Andrea Corr: "We were under constant pressure to look a certain way"

Andrea Corr: “We were under constant pressure to look a certain way”

For Andrea Corr, Christmas is a time to celebrate – but also to remember. The Corrs frontwoman enjoys the seasonal traditions with all the trimmings: Christmas morning mass with her husband and their two children, followed by a big turkey dinner. However, she is also thinking of those she lost: her mother, Jean, who died suddenly at the height of The Corrs’ success in 1999, aged 57, when Andrea was just 25, and her father, Gerry, who died in 2015.

“After my mother died, my father called Christmas a time of ‘absence.’ That speaks to me a lot now. And unfortunately with many people. So life is. There are those empty chairs on Christmas Day. This “silence” has a meaning – to recognize it and to give thanks. The spiritual side is important to me. And now I have children, the magic [of Christmas] is back.”

This mix of melancholy and joy is at the heart of their new seasonal album, The Christmas Album. Put together over the two years of the pandemic and featuring contributions from the Rolling Stones’ Ron Wood and trad icon Dónal Lunny, it’s an LP of both shine and shadow. It features her take on classics like Let It Snow and It’s Beginning To Look a Lot Like Christmas. There is also an original composition, Begin Again, in which she reveals her very human and complicated feelings about December 25th.

“Begin Again,” which I arranged with God Rest Ye Merry Gentlemen, is about grief and a new beginning,” she says. “And, I suppose, rebirth.”

It’s important to accept that you’ve experienced a loss in your life and make it a part of your Christmas, says Corr, who lives with her husband Brett Desmond, their daughter Jean, 10, and their son Brett Jr, 8. lives in Dublin.

“It’s much better, at least for me, to acknowledge it. And if you have something to express [ie grief for a loved-one’s passing] then you surely had a good time with that person. There is much to be thanked for.”

Corr’s childhood in Dundalk was at the forefront of her thoughts during the recording of the album. It was a boisterous household, full of love and mischief, and with music always in the air.

“My mom was amazing at Christmas. The smell of baked goods around the house. So much nostalgia – good memories. We used to always have to sing for our relatives. Those were our very early shows. ”

Before putting their feet up for Christmas, The Corrs will play a concert at the 25,000 capacity Hope Estate in New South Wales, with the support of Wet Wet Wet in Australia. That they can still play to massive crowds on the other side of the world is a testament to their popularity – and the enduring power of hits like Breathless and Runaway.

The Corrs – siblings Andrea, Caroline, Jim and Sharon – are now widely regarded as one of the bright spots in Irish pop music of the 1990s. However, in their heyday as hits, they were often looked down upon by critics. Rolling Stone described them as a “cute girl band…singing about lost and renewed love in every song…think Abba with a violin”. “Shines in Celtic chic and has several pretty sisters,” said the NME in a stunning review of their 2000 album In Blue. “The Corrs span the spectrum of contemporary celebrity attractiveness from A to Sleaze.”

This perception of The Corrs as a trade in Celtic fluff has been turned on its head in recent years. The Corrs have been rehabilitated with hipster-loved pop star Caroline Polachek covering Breathless and Japanese-British chart-topper Rina Sawayama touting Andrea and family as an influence.

“I’ve spent a good part of my life doing this. More than half my life. It’s great that this side of our lives is valued and welcomed,” says Corr, who, like all Irish people, becomes uncomfortable with being complimented. “And people still love the songs and want to hear them and see us. It is wonderful. It’s always very flattering that people are influenced. I was influenced by other artists myself. I know what that means. I am happy to be that for others.”

Criticism of the band has never bothered her, she says. The Corrs were so successful — so many people said nice things — that they didn’t let the negative distract them. Or at least not enough to keep her up at night.

“Listen, we got so much support. Sometimes when something is negative, our ears are more receptive to it than to the positive. The positives outweigh the negatives. Sometimes with the positive and the negative [you have to ignore both]. What did someone say, if you want to get high on the good press, you have to get low on the bad press.

This album was an affair of the heart

The Corrs became very successful very quickly. They were all in their early 20s when their debut album Forgiven Not Forgotten hit number two in Ireland and the UK and number one in Australia. As a singer and thus the de facto “face” of the band, a large part of the test falls on Andrea. Now with a daughter of her own, she marvels at the value placed on her own looks early in The Corrs’ career.

“Times have changed. You look back and I think if my kids would cater to that – if my daughter – felt that kind of attention… I would be concerned. But we’ve been very protective with our manager and the people around around us. At the same time you feel that as a young person. I felt very exposed and very confident about a lot of it. We were doing interviews all the time. Constantly under pressure to look a certain way – a focus on that element of what doesn’t help any young girl in my opinion. It would have been great to be a grungy band that could just rock out of a plane wearing a granny sweater – and the more ruined you look the better.”

For now, though, she’s thinking about Christmas – and the happy childhood memories she wants to pass on to her own family.

“I loved it as a kid. Christmas music was a big part of that for me. My father had a wicked sense of humor. In July he would close the curtains and put on the Ray Conniff and Ray Conniff Singers album We Wish You A Merry Christmas, which was our Christmas record. I love Christmas records. And so this album was very much love.”

Andrea Corr’s Christmas album will be released on December 2nd

#Andrea #Corr #constant #pressure

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *