2015 was a big year for new Cork songwriter Jack O’Rourke. His debut EP The Other Side of Now contained a song that struck the right chord at the right time. ‘Silence’ was used by Amnesty International for the Yes Campaign in the successful Marriage Referendum, an issue close to Jack’s heart. The epic, Bowiesque 'Naivety' and bluesy trip hop torch song 'Shining for You' were also atmospheric radio hits, showcasing Jack’s multifaceted musicality – eclectic, but with his voice and piano always at the centre.
His new single 'I'll Forget You In The Morning' opens with a glistening piano melody before Jack's hypnotic timbre paints a beautifully nostalgic lyrical work of art. 'I'll Forget You In The Morning' is a piano man’s ode, in parts lyrically enigmatic and a tune that insists on more listens to delve into the true meaning of the song.
Themes of loss and heartbreak are here, but upon closer listening, an element of hope begins to surface. Delivered with lush, earthy harmonies and accompanied by ethereal strings and chilling distorted guitar, 'I'll Forget You In The Morning' is a tantilising taste of Jack’s upcoming debut album Dreamcatcher, due for release in late 2016.
If a songwriter can be gritty and polished simultaneously, it’s Jack O’Rourke. In parts introspective balladeer, Jack pushes the boundaries of noir folk with heartbreaking torch songs, peppered with baroque pop. He sings between a grizzled baritone and ethereal falsetto, assured yet plaintive; lyrically exploring the subtleties of his environment and his place in the world at large.
Jack's work has already been championed by RTE presenter Fiachna O’Braonain in his songs of the year and also recently featured in ‘The Great Irish Songbook’ on BBC4, presented by Cerys Matthews. This November, Jack performed 'Silence' live on The Late Late Show. Jack’s material draws parallels with the work of Kate Bush, Sufjan Stevens, Randy Newman.
“Every nook and cranny of The Other Side of Now is filled with harmony, rhythm and melody. The E.P. is crafted, both ‘Shining For You’ and the title-track move in great dynamic sweeps that showcase O’Rourke has total control over the sound, knowing when to rein it in or unleash it in equal measure. What’s more, the E.P. sounds exactly like the type of record Jack O’Rourke wanted to make, and you can’t say fairer than that. Rating: 9/10” — The Last Mixed Tape
“Jack O’ Rourke’s music has a grace and a glory to it that will stop you in your tracks and make you forget where you were going! “Silence” is one of the songs of the year for me.. “I’ll Forget You In The Morning” took me away too .... Beautiful honest songwriting delivered with a transporting musicality that will take you there... wherever you are going!”
— Fiachna O' Braonáin, RTE Radio 1
“Jack O’Rourke is one of Ireland’s most exciting new emerging talents”
— I.M.R.O. ( Irish Music Rights Organisation) Ireland
“Silence is a modern rebel song. The song is truly beautiful. It the change that happened in Ireland”
— Cerys Matthews, BBC4 - The Great Irish Songbook, 2015
“Cork singer with oodles of soul, blues and jazz, all wrapped up with a striking modern pop bow”
— Jim Carroll, The Irish Times