Richard O’Gorman – formerly the vocalist and guitarist of Irish indie-folk band The Reverse – debuts his first solo E.P on the 26th of November. The interesting name choice for his solo project was sparked by a passing hobo on a Tennessee street where Richard spent last summer, deeming him ‘too tawl’ in his Tennessean twang (Richard is 6 ft 4”). Inspired by both the new name and influence of Tennessee’s country and blues scene, Richard recorded the E.P with the Christian Best, current drummer for Mick Flannery.
The opening title track, House on The Moon is a laid back acoustic track with subtle string and percussion accompaniment. The lyrics are beautifully written and sang with emotion, hinting at Richard’s background and experience in music. Vocal style is minimalist, with instrumentation reminiscent of Oxford folk singer Adam Barnes’ first E.P Blisters. An alluring opening to the E.P that gently introduces the listener to the four tracks.
Falling For You, song number two, is a longer track with a more upbeat and musical presence, with full band backup this time. The message of the song is positive and cheery, reflected in the vocals and lyrics, telling a tale of one lover sweetly professing his love for another. The addition of the harmonica and backing singers creates a very folky feel, with the piano and strings revealing that Tennessean influence.
The third track, Tried My Hand uses that country Tennesse feel once again from the opening bars, emphasised by the addition of a banjo. The guitar is still acoustic, but is played heavier, more uptempo and played with a slide. The lyrics are less sweet and have more attitude. There is a touch of Johnny Cash’s demeanor in the Folsom Prison live recordings here, possibly picked up in Tennessee also. There is no percussion on the track, but the heavy guitar, banjo backup and reversed reverb on the vocals produce a strong atmosphere and unique song that stands out on the E.P.
Closing track About Love returns to the acoustic, gentle lyrics of the first two songs. The melodic guitar, simple piano and occasional violin let the vocals and the message take centre stage. Tight drum rhythms, light mandolin strums and folky backing vocals all join later to create a full, more musically complex feel that closes the whole E.P off beautifully with a crescendo and summary of the four tracks.
Tootawl launches House on The Moon on the 26th November in The Oliver Plunkett, Cork. Only a fiver admission with E.P included! Definitely worth popping down to if you’re in the area, but I daresay it won’t be long until we see this Cork lad touring all over the country.