6 Records That Inspired The New Saint Sister Album
Voted Best Irish Act by the readers of The Irish Times in 2016, Saint Sister are a duo whose close-knit harmonies and synth textures have earned them the description 'Atmosfolk'. Their second full-length Where I Should End is set for release on June 25th and is available to pre-order now on Townsend Music. We asked Saint Sister, AKA Morgan MacIntyre and Gemma Doherty, to break down half a dozen of the records that influenced and inspired the writing and recording of Where I Should End, offering a unique insight into the forthcoming record and a pretty sweet playlist to boot.
1) Julia Jacklin - Crushing
Morgana: I first heard Julia Jacklin’s music during our first trip to SXSW in 2016. We were so green and nervous so we asked our agent if he could recommend a few acts to go and see. He mentioned Julia was playing across town and that we should check her out. I fell in love with her music from the very first song and have spent the last few years listening to everything she’s done. I was absolutely spellbound when 'Body', the first track off Crushing, came out. Her direct, centred vocals are incredible and her storytelling is unparalleled.
"I genuinely believe Crushing is a modern classic: A perfect breakup album."
2) Floating Points - Crush
Gemma: The instrumentation on this record is really special; the stark use of analogue synths against organic string instruments and the juxtaposition of really heavy tracks followed by beautiful, reflective pieces. ‘Requiem for CS70 and Strings’ and ‘Birth’ are standouts for me.
I was listening to a few records with particularly beautiful string arrangements around the time of writing Where I Should End and this was absolutely one of them, which I’m sure fed into my desire to arrange strings for the album.
3) Kevin Morby - City Music
Morgana: What an opener - when I first heard the opening sounds of 'Come to Me Now' I immediately wanted to go away and write. It’s that kind of music, the type that opens up a hundred worlds in your head.
It’s so hard to put your finger on why this album sounds so good, it’s something rooted in its very essence. It’s just so full of feeling. Everything shimmers.
4) Weyes Blood - Titanic Rising
Gemma: I listened to this record non-stop when it came out in 2019, we were on tour in the States and I had it on constantly in the back of the van. It’s such a rich and textured album, and I love the harmony and progressions she moves through.
This is another one with really special string arrangements. I listened to ‘Andromeda’ on repeat after hearing the record for the first time. Natalie (Laura Mering)'s vocal and the slide guitar soar heartbreakingly across the whole arrangement, it has some sort of cosmic energy to it.
5) Big Thief - Capacity
Morgana: I discovered Big Thief skimming through an NPR best-of list. They had 'Mary' as the best song released that year (2017) and as soon as I played it I knew why. The whole album is littered with incredible intimate specificities, the kind that makes you think of the tender moments in your own life. They have that perfect knack for turning something really small into a universal thought. I think that’s the hardest thing to get right in a song. I’m always trying to write something specific enough to feel authentic but that doesn’t alienate the listener. That's what Big Thief do so well, finding that exact balance.
"I’m always trying to write something specific enough to feel authentic but that doesn’t alienate the listener."
6) Haley Heynderickx - I Need To Start A Garden
Gemma: Our first encounter with Haley and her music was at the Folk Alliance Montreal festival in 2019. There was an 'in the round' performance where we played onstage with her and with a group of other artists who hadn’t met before and jammed along to each other’s songs in front of an audience.
It was a funny way to be introduced to someone’s music for the first time, and we watched her play a full set the following day and completely fell in love. Her record is a really true portrayal of her live performance which is quite a rare thing. My favourite tracks are the opening two, ‘No Face’ and ‘The Bug Collector'. Haley’s guitar playing is so beautiful and dynamic.
Watch Saint Sister's 'Manchester Air' performed live in Dublin, taken from the album Where I Should End, available now on Classic Cream LP, CD and cassette, alongside new merchandise and specially-priced bundles on Saint Sister's official store.
Also available is the Deluxe Green Double LP, limited to 250 copies with booklets signed and numbered by Saint Sister, only available here.