'Waiting' has been in the works since 2019. Bruen has released three stunning tracks from it so far, the latest being inspiring single, ‘What To Do’. Recorded and produced by Ray Diamond (Galway based producer ) the new record contains, in Tracy's words, "a lot of sadness and grief. But I think it's also uplifting, it celebrates a lot of the love I have in my life, both platonic and romantic, and it speaks to how much I relied on this love (throughout the pandemic and writing of the record ) and found support in it."
When it wasn't possible for the album to be released in 2020, Tracy ended up adding some extra tracks to it over the last couple of years. She says: "It's a much deeper album, much more personal than it would have been had it been released in 2020. There are a lot of things that happened in my life over the last four or five years that are contained in the album. It's not really about the pandemic, but the pandemic gave me the time to reflect and write. It brought up a lot for me."
Indie folk, blues, wistful, original, lyrical. These are just some of the words that have been used to describe Tracy and her band's rich sound. Did Tracy approach this new album with a conscious view on what it would be like? "I think I've developed as a songwriter, and I was more sure about how I wanted this album to sound. I had a plan for it. I was very clear in the fact that I wanted it to flow cohesively, so a lot of production work has gone into it. Working with Ray Diamond is a dream. We are very much in sync after working together for many years."
For Tracy, who is a multi-instrumentalist, the sound she leans into very much depends on the instrument she's writing for. She says: "If I'm writing on the piano, I tend to find more freedom in the twists and turns of the music whereas a lot of the stuff I've written on guitar may lean towards the folkier genre. I think there is a lot of pop in there, and some folk influence. Some people have also compared my music in the past to that of Kate Bush, which I'll very much take!" Speaking of Kate Bush, who does Tracy love listening to herself? "I have a tendency to gravitate towards female vocalists. I just find the female voice so intriguing. My three favourite acts are Fiona Apple, Kate Bush and Karen Carpenter, and the last album release I've really gotten into is Síomha's Infinite Space. It is magnificent, I love it."
Tracy has a wonderful band full of musicians from a variety of musical backgrounds - which has clearly contributed to her truly original sound. Tracy says: "I'm blessed with the band I have, they are the most incredible musicians. Padraic Joyce and Adam Downey have been with me for 10 years at this stage! Neil Fitzgibbon and Sam Wright joined me for this album, so we have been playing together for four years now. I also have Jenny Groarke and Aileen Henderson who sing with me live, providing lovely harmonies and backing vocals, which for me are such an integral part of a live show (Jenny also sang backing vocals on the record ). I couldn't create the sound I want without all of them, and they are all so dedicated to the work. I am very lucky to have their collective creativity and expertise in arranging, recording and performing the album."
What are Tracy's plans for the upcoming year? "My plans are to get out on the road. There were the lockdowns, and then I was sick myself, so I just can't wait to get my teeth back into gigging and touring properly."
Tracy Bruen plays at the Roisin Dubh on Saturday, January 28. Doors are at 8pm.
Tickets cost €13.50. Get your tickets here: www.roisindubh.net