Molly Sterling just turned 20 but she has lived a life full of experiences that many of us reach 30 without experiencing. When she was 16, Molly represented Ireland in the Eurovision, having previously never performed in front of a live audience. That is some mean feat and something that Molly says is almost a past life.
I first heard of Molly Sterling when she performed for CreativeMornings last year (I don’t watch the Eurovision). I met her for the first time then, and instantly wanted to hear more. The thing about Molly is that not only does she have a serious amount of talent, she is also one of the most down to earth people.
Molly has a new single coming out, which served as the premise of our lunch-interview, but when we sat down, the conversation was so easy, we just discussed everything. It’s hard not to. I asked Molly if there was anything in particular she wanted to discuss with me, if there were experiences she wanted to share. Given that her music is so raw, evocative and emotive, there is little else to be said.
Back in May 2018, Molly played a really intimate gig in Melt, where a number of us all swarmed into a tiny basement room on Stephen’s Street and listened to her and her accompanying cellist, Laura McCabe, play. It was a hot, humid day, in a hot, humid room and it was an amazing experience. This was just the start of her whirlwind of performances throughout Ireland.
This summer alone, most festivals in Ireland have been privileged enough to see Molly perform her haunting, raw lyrics and sultry voice. As someone who is obsessed with words, Molly’s songs are a dream. They are the experiences of someone who has experienced more than they need to explicitly say. They are more personal, intimate and more confessional than any blog or interview piece could be.
I asked her about how she feels playing such emotionally-driven songs, with lyrics that evoke so many different things for different people. Now, she says, she embraces it. She feels completely in control of the music, of how she plays it and how her audience reacts. She takes to a room, spills her soul in her lyrics and embraces it. Unless you have seen Molly live, at least once, there is a strong likelihood that you are not fully aware of her power.
Molly admits that her lyrics are those based on her lived experiences. The experiences that she no longer feels necessary to speak about because she lightens her chest with singing about them. Her newest single, Stripped Down, was released on August 1.
Stripped Down is just that: Molly is baring her soul, asking us to listen as she relieves the burden upon her of her experiences, heartbreaking and heartmaking. The song will give you shivers down your spine and leave you wanting more.
Like Plain Static, it is incredibly moving. It’s something that will leave you with tingles down your spine, and will make you want to follow Molly to all her gigs, no matter how big or small. Give it a listen on Spotify, and if you can, check her out live.
You won’t regret it.