Jack O’ Rourke & Marlene Enright

Jack O Rourke’s debut EP, “The Otherside of Now” shimmers in the hinterland between piano balladry, noir folk rock and midnight blues. Dramatic, string driven pocket symphonies are interspersed with biting honesty and reflections on a changing Ireland and wider world. Produced by Christian Best and featuring an array of Irish and international talent, this EP has Jack’s piano and voice at the centre.

With his grizzled baritone and ethereal falsetto, Jack’s songs chronicle lost love, street lit avenues and open highways filled with possibility. Two new tracks, the anthemic title track and upcoming single “The Otherside of Now” and the piano led elegy, “I’ll forget you in the morning” join the critically acclaimed and chart successes “Naivety”, “Shining for You” and “Silence” in a unique collection showcasing Jack’s unique songwriting, arrangements and vocals.

Marlene Enright’s unique cracked crystal mezzo-soprano is used to beautiful effect on her debut single, “When the water is hot.” Imagine a ménage à trois of Karen O’s steel vulnerability, Joanna Newsom’s eccentric fairytale, world-weary wisdom and Gillian Welch’s rootsy realism – here is Marlene Enright in all her ethereal yet grounded glory. The little girl sensibility to her vocal tone, singing about dark subject matters, is an irresistible combination.

A member of The Hard Ground, the five piece that delivered alt-folk leanings and multi-layered lushness in their sophomore release, “Triptych”, in 2015, Marlene stands on her own as a powerful solo artist. When she sings,” I’ll lead you on, to drop in the pot, like a lobster when the water is hot”, it’s spooky and eerie, threatening yet enticing – conjuring up the best of Americana’s dark siren queens – Bobbie Gentry, Lucinda Williams and Emmylou Harris.
The music is Appalachian yet edgy and contemporary, like a hillbilly Bjork; a beautiful and thought provoking debut from the Irish singer-songwriter.