Rebecca Shannon shows catchy EP is a girl’s best friend

An unknown Irish singer-songwriter has kept Ed Sheeran, The Coronas, and The Kings of Leon off the top of the the Irish iTunes album charts.

Chirpy, otherwise known as Rebecca Shannon, released her debut EP, Real Life, on Tuesday. By Thursday it was the most downloaded album in the country.

“Even to be on iTunes is bizarre,” Rebecca told the Irish Examiner. “It’s as if you handknitted a sweater and it’s walking down a catwalk next to a Burberry trenchcoat it’s that bizarre.”

The six-track EP, which features harp, guitar, drums, piano, and guitar, all played by Rebecca, spent from midday on Thursday until 10pm that night in the #1 slot.

As well as playing all of the instruments on the EP, she wrote the music and lyrics for every track except for one, ‘The Sister’, which is a poem by Francis Ledwidge.

The 29-year-old certified diamond grader handed in her notice to her job last August and went about recording the EP alone.

“I decided to do this less than a year ago,” said Rebecca who has a degree and Master’s in music. “I just decided I couldn’t not do music anymore.

“A part of me always knew I’d have to go back and do music in some form.”

From the age of 18 to 23 she was also a part of the famous Irish choral ensemble Anúna, with whom she travelled the world. However, in 2010 Rebecca, who is from Dublin, decided to settle down, undertake a diploma in diamond grading and work for her family’s jewellery business.

“I was good at it,” she said. “I’m a perfectionist so I’m good at spotting flaws. I really liked it but I wasn’t creating anything.”

After six years of “being very practical”, Rebecca decided to leave her job to complete this project.

“I was very nervous,” she said. “I wasn’t going to be earning money. It’s a pretty big decision when you decide to lose any form of steady income and take on something that might never be successful.”

She now plans to release a full album before Christmas.


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