Ali Comerford: Knots review – Thoughtful folk/pop

There is a serene confidence throughout this entirely self-produced release

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Artist: Ali Comerford
Genre: Singer / Songwriter
Label: Self-Released

When classical musician Ali Comerford arrived home to Jenkinstown, Co Kilkenny in January 2020, it’s a safe bet to say she wasn’t expecting to still be there 18 months later. What else was she to do except stop playing other people’s music and tackle the self-written song by harnessing her considerable skills (a master of violin performance from London’s Royal College of Music and a master of music in viola performance at New York’s Manhattan School of Music).

In NYC Comerford freelanced for various chamber orchestras and string ensembles prior to returning to Ireland. In lockdown she decided to (mostly) set aside her violin and viola and explore less classically inclined music.

While the results are much smoother than the album title might suggest, the title track more explicitly refers to a period of severe anxiety. “I worried about the fact that I hadn’t released any music,” she noted, “about whether people would enjoy my songs or not.”

Flinging herself into a different kind of creative process wherein she composed, sang, played and produced every note here (which might have been too much for some), Comerford takes it all in her stride, presenting thoughtful folk/pop with nimble-fingered touches and serene confidence.

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea

Tony Clayton-Lea is a contributor to The Irish Times specialising in popular culture