Ireland is rapidly becoming the arts capital of the world. In the music, film, and literary spheres, Irish art is quickly spreading, and the country is producing some of the most exciting talent around. The Mescal family is especially illustrative of Irish creativity, with Nell and her brother Paul establishing themselves within music and film respectively.
A breath of fresh air in Irish music, Nell Mescal is a change of pace from the usual post-punk guitar bands coming out of Dublin, and her personal brand of indie folk has captured hearts in Ireland and beyond.
We caught up with her just before she set out on her headline tour of the UK, where she’s sold out venues up and down the country.
2023 was a really big year for you. What were some of your highlights, and what are you looking forward to most in 2024?
I think the shows in the summer are probably something I’ll talk about for a long time. I had so much fun. I’m so excited for my EP to be out in May, it’s my first project and I’m so proud of it.
You’ve had some massive support slots and festival slots in the last year – what lessons do you take into your headline shows from these experiences?
I think it made me more comfortable on stage and gave me a lot of confidence. It made me enjoy performing, I think, more than I had before because I found it quite stressful, but now it’s my favourite thing.
What can people expect from a Nell Mescal gig?
I talk so much which is something I’ve realised! So, probably a lot of awkward chat!
Does touring inspire your songwriting?
Definitely. I love to be able to play songs live a load before recording them because it changes them so much. I think for the better!
Do you have any pre-show rituals?
Me and my band list something we are grateful for in a group huddle.
What do you have planned in your downtime on this tour (if you have any)?
I think we are going to watch some movies and play PlayStation in the van.
I find when I see Irish artists play, there are always loads of Irish people like myself in the audience no matter where the gig is – is that something you’ve noticed at your shows?
Yeah, all the time. When I played Latitude there were so many Irish people there. It made me very emotional.
Talk us through your new single ‘Killing Time’.
‘Killing Time’ is a song about wondering if your old friends cared the same amount or if they were just using you to kill time. I wrote it a few glasses of wine deep and I love it a lot.
What can you tell us about your upcoming EP?
It’s called Can I Miss It For A Minute which is a lyric from one of the songs and I think kind of sums up a lot of the story that I tell throughout the five songs. It’s about my life and looking back on the past few years, and the moments that shaped me for better but sometimes for worse.
Which songs from Can I Miss It For A Minute are you most excited to play on tour?
‘Killing Time’ for sure! It’s so fun to play live!!
Who were your top artists last year, and what artists are you most excited about in 2024?
I have so, so many but Ethel Cain and The Japanese House have been very inspiring the past year. I need new Lorde and Billie Eilish music so I’m patiently waiting for that in 2024.
Remaining tickets for Nell Mescal’s upcoming tour are available here.