IF you want to solve an intriguing mystery, try to define the unique sound and presence of Lewis singer songwriter Miss Irenie Rose.
There’s something quite old-fashioned and charming about the live performances – but there’s also something thoroughly modern in the earwormy hooks you find in all her songs.
But the word is out about Irenie Rose – she’s just been nominated for a best newcomer award in the Scottish Alternative Music Awards.
Just before being invited to appear at the Hazy Recollections stage at Celtic Connections in January, Irenie Rose moved to Glasgow to pursue her music career there.
"The nomination for the SAMAs as a musician from the North of Scotland got me in the nick of time before I moved.
"I was invited to play Hazy Recollections by Findlay Napier who had seen me play at the Insider Festival and he just got in touch out of the blue."
Since arriving in Glasgow, Irenie has also played an open mike night and has been finding her feet – as well as protecting her hands with rubber gloves while temping manning a dishwashing machine in a restaurant kitchen.
"For the first while, I’m just getting to know people and there are a lot of open mike nights.
"But I’m itching to go," she revealed.
It’s not the first time she has been away from Lewis, having spent time away before in Aberdeen and Spain.
But though there was music at home as a youngster – her sister Elsa Jean McTaggart is also a musician based in the Canary Islands – Irenie Rose revealed that it wasn’t until she was around 18 that she began to write and play the music her fans recognise now.
Many talented songwriters come from Lewis – among them Willie Campbell, Iain Morrison and Colin Macleod (The Boy Who Trapped The Sun).
So does Miss Irenie Rose have any theories about why that should be?
"It’s amazing – I’m not entirely sure, but I could make a couple of guesses.
"I think the church community and traditional music are both quite big things here. So I think people are surrounded by music, whether that’s playing in local ceilidh bands or going to church and singing psalms."
So it’s not something special in the water, then?
Irenie Rose laughed: "Living on Lewis, I realised that big sky and water feature in my songs so much. Maybe that’s because there’s not much land or many trees, but I don’t know if that affects other people or not."
She has an interesting theory too about where her songs come from.
"Sometimes they seem to have been written in my subconscious with your brain doing all the work when you are asleep.
"For me, a lot of the time, it’s playing around on the guitar that inspires m. The melody comes first - with me just saying what I want to say on top of that.
"But I chuck away the songs I don’t think are any good.
"It’s a bit annoying if you like the start of a song – sometimes I almost don’t want to try to finish it in case I ruin it!"
She was back in the North for an appearance at the Carnivale night at Hootanannys in Inverness, having played last year at both Belladrum and back in May at Brew At The Bog.
The four-track EP she had on sale then is still the latest release and Miss Irenie Rose said: "I’m keen to do more – I’m keen to do the whole works and get more muisc out and videos and get more gigs and go touring. And I will when I can."
And though it’s a bit of a daft question, you ask whether it’s easy to sound like herself – and so different from others.
"I don’t know what I sound like, in a way," she laughed. "I do want to be able to not just follow something that I like – or the crowd, in general, I suppose.
"But for the most part you can’t help being yourself!"
You can hear how Miss Irenie Rose sounds tonight.
Miss Irenie Rose appeared at the Carnivale night at Mad Hatters, Inverness, with Gorman, James Mackenzie and Red Ronson.