Sunday 13th March 2022
Vicar St., Dublin
PRESS ON ARRIVALS
“O’Rourke has become something of a songwriter’s songwriter, whose supporters have numbered John Prine, James Taylor….if he’s been a best-kept secret up to now ARRIVALS should finally blow his cover'” 8/10 Uncut magazine
“a masterful lyricist and staggering guitarist.” 4**** MOJO
“the quintessential songwriter’s songwriter” - Irish Times 4****
“It’s an album that confirms his status as one of Ireland’s finest songwriters and performers” - RnR 5*****
Award-winning Irish singer songwriter Declan O’Rourke celebrates his brand new album with a show at Vicar Street, 13th March 2021.
Declan’s album Arrivals was produced by Paul Weller, the most emotionally raw and affecting album of his career.
Recorded over six days at Black Barn studios in Surrey, with Weller producing (“he was there every moment, before, during and long after, discussing ideas about this and that, even down to the artwork. It was hugely impressive…”), Arrivals sees Declan O’Rourke present his art in a different yet wholly distinctive manner. The sound is stripped back to Declan’s soulful and resonant voice, the virtuosic acoustic guitar playing for which he’s renowned and only the occasional sparse arrangement of strings and late-night drums bringing colour and light to the LP’s 10 songs. Weller, a fan of Declan’s songwriting for some years, also adds his multi-instrumental abilities to the recordings, including a beautiful piano accompaniment to the closing track.
“Proffering reassurance in the face of inevitable sorrow” is what New York Times music writer Jon Pareles has said about Declan O’Rourke. Not many people would have thought that such praise would have so significant a purpose during a prolonged time of global turmoil, but - as his many admirers know only too well - O’Rourke has been spreading hope, love and emotional clarity for over 15 years.
Arrivals deftly balances the personal and the political. The personal - it is assuredly his most emotive and intimate work to date - comes from O’Rourke’s admission that he has always been guided by family.
Alongside a vision of seeing the personal and political run in parallel and occasionally intersect on Arrivals, is the way in which textural layers have been stripped away.