The soulful baritone of Dublin troubadour Declan O’Rourke is in achingly beautiful form in his new album Mag Pai Zai and promises to sound even better live when he plays in Letterkenny later this month.
After an absence of three years, the platinum-selling singer/songwriter shows the wait has been worth it with an album of tender, reflective music that showcases his unique voice.
In a recent interview, O’Rourke explains the story behind the unusually named album.
He said: “It’s a play on words. One of the songs is about these two brothers in New York who hoard everything and there’s a line that says ‘He saw the whole wide world through the magpie’s eye’ and I thought it sounded nice…and oriental.”
The song in question is Langley’s Requiem and after listening will stay with you for a long time.
O’Rourke produced the album after deciding that the big commerical record labels weren’t for him or his music……. and has described it as more “mature”.
The melodies and lyrics in this new work show he has grown as an artist.
He said: “I think it’s a little bit more mature. I’ve always produced my own stuff so I know what I’m doing a bit more in the production side of things. It’s warm and sounds a bit more uniform – I had a lot of fun making it and it was quite an easy process.”
Other tracks that stand out in the album are Slieve Bloom, The Hardest Fight and Be Brave and Believe and the love song A Little Something.
O’Rourke’s songs have made a huge impression on other artists with US sensation Josh Groban covering O’Rourke’s Galileo – the same song Paul Weller said he wished he had written.
More recently, Mary Byrne from X-Factor fame has also recorded her version of the song. ‘Mag Pai Zai’ is out now on Rimecoat Records.
As part of a nationwide tour, O’Rourke’s Mag Pai Zai Tour is set to play An Grianán Theatre, Letterkenny, June 25th.
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