SXSW 2016 Interview: Saint Sister

By on Thursday, 7th April 2016 at 1:00 pm

Header photo: Gemma Doherty (on harp) and Morgan MacIntyre of Saint Sister

It’s still very early going for Irish alt-folk duo act Saint Sister, comprising Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty, who only formed officially in November 2014. Their unique sound has been very appropriately dubbed “atmosfolk”: a combination of traditional Celtic harp and 1960s folk, draped in a gossamer sheen of atmospheric synths and underpinned by electronic rhythms and drum beats. MacIntyre and Doherty first came to the attention of Music From Ireland when they played the Hard Working Class Heroes festival in 2015, which eventually led to their showcasing appearance at SXSW 2016.

I had the pleasure of hearing Saint Sister play during Friday afternoon’s Full Irish Breakfast at B.D. Riley’s Irish Pub, and at the end of the festivities, I spirited them off outside for a quick interview. We began our chat with unanimous praise for the ladies’ compatriot Irish act Rusangano Family, who played the final slot on the showcase that afternoon and ended the show on a euphoric high. (Stay tuned to TGTF for more coverage of all the acts on Friday’s Full Irish Breakfast in the coming days!)

The discussion quickly turned to other bands MacIntyre and Doherty had seen or wanted to see during their time in Austin, which were, coincidentally, mostly fellow female artists. On a tangentially-related note, they also related a mildly shocking interaction they’d had with a SXSW punter earlier in the week—have a listen to the interview below to find out what transpired.

Saint Sister’s first EP ‘Madrid’ was released in November 2015, and they hope to release more new music soon. They plan to spend this summer touring in Ireland and the UK, including both festivals and a pair of UK headline dates in May. You can find details of Saint Sister’s live appearances on their official Facebook. The video for their latest track ‘Blood Moon’ is featured just below.


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