While taking it back to Skibbereen...

From the small, rural Irish town of Skibbereen, Co. Cork, alternative-pop artist Rushes exudes an iridescent sound and style like no other. His newest single, ‘FUNDS’, is the perfect example of the artist’s hard-wired skills of catchy songwriting, innovative sonic pallets and a mesh of ambient styles.

The song’s accompanying video, with its creative team of Stephanie Naughter, Nathan Barlow and Marcus Prouse, captures the lyrics' sense of uncertainty and an underlying fear of what could lie behind life’s ever-bending roads. The video finds Rushes exploring the iconic Fields in Skibbereen, the same store he once worked in as a teenager, alone with his thoughts and only a bucket and mop for company. The music video shot over one night with its subdued lighting and a sense of childish possibility made it the perfect vehicle through which to explore the song’s feelings of playful optimism.

“I remember daydreaming a lot on my shifts about wanting to achieve something more” Rushes recalls of working in the store growing up, determined to do everything he could to get away, “nothing has really changed in my life but I'm on a different path right now. “It really gets across the message of the song too” he adds, “trying to reach for something but still being stuck in the same place, hoping that you'll make it to where you want to be or see in your head".

Rushes has spent the past number of years jumping between songwriting sessions across Dublin and the UK. This meant that, for a long time, Rushes didn’t return home and slowly frayed the connection with his hometown. COVID-19, however, had different plans and it forced Rushes to confront some of the negative emotions surrounding the area.

“I’d lost touch with a lot of the friends I had from Skibbereen” Rushes explains of his return, “I was trying to achieve something that wasn’t from here or something I didn’t think was possible from here so when I came back I was very alone. Alone to think and it gave me the chance to reconnect with all those people and my family who I’d normally only see once or twice a year”.

“I wouldn’t have been able to start my career if it wasn't for going away,” he adds, “but I guess the environment around the art in those places didn’t really suit me, and I lost touch with myself when I was away from here, I lost who I was”.

The concept for the video came as Rushes slowly began to mend his connection with his hometown. Looking back, he’s thankful he’s had the opportunity to return home for the video’s recording. “If I didn’t come back to Skibbereen I would have recorded it somewhere else and it wouldn’t have been the same at all,” he explains, “it wouldn’t be about home but since I’m back it really adds something to it, showing people the life I lived and where I worked, the life I used to run from”.

‘FUNDS’ is the second single from Rushes’s upcoming project ‘Glowchild’; which encapsulates a formative journey of struggle, fierce ambition, love, loss, and the clarity brought on by an eventual sense of self-awareness. ‘FUNDS’ is the much-needed reminder of the draw home can have for all of us, and the power it wields when we set about our lives.

Check it out below.

Words: Cailean Coffey

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