(SXSW 2015 flavoured!) Quickfire Questions #86: Orla Gartland

By on Friday, 27th February 2015 at 11:00 am

Not long now before SXSW 2015! But just as we did for SXSW 2014 last year, we’ll be running a special version of the TGTF Quickfire Questions, served up SXSW style with an extra couple of questions to get inside bands’ and artists’ heads so they’ll tell us what they really think of the event.

We’re now at lucky number 7 of these ahead of the big dance next month, and this morning our interviewee is the lovely Irish singer/songwriter Orla Gartland, whose self-described “wacky guitar pop” will be on show on her first American headline tour scheduled around her Austin appearances. She just released her EP ‘Lonely People’ in January and sold out nearly all of her UK tour in February, so I imagine she’s raring to go with playing live in the States. Read on to find out what about SXSW she’s most excited about, which fellow Dublin act has a song that makes her cry every time (hint: they’re friends of TGTF) and much more.

What are you most looking forward to doing while you’re in Austin?
I’ve heard gooood things about the food, so probably stuffing my face, playing my own set with my band and then going to see tons and tons of other shows!

Of the bands who have already been announced, do you have any that are must-sees on your schedule? If yes, who are they and why?
Absolutely! Laura Marling has always been a QUEEN for me, she’s one of the first people who inspired me to pick up a guitar so I’m buzzing to see her play. I’ll also be going to see SOAK, Marina and the Diamonds, The People the Poet, Catfish and The Bottlemen, Shura and Jack Garratt!

Name something you’re packing in your suitcase that we might find unusual. (You are welcome to elaborate.)
Sun lotion, LOL. Seriously though, my skin’s so pale it’s borderline transparent – I’m gonna need to BATHE in that stuff and hit some some seriously shaded spots whilst there. I’ll also be bringing along my tiny Casio keyboard which is a must-have for long journeys jam sessions.

If we happen to run into you in a bar, we’d like to buy you a drink. What is your tipple of choice?
YAY! I’ll take you up on that (even though I keep forgetting I’m not old enough to drink over in the US yet, LOL). I’m a cider girl at heart but I’m partial to a good G & T, too. I’m also a fan of horrendously fruity flowery sugary cocktails.

What have you heard about the festival? Are you excited / anxious / scared / etc. and why?
I’ve heard there’s an absolute EXPLOSION of music in Austin throughout the festival, which apparently makes the whole place come alive; it sounds like a total dream. I’m excited because my lovely band are flying over to play with me, and it’s out first ever show in the States together which is awesome. And scared? Naw. I think I’m too excited to be scared!

And now on to our usual list of Quickfire Questions:

What song is your earliest musical memory?
‘Close to You’ by The Carpenters was always on in our house. I still love it, what a tune!

What was your favourite song as a child?
Apparently as a young’un I would always scream in the car for someone to put on a Fleetwood Mac song, which is pretty funny because years later I rediscovered Fleetwood and completely fell in love with them again. I was (and still am) a huge fan of their song ‘The Chain’.

What song makes you laugh?
‘Tribute’ by Tenacious D, of course.

What song makes you cry?
‘All I Want’ by Kodaline. “If you loved me, why’d ya leave me” – AH. MY HEART.

What song reminds you of the first time you fell in love? (It’s up to you if you want this to be sweet, naughty, etc.)
‘The Luckiest’ by Ben Folds. He sings the song just completely and utterly in awe of the person he’s in love with, it’s awesome.

What song makes you think of being upset / angry? (Example: maybe you heard it when you were angry with someone and it’s still with you, and/or something that calms you down when you’re upset, etc.)
It’s pretty comical but anytime I’m in any kind of confrontational situation ‘Final Countdown’ plays on loop in my head – it makes it pretty hard to keep a straight face.

Which song (any song written in the last century / 100 years or so) do you wish you’d written yourself?
‘Chandelier’ by Sia is amazing, so maybe that – it has one of my favourite pop choruses ever!

Who is your favourite writer? (This can be a songwriter or ANY kind of writer.)
It’s forever changing but my favourite songwriter at the moment is Regina Spektor. Her approach to lyrics is so charming – they’re the perfect blend of literal and metaphorical!

If you hadn’t become a singer/musician/songwriter/etc., what job do you think you’d be doing right now?
I’d love to be a graphic designer, it’s still what I’d study at uni if I ever go! I’m forever doodling and geeking out over fonts and layouts, so I’d love to be designing posters and logos.

If God said you were allowed to bring only one album with you to Heaven, which would it be and why? (Sorry, but double albums do not count.)
THIS IS SO HARD, GAH. I’ll have to go with ‘Blue’ by Joni Mitchell. I’d happily drown in her voice whilst I drift around on clouds or whatever goes on up there.

Cheers Orla for answering our questions and thank you also to Zoe for making this happen.

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