8 January 2022
By Elaine Murphy
Taken from the album Wild Place
Release Date – Friday January 28
Jack O’Rourke opens 2022 with a fans’ favourite from his acclaimed album Wild Place. Wild Place found a place on many reviewers ‘Best of 2021’ polls and the Cork songwriter finished the year with a series of sold out shows, TV and radio appearances.
‘Coffee Song’ is the latest single from Wild Place, following some much-loved forerunners in ‘Opera on the Top Floor’, ‘Patsy Cline’ (nominated for Best Original Song at RTE Folk Awards) and ‘Sea Swimming’. O’Rourke’s insightful weaving of the observational into lyrical tales is a hallmark of the tracks on Wild Place, and this latest release invites the listener into a private, while also unconcealed moment that has resonated with many.
“Coffee Song is a celebration of everyday rituals that can become magic,” says O’Rourke. “Written at a time (during Covid) when my interactions were rare – I found something beautiful in the morning ritual of a small piece of art in the foam of a morning coffee. It gave my day a curious purpose. The extraordinary in the ordinary.”
The lyrics lent themselves to a tale set in New York; a punk rock barista, Warhol and Kandinsky, Patti Smith with echoes of a Broadway ballad.
“I sat at the piano and this story of these characters was developed – the idea of a conversation of broken people with cautious hopes and dreams. Initially it could have been a duet, but now it’s a story like many of the songs on Wild Place. Cormac McCarthy’s arrangement elevated this song to a soundtrack for me, his notes and counter melodies adding just a little movie sparkle.”
‘Coffee Song’ is a reminder to appreciate the smaller things . . . the little things that almost slip by, within which gentle stories can be told.
Where to see live
Dolans, Limerick – Saturday January 22, 5.30pm
Cyprus Avenue, Cork – Saturday January 29, 5pm
Unitarian Church, Dublin – Saturday February 12 (Sold Out)
Mike the Pies, Listowel – Thursday February 24
Reactions to Wild Place
“Wild Place is a wonderful record from an artist who has become one of Ireland’s most consistently fascinating singer-songwriters” – Irish Examiner
“Sparse, well-spaced arrangements, with lyrics of pathos and wit” – RTE Arena
“Easily one of the year’s best albums.” – Irish Times
“Wild Place, a suite of economical chamber-pop songs, will linger long after the year is gone.” – Sunday Business Post
“O’Rourke is a vocalist of rare distinction. The album’s essence is to be found on Sea Swimming – a track that’s redolent of the sort of standards that Paul Brady delivered early in his career.” – John Meagher, The Irish Independent
“With ‘Wild Place’ O’Rourke has more than met expectations for his sophomore work which showcases his maturity as a creator of deeply moving, lyrically ornate compositions” – John Loftus, Golden Plec
“Wild Place is expansive in breadth, deep in introspection and lovely to the ear.” – Barry Egan, Sunday Independent
“There’s a soaring, magical quality to Jack O’Rourke’s Wild Place. There’s an almost cinematic feel to the album, like a soundtrack to some classic Hollywood movie, perhaps by Nora Ephron. Wild Place seals O’Rourke’s reputation as one of Ireland’s most gifted performers.” – Hotpress