Sounds Devine – Singer-Songwriter returns to the stage with ‘adhd’
Singer-songwriter Aengus Devine

Sounds Devine – Singer-Songwriter returns to the stage with ‘adhd’

Multi-instrumentalist and singer-songwriter Aengus Devine has returned to the stage in recent weeks, playing gigs in Áras Chrónáin in Clondalkin and Brady’s Pub in Terenure.

Now living between Rathcoole and Newcastle, the Clondalkin native has been bringing his own original material from his latest album, ‘ADHD’, to the live circuit.

Aengus’s music has also been getting a positive response on the radio airwaves, having been playlisted by RTÉ Radio 1, KCLR FM and Dublin City FM.

The skilled musician told The Echo about the reception ‘ADHD’ has received, his passion for creating genre-spanning songs, and what he finds most enjoyable about being a musician.

When did you write your first song, and can you remember what it was like?

I started playing piano when I was four and wrote my first song when I was eight. It was pretty dreadful in a kind of sub-Celine Dion way.

I went on to write more terrible slushy garbage until eventually things started to improve.

Your most recent album, ‘ADHD’, was written, performed and produced by you. What was that experience like for you, and what did it mean to you to have full creative control over your material?

I’m really happy with the way ‘ADHD’ turned out. I’ve made albums before, but it’s really only now that I feel I’m getting the hang of it. It’s one thing to write a song you’re happy with, but if it’s not presented in the right way – as in the performance and production – it’s not going to work as a recording.

I always have great fun recording with Antimo Kelly Puca who runs AP Studios. I recorded the album between his studio and home.

We mixed the songs together and he mastered them in the old analogue way, which I think makes a huge difference to the sound.

How do you feel about the response ‘ADHD’ has received?

It’s been great. RTÉ Radio 1 added ‘Sunflower’, the first single from the album, to their playlist in December, closely followed by the next single, ‘Don’t Hold Out on Me’.

Tom Dunne, Dave Fanning, Ronan Collins, Pat James, Mike Moloney and lots of other great DJs have been very supportive. ‘ADHD’ was album of the week on Roddie Cleere’s Irish Music Show on KCLR FM and Seamus McManus’ show on Ocean FM in Sligo.

Stations like Dublin City FM and Radio Kerry are brilliant supporters of new Irish music.

There are a lot of people to thank, but not enough room here unfortunately!

Some of your music has a ballad-style quality to it, what is it about that style of music that you find so appealing?

Well, there’s a few big sounding, slow songs on the album like the current singles ‘Maybe’ and ‘Destiny’s Child’ but there’s lots of different types of songs on it too.

‘Big Hit’ is synth-heavy pop, there’s jangly guitar/harmony songs like ‘Sunflower’, the rockier ‘Human Race’ and even the gospel-style ‘Let My Burden Be’. I’ve always liked people, like Elvis Costello and The Byrds, who aren’t confined to one thing.

In recent weeks, you’ve played several gigs in Áras Chrónáin with Clondalkin musician Colm Gavin. How have those gigs been?

They’re great fun to do and we’ve been getting lovely audiences at the gigs. Colm has just released his new EP, ‘The 1992 Tapes’, so it’s nice to hear him doing songs from that.

We kicked off a new night called Speakeasy in the Áras Chrónáin last week, which will be an ongoing thing.

How do you feel about being back on stage?

It’s about time, isn’t it! It’s brilliant of course, particularly after a year-and-a-half playing in the kitchen to a pretend audience of Lego men.

Your music has also been on rotation at several radio stations. How does it feel when you hear one of your songs on the radio?

It’s always incredible and something you can never take for granted. Again, huge thanks to all the stations and DJs who’ve been good enough to play the songs.

We need Irish radio to support new Irish music now more than ever, instead of just playing the usual suspects all the time.

What do you find most enjoyable about being a musician?

Most things, I suppose. It’s a way of life really, so if you’re going to do it properly there’s no half measures.

It’s good to do something that you feel compelled to do and that hopefully makes people happy.

To find out more about Aengus Devine and his upcoming gigs, follow @AengusDevine on Instagram and Twitter, or Aengus Devine Music on Facebook.

His music is available on all streaming platforms, and ‘ADHD’ is available for purchase on CD from his Bandcamp page.