Picture: Tara Thomas

CARRON’s emergence into the Irish music scene has been a slow burner. In fact, in a sense their soulful, organic-sounding harmonies and lyrically intense melodies have been brewing since birth.

The two sisters, Meabh and Mella Carron (who’s band borrow their surname as a moniker, CARRON) have dabbled in music for years, but it took a personal crisis to push them from a covers band to delicate, folksy originals.

Specifically, it was Mella’s long-term sickness a few years ago had the girls chasing dreams.

“It was a hard time, but it brought our whole family together around the music,” Meabh explains.

“Mella was in and out of hospital for about a year and a half. We started writing original music in that time, and our first EP was about our relationship as sisters. One of our songs, ‘Prison Robes’, is actually about Mella’s sickness. The opening line is ‘we’re never ready for attack’, because the illness used to come on like that, very sudden. It felt like an attack to all of us.”

There’s real poignance in the pair’s gentle songs, which have since grown to include a number one Irish single in ‘Battle Lines’ (produced by Gavin Glass), an EP entitled ‘Roots’, and melancholy new single ‘Even Sad Birds Sing’.

Since their early successes, the sisters have converted the spare room in their parent’s Ranelagh home into a rehearsal studio, and have a series of new releases on the horizon.

“It’s really great having somewhere we’re really comfortable to rehearse,” Meabh explains.

“We were renting spaces in town, all that money was getting eaten up, now we have our own personal space, it’s all go. We can focus on other things, and it’s really helping us move forward.”

“Our guitarist Darragh McGrath co-writes with us,” Meabh says of the tunes. “He’s amazingly talented, he thinks in music, but he does not care for lyrics. A lot of our lyrics are open to interpretation. They’re not crystal clear to listeners. We want to to be accessible to lots of people, but they are about our lives.”

“One time someone guessed not only what a song was about, but who it was about,” Mella says. “That was a bit weird. Usually, no one really knows the backstory, and it can be nice that it’s just us that know the real meaning.

“We connect on stage because we both know what we’re singing about. It can very emotional. I can’t even look at Meabh for ‘Prison Robes’ because I know I’ll start crying.”

“We’re very different,” Mella adds, citing her love of country music, garnered from the pair’s dad, and Meabh’s preference for more mainstream and indie acts. “We have totally different taste in music and in clothes, and different interests. We don’t look like sisters. We sound the same, though, so much so that our parents can’t tell us apart on the phone. Being different works for this. It works well,” she laughs.

“We’ve got a bit heavier, a bit rockier than we thought we would on the new stuff,” Meabh adds, “but we’re not in any rush to move forward. We’d like this to be a career, but we’ll take our time. There are a few more songs coming, and there might be an EP sometime in the New Year.”

“Our new song, ‘Even Sad Birds Sing’ looks back on the last few years. It can be really sad, but birds still sing if there’s a terrible storm outside. Life doesn’t stop.

“That’s what it’s been about for us. We have to live with Mella’s illness every day, and it’s made us all closer. It wouldn’t work if we couldn’t be honest with it.”