“‘Baby Steps’ was the last song I wrote for the record. It took a while for the narrative of the album to form but once it did I wanted to write something that encapsulated it all. From moving to the states in 2012, to getting married, working through the separation and finally starting to “move on.” America was an unknown place to me at the time, seen only through pop-culture. The title came from a phone conversation with my mum.
‘Twist’ deals with the beginning-of-the-end of a marriage and the pitfalls of an open relationship. Our marriage fell apart for a number of reasons but certainly there’s things I would have liked to have done differently. It felt important to own those things in this song. Also: I originally wrote this song as a duet so it only felt right to finally record it as one. Laura Quirke who sings the alt verses is a highly esteemed singer-songwriter from Ireland. Her band is Lemoncello.”
Since immigrating to the United States from Scotland in 2012, Lorkin O’Reilly has been making a name for himself as a commanding new songwriting talent. His unique transatlantic approach blends old-country inspired open tunings similar to that of Bert Jansch, Nike Drake, and Dick Gaughan; with direct and personal reflections and poetry in the mode of Phil Everum (Mount Eerie / Microphones), Bill Callahan, or Damien Jurado. His writing portrays not only his own reality, but experiences faced by most of us: the purgatory between childhood and adulthood, between new home and old home and finally the overarching struggle of finding a new identity.
“…in the vein of the great English folk singers.” -Tape Op
Born in Edinburgh in 1994, Lorkin’s early musical education was heavily steeped in the sounds of his mother’s native Ireland. In 2012, Lorkin moved to upstate New York to work on a farm. He found an old acoustic guitar in a basement there and instantly began to write, resulting in his first E.P., “After The Thaw.” Recorded in a single day on two-inch tape, “After The Thaw” is a small body of work that tastefully sets the stage for what would become his debut album, “Heaven Depends.”
“Lorkin is entirely out of keeping with musical trend, and for that reason his songwriting is allowed to shine entirely on its own terms; fads come and go, songwriting this fantastic is a timeless wonder.” -For The Rabbits
“Heaven Depends” is the result of late night-writing in the kitchen after long days working construction in Poughkeepsie New York. With songs that range from traditional reels to twanging Townes-esque imagery, the album is a musical representation of an immigrant’s journey. Using a multitude of instruments set against a backdrop of alternative tunings and fingerpicking “Heaven Depends” invites the listener on a complicated, yet ultimately beautiful journey.
“Utterly haunting…” -The Music Mermaid
The album brought Lorkin O’Reilly reviews from No Depression (“…a complete folk record that’s as strong as it is subtle.”); a video premiere for “Huckleberry Finn” at The Bluegrass Situation; and a tour of the United States as main support for Gruff Rhys (Super Furry Animals) in 2018.
“…he charmed the crowd with his gentle fingerpicking and weighty, matter-of-fact lyrics.” -Vanyaland, show review, Great Scott, Boston. October 8, 2018.
In 2019, he released the single “Twist,” a ballad that’s been streamed over ten million times. This was followed in 2020 by a triptych named “FORETTA,” dedicated to reincarnation and despair. This year Lorkin O’Reilly returns with a newly minted citizenship and his second full-length album in tow.
Marriage Material examines themes of deep love, family ties, and broken vows. It was recorded mostly at home in Catskill, New York in 2020, and calls on Lorkin O’Reilly’s extended network of musical brethren for support, with appearances by Kenny Siegel (Old Soul Studios), Matthew Cullen (Ultraam), Sam Smith, Will Bryant, Lee Falco, Felix M-B, and Laura Quirke (Lemoncello). The songs amble with intent through the halls of memory; unafraid to lament, bear teeth, or poke fun as needed; as the artist tries honestly to see the future in consideration of his recent past. After emigrating to America at eighteen and marrying at a young age to later separating from his wife, then finally becoming a citizen; Marriage Material is a story told with quiet hope, recognizing that familial relationships are the building blocks of everything.
Release Date: Aug. 20, 2021
2 Still You
3 Pelé Pelé
4 Mulberry Bush
6 Napolean Complex
7 Twist (feat. Laura Quirke)
8 One Hit Wonder
9 Big Silly Heart
11 Baby Steps