My Weekend: When I’m in Ireland I love to go out and play tunes in sessions

Irish-based musician Amelia Baker, aka Cinder Well, launched a new album recently, ‘Cadence’. As part of her album tour she plays Coughlans in Cork
My Weekend: When I’m in Ireland I love to go out and play tunes in sessions

Multi-instrumentalist Amelia Baker, aka Cinder Well.

TELL us a little bit about yourself and your work?

I grew up in California and I’ve been spending my time between the West Coast of US and Ireland for the past several years. Cinder Well is mostly original songs, but I also sing some traditional songs and play traditional Irish fiddle tunes. I write, record and perform music, and I teach guitar, fiddle and songwriting lessons.

What is your ideal way to spend a Friday night?

When I’m in Ireland I love to go out and play tunes in sessions.

Lie ins or up with the lark.. which is it for you?

Definitely lie ins. I love sleeping.

Does work creep into your weekend at all?

Being a musician and self-employed person you’re kind of always working and not working at the same time. 

There’s always stuff to respond to over the weekend, and gigs are usually on the weekends too. 

But then there’s a lot of time spent that isn’t really considered work but probably should be, like writing and reflecting and practicing.

Amelia Baker, aka Cinder Well. Picture: Georgia Zeavin
Amelia Baker, aka Cinder Well. Picture: Georgia Zeavin

Closer to home, is there some place you like to head to recharge the batteries?

I’ve been spending lots of time at Lahinch beach, walking, swimming, and surfing.

Do you like to catch up with family/friends at the weekend?

When I’m home in California there always seems to be a family gathering on the weekend, but over in Ireland where I have no family it’s more about the friends and the tunes.

Do you get to indulge any hobbies? Even as a spectator?

I’ve gotten really into surfing in the past year, it’s something I did as a teenager but then put aside when I got into music.

Entertain or be entertained? If it’s the latter do you have a signature dish?

I’m into both. Love to be fed. I think soups, stews, and salads are my specialty lately.

We have so many places to eat out in Cork - where are your go to spots for coffee/lunch/special meal?

I haven’t had the opportunity to try many places in Cork yet, but I remember a good sushi spot near the church, when I played a small house concert with Anna Mieke.

Sunday night comes around too fast.. how do you normally spend it?

I like doing home-y things on Sunday — cleaning, cooking, relaxing. But sometimes some of the best sessions happen on Sundays, which kind of throws that all off!

What time does your alarm clock go off on Monday morning?

I’m a musician, it doesn’t happen often to be honest.

Anything else you are up to right now...

I recently released my new album ‘Cadence’ on April 21, on Free Dirt Records, and looking forward to touring it around Ireland with one of my best friends.

As part of her album launch tour, Cinder Well plays Coughlan’s on May 26.

Amelia Baker, aka Cinder Well. Picture: Georgia Zeavin
Amelia Baker, aka Cinder Well. Picture: Georgia Zeavin

More about the album

Oceans flow through the center of Cinder Well’s music.

‘Cadence’, the new album from Amelia Baker’s experimental folk project, drifts between two far-flung seas: the hazy California coast where she grew up, and the wind-torn swells of western Ireland that she’s come to love.

Released on Free Dirt Records, the album’s name refers to the cycles of our turbulent lives, to the uncertain tides that push us forward and back. Recorded at Hen House Studios, just blocks from the famed Venice Beach Boardwalk in Los Angeles, the songs of ‘Cadence’ search for a sense of grounding and a feeling of home.

Though California’s beaches are the backdrop of this album, Irish influences emerge as well. The folklore of the old ways still looms in her mind, now tinged with the kind of growth that comes from returning to your roots. With ‘Cadence’, Baker expands Cinder Well’s sound to include percussion as well as trance electric guitar and expansive string parts courtesy of Cormac MacDiarmada of Lankum.

While there are still hints of the doom folk that Cinder Well is known for, ‘Cadence’ balances heavy lyrics with a more expansive sound that nods to LA’s mythical Laurel Canyon years.

“So much of my music has been made far from home,” Baker says. “There was something about recording in California that felt cathartic.”

Caught between two worlds, ‘Cadence’ is about recapturing the rhythms of life after a time of deep isolation, about finding balance amongst uncertainty.

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