On my first encounter with Northern Ireland’s Susan Enan, I knew she wasn’t a musical ego looking for 15 minutes of fame. She gave me an early demo so that I could book her for an arts festival in England; I was impressed by what I heard and invited her to play the festival. She quickly turned me down and suggested that she would be ready the following year.
Some five years later, her slow and steady approach is beginning to pay off. Enan’s Moonlight/Skin, Bone and Silicone EP is as beautiful as anything on Norah Jones’ multi-Grammy debut and comparisons will no doubt be drawn, given the EP’s piano-led “Moonlight.” But she’s more earthy, less jazzy; more street poet, less big-stage grand piano. And the word is getting out—not only in Ireland but across the rest of the United Kingdom and the United States.
Enan, an Englishwoman who’s relocated to Belfast, says her deliberate pace is a family thing. “It seems that women in my family don't rush anything, including living. My grandmother is 100 this year, it bodes well…. I just never saw the point of releasing a record just because the songs were written. There's more to it than that. You need the right musicians, and then there's the process of gigging and getting it out there. Everything should be in the parcel before the ribbon comes off.”
“I'm not really sure you can plan the 'final sound' so precisely,” she explains. “Music will never be that calculated because human beings aren't.”
Fortunately the album is nearing completion. The songs are ready, and many have been demoed. In the meantime Enan will do three short Irish tours and spend September to November in the States, “returning home for Granny’s 100th!”
“I don't think fans mind waiting—it's the industry that puts on that kind of pressure.” But all her efforts have guaranteed that plenty of fans will be anticipating her full-length debut.