‘Since Kyabram is an album I will listen to for the rest of my life‘ – Edith Bowman
‘He writes the sort of classic songs that people don’t write anymore, songs that sound like they’ve been around forever’ – Paul Weller
O’Rourke has been crafting songs from his mid-teens, his attention snagged from the age of 13 when he was given a guitar by a priest whilst visiting Kyabram, north-central Victoria, Australia. By the time he was 24, he had returned to Ireland, landing in the middle of – and settling comfortably into – a fiercely creative music scene in Dublin that was the fertile breeding ground for the likes of Glen Hansard/The Frames, Paddy Casey, Gemma Hayes, Damien Rice, Lisa Hannigan, and many more.
O’Rourke has released seven acclaimed albums, an expressive body of work that catches the light in many ways. His latest (seventh) album, Arrivals, is assuredly his most distinctive yet.
Released in April 2021, produced by Paul Weller, Arrivals features emotionally potent songs that summon the atmosphere of some of the great folk records that influenced the developing artist and musician as a younger, aspiring writer, (Joni Mitchell’s Ladies of the Canyon, and Nic Jones Penguin Eggs, to name but two).
Emerging at a time when the world is in a phase of serious flux, Arrivals is more present than past, however, and is also his most humanitarian. “We all feel very strongly about various aspects of what is happening in the world right now. I feel like I’ve intermittently struggled to engage with what’s contemporary in my writing. But these times are so engaging, and compelling, that I’ve been pulled into the present.”
With support from Boat to Row
Birmingham quartet Boat To Row have earned an outstanding live reputation since their beginnings as a solo project in 2009. They combine a genuine ease in each other’s musical company with an energetic, skilfully crafted sound. Their songs play host to winding tales, journeying through light and shade. Their recent single Quiet Place and second album Rivers That Flow In Circles, released through Static Caravan recordings, demonstrate the band’s evolving sound as they continue to expand into new musical territories.