PREMIERE: Elaine Mai ‘Go Slow’ and interview about her upcoming album

"I wrote the majority of it in 2020 and the theme that emerged was belonging. All of the tracks give you that sense of home and how it feels to belong, somewhere or with someone."

Elaine Mai and Sinead White - photo by Ruth Medjber
Elaine Mai and Sinead White - photo by Ruth Medjber

Elaine Mai, one of Ireland’s most exciting electronic artists, has announced her highly anticipated debut album Home will be released this autumn.

To celebrate the announcement, she’s released a new single, Go Slow, (Pre-Save/Download) featuring Sinéad White, ahead of the album’s release on October 8th. The release comes just a day before what promises to be her triumphant return to live music at Fall Right Into Place in Galway (11 September) and a week before the sold-out-in-two-minutes Mother Summer Block Party at Collins Barracks in Dublin (18 September).

Following the phenomenal success of January’s No Forever feat. MayKay and June’s Still Feel feat. Ailbhe Reddy, the third single from the acclaimed producer’s debut album sees her continue to collaborate with some of Ireland’s top female vocalists.

The third extracted from the album

Go Slow is a hopeful, nostalgic, and comforting song that continues the Home theme that her debut album is named after. Sinéad White’s chorus hook, “When you go, you go slow,” grabs and holds the listener’s attention in a vulnerable yet powerful way.

I loved this tune so much already, but when Sinéad added her vocal it became an instant favourite of mine. Sinéad is such an incredible artist, vocalist, and friend. We’ve played countless shows together at this stage and it’s always such a pleasure to work and spend time with her. I think you can hear the hope and excitement throughout her vocals on the track. That feeling of exhilaration at the beginning of something new. – Elaine Mai

The collaboration with Sinéad White

Sinéad White is an Irish singer and songwriter from Kildare. She debuted in 2015 with her debut album and has since toured with Jess Glynne, Everlast from House of Pain, and Television. She, like Elaine, has worked with Irish electronic music producer Daith for a long time. Bishop Lamont, an L.A. rapper, has also collaborated with her.

Elaine and I have known each other for a long time. We are both collaborators of the electronic music producer Daithí, so our friendship has grown over the years. When Elaine asked if I would be interested in collaborating on a song for her album, I was really honoured. Just because you are friends with someone doesn’t mean that you are automatically going to work with them. Her care and consideration as a friend translated into a deliberate and conscious handling of each element of her songs. Nothing is there ‘’just because’; everything has been carefully considered. – Sinéad White

Despite the fact that collaboration is still a big part of Elaine’s music, her upcoming debut puts her in the spotlight. Considered collaborations are perfectly matched with club tunes that will make listeners feel like they’re watching the sun going down behind the main stage at Sonar or Tomorrowland with tens of thousands of people.

I’m really excited to release my album soon and for people to hear it in full. It’s been such a huge part of my life and it feels very satisfying to be at this point. These tracks mean a huge amount to me and I can’t wait to get back on stage (for the first time since 2019!) and play them live. – Elaine Mai

Elaine Mai’s Go Slow feat. Sinéad White will be released on September 10th. Home is set for release on the 8th of October.

Elaine Mai talks to us about the release and upcoming album – Interview

Your 2021 seems to be focused on your upcoming album; could you tell us more about that? How was it born and why an album now?

When everything shut down last year, I knew I wouldn’t be playing any shows for quite a while. I took some time to think about my career in music and where I wanted to go with it. I had released several EPs and remixes but I had never released an album and it felt like the right time. I wrote the majority of it in 2020 and the theme that emerged was belonging. All of the tracks give you that sense of home and how it feels to belong, somewhere or with someone.

Listening to these three singles from the album, and your previous releases it seems you have stepped the game up with a more mature and unique sound, something more refined and personal. Do you feel the same?

It’s definitely been a journey to get to this point, I’ve come a long way in terms of my ability to tell a story through music. For this album, it was important to me to connect with people and capture something that we all feel in some way or another. Collaborations played a huge part here, with four incredible women featured on the album who all added another layer, story, and dimension. It’s a really personal album that helped me through some difficult times and I’m really happy with how it turned out.

This weekend you will perform the first live show since the pandemic. Can we expect a live premiere of the album? What’s your feeling about returning to the stage?

Yes! That’s exactly what I’ll be doing for this show and I’m so excited about it (with a small hint of terror). I haven’t played a solo show since 2019 and I definitely feel the nerves before I play, but it will be amazing to get back out there. I can’t wait to experience that exchange of energy with a crowd – that’s definitely what I’ve missed the most.

You’re one of the three artists representing Ireland for Keychange. Could you tell us more about it?

Keychange is an EU initiative that aims to bring about gender balance in the music industry. 

Despite a move towards better representation for women, there is still a deep gender disparity throughout the industry, particularly in electronic music. As an electronic artist and producer, I was delighted to be chosen to represent Ireland. In early 2020, I traveled to a Keychange conference in Sweden where I got to meet so many amazing women and become part of a really strong industry network at home and abroad. I would really recommend it to anyone thinking of applying. If you’re part of an organization in the music industry, you can get involved by taking the Keychange pledge