- 20 Oct 21
Jack O'Rourke returns with a new and intensely raw project 'Wild Place', interlacing elements of Americana and folk to his tender piano and vocals.
Acclaimed Irish singer Jack O'Rourke is back with his brand new album Wild Place, coming out on November 5th.
Three years after his last release, the singer-songwriter has returned. But it is not business as usual for the Cork-born musician, as the upcoming record marks a shift in the artists' place in the Irish music landscape.
In his three new singles - ‘Opera on the Top Floor’, ‘Patsy Cline’, and ‘Sea Swimming’ - there is a newfound rawness laid bare to the listeners.
"'Wild Place' has songs of love and loss, beautiful misfits, nature and wilderness," Jack said. "There's freedom and rage in there too, alongside questions on race, friendship, a still-Covid world, my dreams and sea swimming. The piano and vocal are centre, but there are elements of folk, roots, blues, Americana and chamber music."
The singer-songwriter first rose to prominence in 2015, when his candid ballad encapsulating his experience growing up gay 'Silence' became the anthem for the Marriage Equality referendum.
The song also went on to win the International Songwriting Competition in Nashville, a contest judged by the likes of Tom Waits and Bill Withers.
In 2016 the 36-year-old released his debut album Dreamcatcher. The record climbed the Irish charts, breaking into the top five. Since then Jack has cemented himself as one of Ireland's foremost songsmiths, as well as an acclaimed live act.
In 2019, he released his follow-up LP, Ivory Towers, to critical acclaim. During lockdown, Jack took part in Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series - a series of live-streamed events that aimed to shine a light on some of the best new and emerging talent that Ireland had to offer in 2020.
Speaking about the upcoming album, Jack touched on the passing of folk legend John Prine - an artist whose influence can be clearly heard in the new tracks.
"When John Prine died during Covid, it was a Bowie or Cohen or Prince moment - I was heartbroken without knowing him personally - his lyrics and his style meant so much, and his songwriting always floored me. There’s a Steinbeck or Mark Twain quality - he says so much without being flowery."
Wild Place was recorded with the help of Crash Ensemble, Clare Sands, Hugh Dillon and Aisling Fitzpatrick; Jack's long-standing drummer, David Ryan, produced the album, despite not playing in it.
The new album from Jack O’Rourke Wild Place is out November 5, 2021.
Watch the music video for 'Opera on the Top Floor' below:
Photo Credit: Miki Barlok