Paddy Casey’s new album ‘Turn This Ship Around’ is a two-part embodiment of the popular singer-songwriter’s two slightly different, dynamic takes on music.
Half buoyant and bouncing, and half – in an almost totally distinct record – mellow and folk driven, Casey’s taken the chance to engage friends, connect with himself and indulge his creative variations.
The fifth record is a natural progression on who Paddy feels he is, and like all his work, naturally builds on the power of debut album ‘Living’, one of the biggest selling records in Irish history.
“This record is definitely two different things,” Casey tells us. “It’s two different meanings and feels. The whole reason was that when I separated songs it felt better, it didn’t feel like they belonged together. So it’s two for one.”
“I think it’s been six or seven years since I put an album out,” he continues. “I suppose this goes back to about a year after the last album. You never really know what you’re doing. I thought this album would be out a few years ago, and there were a bunch of other songs that were nearly on it. There could have been a third side as well, totally away from those songs. I just wasn’t in a rush. I could have done with doing this a couple of years ago, but I’m happy with it, I think I like every song on it. There’s a bit of blood, sweat and tears in it.”
“It’ll definitely be a pain in the ass if we don’t get to tour it a bit,” he says of the current situation around music. “I have a load of gigs booked for September, and I’m really looking forward to just smelling people again. Zoom and Instagram Live just doesn’t really cut it.”
Casey’s located in Kildare these days, close to the mountains of Wicklow, and does most of his work in a carefully constructed home studio. While he laughs that he “can’t mix” his music, he does put a great deal of it together before the production pros get their hands on his work. “I put it all together myself,” he says of the different elements to the sound as a whole. “I want to feel like I’m getting better.”
“I know that what I do now is not necessarily better than in the past to other people, but I honestly feel like my music is going somewhere that I want to be going, and that’s what I look for in the music. In reality some of these songs are six or seven years old and I know that they work live, I’ve checked some of it out already.”
“That said, the guts of the album will be new to people and that’s a good thing, nobody wants to pay for stuff they’ve heard before. But I like to think that there’s a lot of heart in what I’m doing now. At the end of the day, you can be famous by accident, it doesn’t necessarily mean you’re good or you’re not.”
Casey, in other words, isn’t sure about his early fame or the reasons behind it, but is nevertheless delighted it happened.
“For me, I was gigging constantly, putting myself out there back then, getting in front of people. I don’t know what people liked, or what I was doing right, and maybe that’s the best way to be. If it wasn’t for ‘Saints and Sinners’, which has kept me going for years, I’d be in a different place. To tell you the truth, I never get bored of it.”
“I might not fully understand what those songs do for people, but they’re my songs, and I’ll take it. Playing the old songs is good for me, as well as the new ones, and I love that people get excited by them.”
Fifth album ‘Turn This Ship Around’ by Paddy Casey is out now.
PHOTO – AISHLING CONWAY