The result of her self-imposed hermitage is outstanding: recent single "Lost" - a slick alt pop number - has notably gained praise from the always influential Crack in the Road. Meanwhile the Dublin native has enjoyed a steady climb up the hefty mountain that is the Hype Machine thanks to a general splurge in online activity.
For this interview though, it's back to basics, as Richardson recounts her musical upbringing: "I started playing guitar when I was 10. As soon as I could play a couple [of] chords I started writing songs and made a band with my two friends from school," she recalls. "Then I played drums in bands with my friends as a teenager. I kept writing songs the whole time but I never really showed them to anyone."
Flouting her ability to pen boundary pushing, bass-ready r'n'b songs became par for the course however, when Sorcha moved to New York and the populous began to demand performances of her - sort of: "I moved to New York when I was 18 and thought I'd find people in college to start a band, but that didn't really happen. So I started singing my songs myself in dive bars around the city, and it's continued from there."
"On a personal level, writing music has always been something I can do to express myself and work through my ideas and feelings in a very cathartic way. On a bigger level, I think the way that music can evoke certain feelings is incredible. First and foremost I'm a music fan. I listen to music all day long. So a big part of it is just about contributing to the conversation rather than just consuming it."
Articulate and introspective, Sorcha Richardson enjoys the benefit of knowing two music scenes and communities like the back of her hand. Her songs aren't so stereotypical of an Irish immigrant in America that they rely on a tin whistle and a pipedream, but Sorcha says she's still taken something from both scenes: "The Irish scene is much smaller so it feels like a community. I played my first shows in Dublin and I'm still friends with the bands who were on that bill. There's a ton of platforms in Dublin that support emerging Irish artists (Other Voices, Eletcric Picnic, Castlepalooza and Body & Soul). I'm still in touch with the radio DJs who played my songs on the radio for the first time in 2012. It feels like a very close-knit but welcoming and supportive community.
I think that exists less in New York, simply because the scene is just so much bigger. There's a obviously much bigger portion of the music industry that operates out of New York than Dublin which can be nice. It saves you having to get a on plane to London to sit down with labels/industry people etc."
We've so far seen several shades of pop come out of Sorcha, which is definitely a good thing in DW's book. Unsurprisingly, she says her "favourite kind of pop music is the stuff that's a little left of center. Lykke Li, Solange, Lorde. Stuff that sounds like its come from a person who has lived a life and not from a factory."
In terms of her own work, this willingness to think outside of the box has already sprung some interesting collaborations: "I worked with Alex Casnoff (Harriet) at the start of the summer. He produced "Lost" and two other songs that I haven't released yet. I'm going back to Los Angeles soon to work on some more songs with him. I've been in the studio with some other people too but it's too early to say what will happen with those songs.
Working alone is nice because it's comfortable. You can go at your own pace [and] take breaks when you want to. But when you find someone who you work well with there's always a little bit of magic dust that happens and it's really exciting. I learn a lot by working with other people."
Prior to "Lost", Sorcha Richardson had notable success with her debut single, "Petrol Station", following a performance at the Kitsune stage at CMJ. Sorcha claims the song is "about a lot of things but ultimately just about friends and little anecdotes from days and nights with my friends during the summer [that] I wrote it. We shot the video on my birthday at my friend's house in upstate New York."
Since then, a lot has changed: "I made Petrol Station with Baile without us ever sitting down together. It was done entirely through email and he pretty much did all of the production and arranging. I made that song (and three others which I decided not to release) at a time when I was paying a lot more attention to what was popular. Not to say I don't love that song and that wasn't my sound... But I took a step back and decided that I wanted to do things a little more my own way and shut out some of the noise.
The process of making these new songs was really collaborative. I spent a lot of time in the studio, I play a lot of the instruments on the records. I decided to release it through my own label so I could be in control."