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‘It’s about that quiet moment between the craziness’

Wednesday, 9th January, 2019 5:04pm

In terms of musical progression, 2019 is already shaping up to be Kelly Doherty’s best yet.

The Cork producer and DJ has just released her new single and first of the New Year, the subdued, cinematic ‘Too Soon to Say’, which has already been picked up by the likes of Dan Hegarty on RTE 2FM.

Over the past year Doherty, aka Gadget and the Cloud, has carved out an assured musical identity. Her debut album ‘Songs for Sad People to Dance To’, an arresting blend of ambient electronic and house/techno tropes, was released last April to acclaim, dealing with the introspective moments of a night out and drawing a much-needed contrast between solitude and the so-called party culture’s relentless pursuit of excitement.

Expanding on themes explored in ‘Songs for Sad People to Dance To’, which was chosen as The Thin Air's 38th Best Irish Album of the Year in 2018, ‘Too Soon to Say’ is a synth-infused ambient track about “finding that quiet moment in between the craziness”.

“It came from having started a new college course in Dublin and moving at 100 miles an hour, feeling like it was very hard to find a break and actually tune into what is going on with yourself,” she says.

“It feels like you’re on auto-pilot when everything is going so quickly. So it’s about finding that quiet moment in between the craziness, whether at a club night when you have a second to get back in your own head, or just in day-to-day life. With social media and always feeling like you need to be productive, it can be quite hard to find those moments of reflection, and I wanted to capture that and maybe help the listener have that moment as well.”

As well as writing and making music, Doherty is also a passionate activist. A fervent pro-choice campaigner in the Eighth Amendment referendum last year, she was also among the artists who performed at the recent Undivided gig in Cyprus Avenue, which saw members of Cork’s music community including The Altered Hours, Stevie G, Elaine Malone and Laurie Shaw perform in support of the Sexual Violence Centre Cork (SVCC).

“Undivided is one of the best things I’ve ever been involved in,” she says. “It’s amazing getting to play in front of a crowd that are so passionate about why they’re there, and having so many members of Cork’s music community publicly standing behind that cause sends a message about the Cork scene as a place to go to a gig.”

“With instrumental music, it’s harder to communicate that you’re politically active, because you don’t have the lyrical platform. But if you look historically at Detroit techno and other underground scenes, so much of it has come from political activism, or based on race, gender, identity etc. So I think it’s important that we keep up that spirit of rebellion in electronic music. Genre aside, whatever platform you have, you should be using it for good in some way.”

With her new track now on the airwaves, three more singles planned before the summer and sets at Sounds From a Safe Harbour x DDRxPlugd, Cork Sound Fair and Open Ear Festival already under the still fledgling artist’s belt, 2019 is sure to see even further plaudits come Kelly Doherty’s way.

‘Too Soon to Say’ by Gadget and the Cloud is available to stream now. Gadget and the Cloud plays Quarter Block Party in Dali Cork on Friday 8 February.

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