by Ricky Haldis
“Being creative is a huge part of who I am, and I’ve been singing since I was really young. Being in a band, I found that I loved the creative spark you can have when writing with other people. It’s very special to be able to express yourself through music. It’s also a lot of fun,” says guitarist and vocalist, Caoimhe Derwin. She is one of the driving forces of the Dublin based pop quintet, September Girls, who have made a name for themselves on an international level.
Formed in 2011, the Irish ‘noise-pop’ band set out to pursue their passion for music, doing whatever they could to find success. Luckily for September Girls, Dublin has a surprisingly active music scene, which really served to benefit the intrepid quintet.
“The music scene in Dublin is quite big for such a small city,” explains Derwin. “There are different gigs on every night of the week, covering all types of music. I think it was best for us to work on our live shows elsewhere to start off with, as we had been in bands before we wanted to establish ourselves as something new. So, we started to do gigs in the UK.” She continues, “We played in America for the first time at SXSW and had a blast. There were so many different showcases and parties going on with such diverse music, it was easy to find an audience for our music. It was very welcoming.”
Since their formation, and then signing to Fortuna Pop in 2013, the band has certainly evolved not only musically, but personally as well. “I think when we started out we wanted to have a very simple garage pop/girl group sound,” Derwin ponders. “We’ve moved away from the simple two minute pop songs and have started to be more experimental with the sounds we use. We’re less afraid in general, becoming braver playing live, too. Personally speaking, I was terrified of playing guitar in front of anyone when we started out. I’m slowly becoming more confident and I can see it in the others, too.”
In early 2014, September Girls released their first full-length album, Cursing the Sea. Clocking in at just under 40 minutes, the ambitious debut album is a clear display of the Girls’ talent, perseverance and passion. “It’s our first album, and it was a chance to create a body of work that fully reflects who we are. It was exciting to compile all the songs in the order we wanted them and to design the artwork to represent our debut. We took our time to make it, so it was inspired by many different experiences we’ve been through and music we’ve listened to over the past two years. Fuzzy drums, haunted house soundtracks, Beach Boy harmonies, heartbreak.”
September Girls’ unique sound is the product of a very interesting variety of influences. Derwin explains, “My biggest influences would be a combination of bands from the 90s like the Breeders, Francoise Hardy in the sixties, and vocal bands like the Ronettes. I think they’re an obvious influence in the vocal harmonies and the distorted guitar sound. Influences change all the time though, and it constantly feeds into the music you write.”
As their music and direction is constantly growing and evolving, their vision expands, and their passion becomes even more insatiable. In just over two years, these have grown to become an international act, tackling some of the biggest venues on the globe, and performing among some of the world’s most revered acts. While the anticipation of what lies next for the September Girls is exciting, it is certain that their passion for expression and interpersonal connection will remain intact, and will continue to bring audiences together with their unique brand of music.
They hope to head back to the US this fall in…September!