Gemma sticks to the formula

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AFTER earning a place on the 2002 Mercury Music Prize shortlist for debut album Night On My Side (she lost to Ms Dynamite), Irish songstress Gemma Hayes went on to carve out a nice musical niche for herself.

Her songs have appeared in stacks of TV shows and films from Grey’s Anatomy to One Tree Hill, and most recently The Vampire Diaries and last year’s Abigail Breslin movie, Janie Jones.

On Wednesday, the Tipperary native returns to the Capital for a visit to Sneaky Pete’s where she’ll perform tracks from fourth album Let It Break.

It’s an album that offers little deviation from the folk/pop/rock sound she’s been peddling so competently for more than a decade now - but that’s no bad thing.

Asked how Let It Break compares to previous albums, the 34-year-old readily admits that it doesn’t break any new ground - nor was she trying to.

“I worked with the same people and I love to create a mixture of stuff on my albums,” she says. “You’ll find a folk song and the next one might be a pretty heavy song, distortion-wise or whatever, and that could be followed by maybe a country song.”

Hayes goes on to say that she wrote the album with cinema in mind. “There’s one sort of vague instrumental and one piano instrumental,” adds the singer-songwriter. “I just wanted to create something that you don’t have to listen to intensely, you could just have it on in the background.

“I just wanted to create a mood because I love that sort of music. You don’t have to listen to the lyrics but that layering effect just creates mood.”

Gemma Hayes, Sneaky Pete’s, Cowgate, Wednesday, 7pm, £10, 0131-225 1757, www.sneakypetes.co.uk

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