Ailbhe Reddy’s long-awaited debut album ‘Personal History’ sees the Dublin singer recount stumbling through her twenties trying to find herself, her tribe and coming to terms with her sexuality.
The dominos of discovery fall throughout the album’s 10 tracks as Reddy puts her folk past behind her. She attempts to find a happy medium between who she wants to be and who she was meant to be as both an artist and an individual.
The push and pull of creativity and love win and lose at different times throughout the album, but the quest for balance is paramount throughout. It is no surprise that the album ends on a high with the optimistic sadness of Self Improvement as Ailbhe Reddy comes to the realisation that she will always evolve and struggle to find a balance between the great loves in her life. The only way for her to get to grips with that is to handle them both with equal care.
Reddy’s deeply personal lyrics explore unrequited love, long distance relationships and the difficulty of moving on from heartbreak in the modern world, when you can easily find out what your ex is up to in Australia via social media. Late Bloomer sees her trying to convince her partner and possibly herself that this music thing will work out in the end if she just hangs on in there another bit longer.
The sparse musical accompaniments add to the sense of loneliness and existential dread conjured up by Reddy’s lyrics which throb with 3am panic and wandering train-brain flashbacks. Her quaveringly emotive voice is the quarterback of the album transporting you to the scene like a Hollywood detective bringing a crime scene to life in vivid Technicolor.
‘Personal History’ is a collection of tracks that could only be written by somebody who has tried and failed umpteen times and carried on regardless. It is a love letter to the type of perseverance that only late bloomers can truly comprehend.