Wild Place is Jack's first release since 2019's Ivory Towers and the first full albumrelease since his acclaimed debut, Dreamcatcher, which entered the Irish Top 5. In theintervening years Jack has established himself as one of Ireland's finest songsmiths anda live favourite.
For the recording of Wild Place, during lockdown, Jack and his band based themselvesin Triskel Christchurch in Cork and used the wonderful acoustics and Triskel's grandpiano to great effect. The results are probably Jack's most endearing work to date - thesongs emanating from a soulful and folk-inspired place.
Jack first came to prominence with his ode to misunderstood youth and growing up gay,‘Silence’, became a torch song for the Irish Marriage Equality Referendum and won theNashville Songwriting Competition (judges included Tom Waits and Bill Withers).Chosen as a 2019 headliner for Other Voices, Jack was featured prominently in thetelevision series (most recently part of the Home special in December, featuring himself.Loah, Villagers and Denise Chaila) and his collaboration, 'New Day' with electronicartist, Kormac, has nearly 500,000 views for its award winning music video.
"Wild Place has songs of love and loss, beautiful misfits, nature and wilderness," saysJack. "There's freedom and rage in there too, alongside questions on race, friendship, astill-Covid world, giving the glad eye, my dreams and sea swimming. The piano andvocal are centre, but there are elements of folk, roots, blues, Americana and chambermusic." There's also a song, 'Strange Bird' written about the last year and a half - adrone recording a town during lockdown and all we’ve lost and gained. It’s influencedhugely by John Prine - "When John Prine died during Covid, it was a Bowie or Cohen orPrince moment - I was heartbroken without knowing him personally - his lyrics and hisstyle meant so much, and his songwriting always floored me. There’s a Steinbeck orMark Twain quality - he says so much without being flowery."
Jack teamed up with members of Crash Ensemble, Clare Sands, Hugh Dillon andAisling Fitzpatrick to record Wild Place, with a live quality brought to the songs by BerQuinn's mixing. Jack's long-standing drummer, David Ryan, produced the album,despite not using drums on any of the tracks and it was mastered in Canada by PhilipShaw (Feist and Bon Iver).
The first four singles from Wild Place have received extensive airplay on the country'sairwaves and the tour has thus far, sold out venues across the country. A captivatinglive performer, Jack will bring the music of Wild Place to life doing what he loves best -seated at a piano with his band, and sharing some of his moving and sublime songswith his audience.
“There’s a soaring, magical quality to Jack O’Rourke’s Wild Place. There’s an almost cinematicfeel 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
“Sparse, well-spaced arrangements, with lyrics of pathos and wit” - RTE Arena
“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 whichshowcases his maturity as a creator of deeply moving, lyrically ornate compositions” - JohnLoftus, Golden Plec
“Wild Place is expansive in breadth, deep in introspection and lovely to the ear.” - Barry Egan,Sunday Independent.
"Wild Place is a wonderful record from an artist who has become one of Ireland’s mostconsistently fascinating singer-songwriters" - Irish Examiner
“Album of the Week” — RTE Radio 1
“Album of the Week ” — Eve Blair Show, BBC Radio Ulster
“Album of the Week” — Ralph McClean, BBC Radio Ulster
“Easily one of the year’s best albums.” - Irish Times
Sea Swimming, Nomination, Choice Prize Song of the Year
Patsy Cline, Nomination, RTE Folk Song of the Year