MUSIC Castlebar singer Lydia Ford releases new EP

Staying In
Lydia Forde
Lydia Ford’s new EP ‘Taking Shortcuts’ was released last week.

Castlebar singer takes shortcut to new EP

Henry McGlade

Castlebar singer Lydia Ford, a second-year media student in NUI Maynooth, started playing guitar and writing songs when she was nine years old, inspired by her love of Avril Lavigne. She picked up a few other instruments along the way – a bit of drums, bass & piano – and started taking part in town pantomimes and school concerts.
In early 2010, Lydia wrote, recorded and produced a four-song EP, ‘Hearts on Sleeves’, from her bedroom using one microphone and some basic recording software. Last year she won Mayo County Council’s Music Recording Assistance Award, which gave her the financial support to record another EP, this time in a real studio.
Lydia got to record four tracks with Daniel Loughran (also from Castlebar) in a studio in Griffith College, Dublin, and the resulting EP, ‘Taking Shortcuts’, was officially released on last Tuesday, August 7. It is now available for download on iTunes and all of the usual online stores.
Popular music blog ‘Swear I’m Not Paul’ featured the album, and reviewing it, said: “Taking Shortcuts is the debut from the 18 year old who calls her music ‘cheesy love songs’. But it’s so much better than that!”
When it comes to writing songs, Lydia draws on her own life, which can leave her feeling a little exposed. “I’m a singer-songwriter by nature, but I would define my music more within the ‘pop’ genre. I find that lyrical inspiration tends to come from everyday life and then you take it and make it a bit more dramatic. For me, that’s the hardest part of song-writing. It can make you very vulnerable and I’m generally a quite private person.”
The Castlebar singer’s album notes contain a heartwarming thanks to her parents, “who paid for all the guitar and singing lessons and never get to hear me live.” Her dad, Peter Ford is well-known in GAA circles – he was a member of the Mayo Senior Inter County teams of the ’80s and ’90s and went on to manage the Galway and Sligo teams – and her mum, Nicola, runs a very successful boutique, Sanzio, in Castlebar.
The Castlebar singer has some gigs lined up in Dublin when she gets back to college, so hopefully her parents will finally get to hear her live very soon.