Following a slew of covers in 2019, twentysomething neo-soul go-getter, Rachel Mae Hannon could have been forgiven for standing on ceremony when she was forced to decamp to Monaghan during lockdown.

Now back in Dublin, and galvanised by her performance at the Grand Social as part of the US Embassy’s ‘Creative Minds – Embassy Sessions’, the UCD alum released her long-awaited debut single, Be in Love, sending the likes of RTE Radio 1 into a frenzy.

GoldenPlec is delighted to exclusively bring you the video for Be in Love, which was shot on location in Brittas Bay in County Wicklow by Dublin-based photographer, Guy Boggan. We also managed to catch up with Rachel during her action-packed schedule for a quick chinwag. But first, dat video!

// GP: You mention ‘golden summer evenings’. Were you holed up in Monaghan during lockdown and did you discover a new found appreciation for those during your daily walks?

“Yes, I went to lots of places like Rossmore Park. I also had lots of nice drinks and barbecues with my family outside. Warm weather puts me in a good mood, especially when I’m at home. That makes me a lot more creative.

I definitely think that ‘gold summer evenings’ were a big influence on my writing. The room in my house where I actually wrote and recorded most of my song has a really nice view of a sunset each evening which was so nice in that phase.

It reminded me that although the world has changed and stopped all of a sudden, the sun is still rising and setting in the same place regardless. It was a reminder of the important things in life.”

This is reflected in your promo picture. Your family were involved with this?

“My Dad took the [promo picture] and my sister did the graphics for it.”

// GP: You deal with self-love on ‘Be in Love’. How important has this become for you during this same period and in amongst all the love songs, are there enough directed at ourselves? Kendrick had ‘i’ didn’t he?

“Life was put on hold. There wasn’t the distraction of everyday life. We had no choice but to look inwards. It grounded at me a lot.

I definitely realised that love is one of the most important things that we have, whether it’s love for your friends, your family or for your other half, it’s all very special but I definitely think that self-love is the first step in any formal relationship and I think as well, you’re the only one that has to live with yourself so why not make it a fun relationship?

I don’t think it’s something that you find some day then you have it for the rest of your life. It’s a work in progress and it can definitely change circumstantially but being aware of the importance of self-love is half the battle and the first step.

There definitely are a lot of self-love songs out there but definitely not as much as those songs that express love between two people. Maybe there needs to be more.”

// GP: Is ‘la la love you’ a reference to the Pixies’?

“When I wrote it, I didn’t really have any references in mind but after I wrote it I actually made the link and I think I was actually subconsciously making a reference to the ‘la la’s’ in Minnie Riperton’s ‘Lovin’ You’ but obviously I don’t sing as high as her but I think looking back there’s a lot of connections between my song and that – even the dreamlike quality.

It also has a lovely electric piano which my song also has. The main difference between the two is that they’re totally different kinds of love. One is about finding love between two people then the other’s about self-love.”

// GP: Tell us about the video.How does it fit together with the story of the song?

“The video was shot by the amazing Guy Boggan. He’s so good at what he does. He’s based here in Dublin and if you ever want to check his stuff out, he has a website, and he’s obviously on Instagram as well. We got together and we went back to the drawing board. We didn’t really know what we were doing at the start but we knew that we wanted it to be dreamy and to reflect the single’s artwork as well. We divided it into three sections.

The first section is becoming aware of self-love and then the second is embracing self-love – that’s what the whole video’s based on – then the last section of the video is the fun-filled knock-on effect of self-love and discovering it.

We wanted to go for a really dreamy and picturesque landscape and we thought that the sand dunes at Brittas Bay would be the perfect location. It’s so sparse. It was such a fun day recording the video, even being surrounded by such amazing people like friends and family but it was so cold getting into the water at the end and I’m still finding sand absolutely everywhere from it!”

‘Be in Love’ by Rachel Mae Hannon is out now. Find out more about Rachel Mae Hannon here