Saint Sister - new single and GIAF 17 show

Villagers and Van Morrison inspire new song about homeward pull of Belfast while living in Dublin

Saint Sister.

Saint Sister.

SAINT SISTER, the Irish electro-folk duo of Morgan Macintyre and Gemma Doherty have released a new single - ‘Causing Trouble’ - ahead of their Irish and European tour, which includes a show at the Galway International Arts Festival.

The follow up to the December 2016 single 'Tin Man', 'Causing Trouble' pulls from a wide range of disparate influences, such as Moby and Massive Attack, Van Morrison's 'And it Stoned Me' from his classic 1970 album Moondance, and combines that with vocal harmonies, harp textures, and gentle electronic beats.

“The song is about transitioning, from Belfast to Dublin," says Macintyre, "from an old love to a new, and the gaps that can be found between you and another person or place when people transition at different paces and in different directions."

"There are a lot of references to Belfast," continues Macintyre. "The references to Van Morrison's 'And it Stoned Me' came about after hearing a cover of the song. We were playing a gig in the Ulster Hall, Belfast, and Conor O'Brien [Villagers] sang the song. His performance opened up the lyrics for me and strangely helped me access Van Morrison in a way I'd been softly rebelling against for a while - having been spoon fed him from a young age.

"I suddenly wanted to gobble up Van again and embrace the music and stories and poetry from Belfast that I used to spend a lot of time with. I had shrugged a lot of that off over the last few years as I tried to make my home in Dublin. In doing so maybe I ignored - or forgot - a lot of the raw elements and influences I used to draw from."

Speaking about the musical inspirations for the track, Doherty notes how "Morgan first brought some lyrics and melodic ideas and I started working on the arrangement, that's generally how we work together".

"I'd been listening to loads of nineties tunes, Moby and Massive Attack, and wanted to keep the verses sparse and give the chorus plenty of space to soar," she continues. "The first attempt had no harp on it, but it worked its way in when we began playing it live, as it’s such a big part of our live show. We had loads of craic in the studio with this one with Alex who co-produced it with us. At the last minute, we found a beautiful old Wurlitzer in the attic which had some electrical problems; one of us would have to sit on it while the other played to stop it from humming, so it just about made it in!"

Formed in November 2014, Saint Sister draw on early Celtic harp traditions, 1960s folk, soulful vocal harmonies, and electronic pop to create what they call ‘atmosfolk'. They have performed at Glastonbury, Longitude, Other Voices, and Electric Picnic. They were recently invited by Lisa Hannigan to support her on an extensive 20 date European tour.

Saint Sister play the Róisín Dubh on Saturday July 29 at 8.30pm as part of the Galway International Arts Festival. Tickets are available from,, the Ticket Desk at OMG Zhivago, Shop Street, and The Róisín Dubh.


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