The 405 first wrote about Irish electro-popper, LAOISE, last November around the release of her music video for ‘Rich’. Her instantly mesmerising voice grabbed our attention and we made a mental note to look out for what she did next.

What Laoise Ní Nualláin is, in fact, doing next is releasing a second EP in a few weeks’ time and teasing its eventual arrival with a brand new track called ‘Bother’, which - to the 405’s ears - is just as worth your streaming attention as its predecessor. Already tipped by RTÉ 2FM Radio as a ‘Rising Artist of 2018’, the 21-year old Galway singer-songwriter wrote ‘Bother’ about a relationship that has lost all its goodwill and we can readily tell you without you having to ask, that the “keep knockin’ on ya” refrain makes for one of our current favourite hooks.

In this introducer, Doron Davidson-Vidavski threw some questions at LAOISE with a view to learning a bit about her background and her work. Here’s what he found out.

When did you start making music?

I’m lucky enough to have grown up around music, thanks to my family. I remember when I was about five or so - I saw an orchestra on TV and fell in love with the violin. I asked my parents if I could learn and I grew up playing traditional Irish music. We’d call it the fiddle [laughs]. I guess I became obsessed with melody and harmony and moved on to teach myself piano and guitar. When I started writing songs I was about 15 and it was the only thing that made sense to me at the time, I wasn’t the best at expressing myself so music is where I could do that.

I visited Galway for the first time last year and loved it. What was it like growing up there?

Amazing! It was beautiful growing up in Galway. I sometimes forget how lucky I am to have been so close to the sea and I think living on the coast has really influenced my writing, especially lyrically - you’ll usually find some sort of reference to the water in my music, so I do miss that from time to time.

What were your formative musical influences and how have they evolved over the years?

My father was the best for introducing me to absolute greats, acts like Kate Bush, Stevie Nicks, Pink Floyd, Joan Baez and so on. I loved how those artists had a new story to tell in each of their songs and you’d be completely entranced from the first line. Of course, over the years I’ve delved into a lot more pop, especially since I moved away from playing folk and started writing electropop songs, so I’m a big fan of Skott, Billie Eilish and Astrid S, to name a few. They’re incredible women.

What, for you, was the moment you identify as your break into the music business?

I guess a big moment, or break, for me in music was meeting my producer Seán Behan from a Place Called Kai. We were quite young at the time, maybe 16 or 17, and we started talking about music and how we wanted to pursue it, really go for it. We would talk every day about music only and the idea of releasing music ourselves under LAOISE came from there.

You’ve just released ‘Bother’ from your forthcoming second EP. The first one garnered a lot of praise - do you feel a certain pressure in following it up on that basis?

I don’t really feel too much pressure, no, just because I’m enjoying writing and releasing music more than ever now. I’m constantly developing my sound and challenging myself to push the boundaries further. The fear of ‘what will people think?’ is so far from my thought process now, so I’m really just having fun!

Can you tell us a bit about the experience that moved you to write ‘Bother’?

‘Bother’ was probably the hardest song I’ve ever written, but also the quickest. I wrote it about a relationship that was ending; it had been over for quite some time actually and it was bumping into that person a while later that made me write the song. I sat down at the piano and within 20 minutes I had ‘Bother’ and it said all the things I wish I had said a long time ago.

What can we expect from the other songs on the new EP?

Recently I’ve been taking inspiration from books and film and it’s felt so unconfined and unrestricted. I can write stories about fictional characters and change their stories’ endings for instance. So my songs have shifted a bit lyrically and the music follows that. Of course, I still write about my life and things I need to get off my chest, so you can still expect some obvious diary-entry-esque songs [laughs].

Do you enjoy performing live?

Yes, I’ve been so fortunate to perform to such lovely, fun audiences in the past. I played a few festivals and shows last year, but I think my favourite has to have been at Forbidden Fruit Festival here in Dublin, the crowd was INSANE. It’s so cool to play to people live because it allows me to feel the emotions of my songs all over again, but knowing people are listening and supporting me is the biggest ablution I could ever experience.

Bother is out now on A Place Called Kai.