New Again: Sinead O’Connor

By
Photography Eamonn J. McCabe

Published June 18, 2014

“I don’t want to love the way I loved before,” croons Sinead O’Connor on her most recent single, “Take Me To Church,” which dropped via NPR earlier this week. “What have I been writing love songs for?” It’s a jangly, pop-guitar-driven track that sets the tone for her upcoming album, I’m Not Bossy, I’m the Boss. The track is unpretentious, but unadventurous—the artist who once covered Prince and embraced her Irish folk roots side-by-side has come a long way. It’s the sound of a woman with nothing to prove. O’Connor has cemented her place in the annals of pop history, and now she’s content to just ride the wave. To tide over the wait till the new album is released—it hits stores August 12—we’ve dug up this preview piece featuring O’Connor from March 1988. Interview‘s Richard J. Grula caught up with the now-iconic singer just after the release of her hit debut The Lion and the Cobra. It’s clear from his vivid descriptions that even three decades ago, she had already emerged as the one to watch. —Katherine Cusumano 

 

Sinead O’Connor
By Richard J. Grula 

First there’s the look. Shaved head. Utilitarian clothes. Clean, smart, and sharp. Then there’s the voice. An ethereal whisper hanging over your shoulder. A torrid scream raging outside your window. Sometimes within a second of each other—Kate Bush meets Lene Lovich. Sinead’s debut album, The Lion and the Cobra, deftly blends folk songs with droning guitars and dance-floor backbeats. She produced the record herself, an accomplishment she simultaneously shrugs off and brags about. “It’s easy to produce your own record. That’s been proven numerous times. The only difference is that mine’s good.” Even the metal and spandex crowd of MTV has picked up on it. At 20, Sinead is poised to become Ireland’s biggest musical export since U2.

She says this: “You should never forget that you were and are an ordinary person.”

Ordinary? Well… 

THIS ARTICLE INTIALLY APPEARED IN THE MARCH 1988 ISSUE OF INTERVIEW.

New Again runs every Wednesday. For more, click here.