Described by Hotpress as “one of Ireland’s most gifted songwriters,” it’s no surprise that we’ve been eagerly awaiting the release of the latest Jack O’Rourke album, Wild Place.
We were lucky to get the chance to interview him and learn all about what we can expect ahead of listening to his album on repeat.
“Wild Place is a bunch of piano songs and a few bangers,” O’Rourke told GCN’s Alice Linehan. “I’ve written about beautiful misfits (sone queer ones), love, loss, lust, nature, the ocean, country divas, questions on race, my grandmother, opera, trains, lockdown, the world changing and platonic friendships over coffee!”
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About how his music has changed over the last five years since the release of his debut album, Dreamcatcher, and what he’s learned, he jokes, “I’ve learnt to enjoy every sandwich! And pint!”
He goes on to say, “My music is a cocktail of lots of influences – blues, folk, rock and chamber music. It just depends where the muse takes me. These songs reflect my roots in folk and blues and ballads, but I’m working on a follow up to my electro tune with Kormac at present. I like to keep challenging myself.”
O’Rourke’s 2015 single, Silence, went on to become an anthem of sorts in the fight for marriage equality, placing him directly in the public eye in 2015. Now, he’s already touring the new album and the response has been as positive as ever.
“The album is piano-based with strings and cello and really beautiful guitar effects. It’s easier to pull that off live, and it really draws the audience in. I’ve been flat out and the response at gigs has been overwhelming.”
Following the great success of his single Opera on the Top Floor, O’Rourke released a new single Patsy Cline in September, which he admits is one of his favourite songs from the Wild Place album.
“Patsy Cline has a particular reverence for me. It was nominated this week as Best Original Song at the RTÉ Folk Awards, which is a real honour,” he tells us, going on to say, “I love all the songs, it’s like picking your favourite child!”
O’Rourke even teases that he would love to add more tour dates in the new year, and we are on the edge of our seats for that announcement.
“There’s a big Dublin gig coming up. I’d love to play Mother! I’ll work on my costume. Suggestions are welcome,” he says.
You can get your hands on Wild Place by Jack O’Rourke today, Friday, November 5.
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