Interview: Lemonade Shoelace

Lemonade Shoelace is a new music project by BIMM graduate Ruairí Richman from Newcastle, County Down in Northern Ireland. His style of music combines electronic music and psychedelic rock, a mix of futuristic and retro and that’s something I like to hear in new music. Think Air’s Moon Safari, Tame Impala, and Temples. His debut single, “Autopilot Paradise” is out now on streaming platforms on 24 March and it’s a really good debut with an interesting concept that I think we can all relate to and a colourful sound too! The song is about finding your safe zone, whatever that may be: a state of mind, something you like to do, or a person you love and can trust. The safe zone feels natural to you, but if you overthink and feel inhibitions and paranoia, you can be prevented from going there, so you got to let that go. I look forward to hearing more songs from him! Good news, a debut EP is coming out soon and is in the final mixing stages at the moment.

The streaming link can be found below:

We’re lucky to have Ruairí with us on the blog to talk about his music and inspirations. If you want to learn more about him, keep on reading!

Angie: How would you describe Lemonade Shoelace to a new listener?

Ruairí: An explosion of melodies with a sprinkle of synth. Oh and lots of reverb and delay and a bouncy bass

A: How did you get started playing music?

R: I actually started playing traditional Irish music first (tin whistle), but that was not my jam at all. I think I was 11 or 12 when I got my first guitar, my mum dropped me and my brothers off to a pub to learn from the locals and I guess thats where it all started!

A: Who are your favourite psychedelic rock bands and artists?

R: There’s too many! Tame Impala, Pond, The Flaming Lips, Babe Rainbow. I found a band called Kikagaku Moyo recently which i’m enjoying.

A: What are your favourite eras and decades in music?

R: Well definitely the 60’s. There’s too many bands from that era that pushed music to what it is today, especially in the psychedelic genre. There’s great music in every era though, but I think things changed quite a bit when the 60’s blossomed. I love the fuzzy guitars and hypnotic drums & bass and super catchy vocals. They didn’t have many rules in that era which is super cool. They melodies are great too!

A: I see you started studying guitar at BIMM and later switched to electronics, how did you decide on electronics being the way to go?

R: Well I was studying guitar in BIMM, but there were wayyyy too many good guitarists in my year which made me turn to techno and electronic music for a year. I kind of stopped playing guitar for a while and bought myself a synth and started making my own music from there. There’s something about synths that is so inviting. I only have two of them now but the sounds are other worldly, guitars can sound like they’re from outer space too but synths are such a full sounding magical instrument it’s hard to turn back to guitars yanno?

A: What is The Oh Yeah Centre mentorship and what did you do as a part of it? 

R: So the Oh Yeah Centre is a lovely hub in the heart of Belfast full of people that reallllly love music. There’s a lot of cool bands and artists coming in and out of the place, and the mentorship helps push musicians to the best of their ability and advise them in what steps to take. They take on 4/5 acts every year and introduce them to the music industry in a lovely friendly manner. This year has been amazing and I certainly wouldn’t be here now without them. They put out a compilation album every year with the artists under their mentorship and I’m delighted to be featured on it this year alongside four amazing local acts!

A: What were the inspirations behind the single “Autopilot Paradise”?

R: The song is written from many different perspectives. I was cheated on in the past and I think I dealt with it in the song. The song is an introspective view on a partner cheating on their significant other, waiting for the weekend in order to spend time doing things that he/she wants. The partner isn’t physically cheating, but feels guilty spending time doing something that makes them happy outside of the relationship. It’s also about enjoying the present moment to the fullest, and once you find your paradise it’ll become autonomous and you will find happiness in everything. I wrote the song looking out onto an empty yet super sunny beach and it kind of mesmerised me and became my paradise. The song was actually written for a college project last year at the start of lockdown funny enough! I recorded it in a makeshift studio in my family house and have been dying to release it since then.

A: What was it like writing and recording the music for the EP?

R: It was great! I actually recorded too many songs, each with a different vibe to it. I was very inspired and I still am. I really can’t wait to show it to the world, it’s basically a capsule of all my thoughts and experiences over the past year. I hope it resonates with people because that’s what I was aiming for when I wrote and recorded it.

A: What kept you motivated last year and this year?

R: I suppose my belief that the project would one day be a real thing has kept me motivated. I’m getting very close now, and never thought things would work out as they are. Things just keep falling into place! My girlfriend, family and friends have kept me motivated too, as well as The Oh Yeah Centre. They all believed in me before I did which gave me a great boost in confidence.

A: What are your goals for 2021?

R: Just keep making music! Being happy, spending time doing things that I like and promoting a good positive message will all be goals of mine!

You can follow Lemonade Shoelace on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Soundcloud.

Shoutout to Patrick and Jeffrey from Maryland for supporting the blog!

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