A Scottish-emigrant based out of New York state since 2012, Lorkin O’Reilly last featured on this site back in 2018 around the release of his debut album, Heaven Depends. Three years on, 2021 finds Lorkin ready to return with both, “a newly minted citizenship”, and a second long-player, Marriage Material. With the album set to arrive next month via Team Love, today Lorkin is premiering the first single from it, Still You.
Listening to Still You, the track seems to mark a distinct departure from Lorkin’s debut album. While previously Lorkin’s output seemed to lean heavily on the classic folk sounds of Bert Jansch or Nick Drake, here he seems to tap into a brighter and more modern sound. Still You shows a delightful lightness of touch from Lorkin. His fingers flutter across the string to pluck the warmest guitar lines, while the vocal comes across as the middle ground of the hushed tones Sam Beam concocted on those beautiful early Iron & Wine recordings and Fionn Reagan’s stoic heartache.
Lyrically, Lorkin has spoken of Marriage Material as an exploration of, “deep love, family ties, and broken vows”, all of which seem to come haring into earshot here. The track starts in typically transatlantic fashion, as Lorkin considers life on either side of the ocean before noting, “there are so many things you could do, so why is it so hard to choose? The problem is I’m still in love with you”. Throughout the track, we see Lorkin offered glimpses of where his life could go next, whether he’s lying in the bath or chatting with friends, yet throughout his mind keeps drifting back to the one he loves, and wondering why he can’t seem to move on.
Marriage Material is a record about what comes next, charting love, marriage and separation, and ultimately asking what we do when the pieces we thought had fallen into place, suddenly offer a new puzzle to be put back together. A new beginning heavily imbued with the shadows of the past, Lorkin O’Reilly’s music is in a place where it feels raw, honest and ready to resonate with an awful lot of people.