A Chat with Devin Reardon (29.09.21)

Drawing together the sounds of The Beach Boys and The Beatles, Ireland-based Devin Reardon takes us back to a time of simpler, smoother and more harmonic music. Originally from Florida, USA, this singer-songwriter is a “…flash of originality in the indie Irish music scene”. We speak with Reardon about his new single ‘Take Me To The Coast’, comfort foods and future plans.

OSR: What pushed you to pursue a career as a musician?

Reardon: I think the music just was bound to happen. I think it’s something that if I did not do it I would go crazy. I’ve always done it in some capacity: playing in a band, singing in the choir, doing musical theatre, writing terrible poetry, write silly little songs… they’re all things I always did but now they all come together to be this “artist” or whatever. It’s very self-actualising for me. I always needed an outlet as a kid, and now as an adult, I have turned it into a means of self-actualisation. I’m very lucky I get to do that, that I’ve grown to know myself enough to know that works.

OSR: In previous years you were part of an acapella group, how does performing solo compare to being in a band?

Reardon: I miss being in a band so much. The inspiration in a rehearsal room is so palpable and the energy is so easily tapped into. Easily accessible but also a bit fragile. As a solo artist, you can really focus though and build concepts and I’ve loved that process.  I learned so much about songwriting and how I work as a person in “the industry” (or now I don’t work), and that helped me grow so much as a writer and artist. I think it was essential for me in Covid to surviving honestly, and I’ve had this time alone to grow more. I hope to find more people to collaborate with musically more regularly soon!

OSR: Do you find it more interesting to perform as a multi-instrumentalist rather than acapella?

Reardon: I love singing with other people. I always have. Sometimes it feels like a science, the science of blending and the miraculous feeling of turning multiple voices into one… that’s magical. I do think, though, that being a multi-instrumentalist gives so many more avenues to play whereas singing just feels so good, a dopamine hit straight to the brain, but sometimes being a multi-instrumentalist feels like chemistry or like alchemy. They’re both magical, just in their own ways.

OSR: What can you tell us about your single ‘Take Me To The Coast’?

Reardon: I am branching out a bit from my other folky/Americana style that I usually write in, but I love music like this. Chilled out, funky, almost jazzy music infused with a surf-rock twist. You could relax driving down the street or mosh at a concert to it. It’s got a lot of levels and I think that’s what I love about it.

I’ve always wanted to write a song like this and with my collaborators, it came out so much better than I expected. Also, it’s a love letter to bands I love so much like The Beach Boys and so many mellow indie bands I grew up listening to like Mac Demarco, Young the Giant, Summer Salt, and many others.

OSR: Did you face any challenges when recording the track?

Reardon: Geography. A great adversary. I recorded parts in County Wexford but had friends record from Wicklow, Dublin, Carlow, and even Florida. So it was a pretty wildly spread track geography-wise. It was mixed in Indiana! But it’s come out brilliantly and only better for it.

OSR: What do you hope people take from ‘Take Me To The Coast’?

Reardon: I was really homesick when I wrote this song, in a nice way, if that makes sense. I’d walk on the beaches in Ireland and think of the Florida coast I had left and all the people there, and I really missed all of them.

This song is about the fact that some of our greatest joys, even though they’re in our memories, are always with us because we have them in our minds. Like, I had the beach of my hometown stuck in my mind for a few months in lockdown, and when I was single, and all I wanted was to go back there and walk on the beach holding hands with someone I love. It was a big feeling of longing but a sweet one.

I know that’s cheesy but I think a lot of people, including myself, get so caught up in lambasting the past and formerly intimate/special places and people from our past that we forget the good things from then too. It takes time and space to get that clarity but after that break, eventually, maybe we go to those places or think about them. It’s not just only good or only bad, things come flooding back to you in all shades of an emotional rainbow and that’s okay. I think that’s beautiful and that’s what I want people to take away from this song.

OSR: What’s one of your favourite comfort foods?

Reardon: Burritos. I am the biggest Mexican food fan ever. It’s hard to find sometimes in Ireland so when I hear about a good burrito in town, it usually doesn’t take me too much time to get over to the suspected location.

OSR: What songs do you sing in the shower?

Reardon: I’ve been singing loads of Cat Stevens and Neil Young lately. Maybe it’s just a phase and it’s not even surf-rock which is what this song is about. Just when I need to chill out. Also a guilty pleasure, but sometimes show tunes as well. Nice, soft lovely ones. To be honest, I love to croon a bit in the shower as well. So embarrassing but it’s the truth.

OSR: What can we expect from you in the future?

Reardon: I’ve plans for another folk-Americana-ish single for the end of the year which is a bit more scaled-back energy and instrument-wise, but I’m really, really excited for it. It’s called ‘Apple Blossom Breeze’ about beautiful quiet moments alone. That’s going to be a lovely one and I’m really looking forward to sharing that with people. Thanks so much for asking.

Thanks to Devin Reardon for speaking with us. For more from Devin Reardon check out his Facebook, Instagram and Spotify.

Get your free email updates
We respect your privacy.