettes while putting off studying until the sun’s first blush.
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You quickly learn this if you spend five minutes in conversation with her. Her meal of choice? A slice of cheese pizza and a glass of rosé. Where are you likely to find her on any given evening? Writing music in her bedroom or hanging out a local bar with a few friends.
Staying true to the bedroom-pop ethos, the Dublin native prefers to record her music at her little desk in the corner by the window, needing nothing more than her guitar, bass, 25-key keyboard, and computer. And even when she’s there, she seems to operate on bar times—at least by New York standards—explaining that her most productive writing hours lie between 10 p.m. and 4 a.m.
“Even if I’m not doing anything during the day, I always find that once it feels like the rest of the world is switching off and asleep, it’s much easier for me to write,” Richardson says.
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She’s full of this kind of wisdom. When asked why she prefers her bedroom over a studio, she points out that she can spend eight hours writing a song that ends up being terrible. But, while that may be a waste of time (which equals money) in a studio, in her bedroom, that would never be the case: “Good ideas come from bad ideas, sometimes,” she concludes effortlessly.
Richardson’s website greets you with with a handwritten note, full of letters placed overtop misspellings and traced over multiple times—as it goes when one opts for pen instead of pencil. And her lyrics are written out in the same format. The note concludes with her personal email and an invitation to reach out and share your own art or just say hello. It’s all indicative of her unfiltered delivery of music.
“It didn’t make sense to make everything flashy and professional and expensive looking,” Richardson says. “I just wanted it to feel like it was a shorter line of communication between me and whoever would listen to my music.”
And really, aren’t things better when they aren’t so complex? Why look up at a shrine for answers when you can just look in the mirror?
Pregame with Sorcha can be seen in the videos above. And check out an assortment of her best words of wisdom—and words of drink—below.
On pizza toppings:
“I hate toppings on pizza. Sometimes, maybe, I will do pepperoni if I’m feeling a little crazy.”
On when you taboo the game Taboo:
“Well, I’m pretty competitive, and I think a few of my friends are too. It was about two years ago, and we played boys against girls, which I should have known was a bad idea, because it immediately felt like there was a lot at stake. Tensions were really high, tempers really erupted. We were supposed to go out and have a really fun night, but everyone was just really mad at each other. So I haven’t played it in a while.”
On the songs she wrote when she was 10 years old:
“They were about nothing. I remember me and my friend would write songs about her boyfriend, because we were 10 but we still thought we were in very serious relationships. There was one song called ‘She Only Wants You For Your Money.’ I don’t know why. It was like ‘Gold Digger,’ but we weren’t even writing it about anybody. I wish we had recordings… maybe it’s a good thing we don’t.”
On the benefits of Dublin’s smaller music scene:
“I had played like two gigs and only had demos online, but I could still go on national radio stations. And those DJs on those stations will still have me on the show when I’m home. It’s good because it’s easy to feel like things are moving in a way that isn’t the same in [New York].”
On writing songs about her friends and not friends:
“I always used to be nervous about the person who I was writing about hearing it. I would change certain lyrics and disguise it a bit because the idea of them hearing it… that would just be so awkward. And then I got to a point where I realized the songs are going to be way better if I don’t do that, and, whatever, I will just deal with the awkwardness of that situation.
“Sometimes I’ll write songs about my friends, and they love it, and it becomes this anthem, or it immortalizes some night that we went out that something funny happened and they just play it all the time. But then there are [songs] where I write about people that I was dating, or someone I didn’t date but had a crush on, and I’ll write about things I didn’t say to that person. The one guy that I wrote a few songs about, he’s also a songwriter, so I don’t even really feel bad.”
“No, you’re seven.”