"...More Like You is released, with notes of nostalgia and familiar sounds. Insecurity, self-doubt and anxiety fills up the song’s silent chest; the very soundscape holding an air as if holding its breath. The song feels like an old friend, in familiarity and concept..."
Orla Gartland and the The Woman on the Internet
2021 will surely be a big year for music and the creative arts, kicking off the revival of the music industry after a year-long ‘break’ in the system. There will be concerts, there will be new releases, there will be joy, tears, and an abundance of hard work from everyone and anyone longing to make up for lost time. In a time where the music industry will be as saturated as ever, it will be tough to stand out from the crowd. Artists won’t just be worrying about the crowds of fans during their concerts, but the crowds of other competing artists, too. Someone who has gracefully embraced the unprecedented Covid-era for music is Orla Gartland, who has utilized her online platforms to connect with her audience; creating livestreams, giveaways, and even challenges for her fans to ‘re-imagine’ her single release, Pretending. In doing so, Gartland has created immense hype and excitement for her yet-to-be-named upcoming album, expected to come anytime this year.
The first sign of life for Gartland’s first debut album came in the form of the single Pretending, released in October of last year. Immediately staging you in a crowded room at a party, exposing a fake act of chatting to strangers, Pretending reveals a multilayered approach at digging deep into the listener’s soul. Holding true to herself, Gartland’s music perseveres as being wondrously relatable and empathetic; the listener can’t help but feel a resounding tug at their heartstrings.
Three months later and More Like You is released, with notes of nostalgia and familiar sounds. Insecurity, self-doubt and anxiety fills up the song’s silent chest; the very soundscape holding an air as if holding its breath. The song feels like an old friend, in familiarity and concept, acting as a nod to Gartland’s previous works - signature guitars, catchy riffs and elegance in the simplicity: check, check, check.
A recurring character appears in both of Gartland’s new releases. We see her first in Pretending, where Gartland talks of learning how to do smokey brown eyeshadow from a woman on the internet. A simple, subtle remark in the first verse. Then, in More Like You, she appears again with a more prominent role, featuring now in the chorus: Oh, I heard it from a woman on the internet // She told me to eat well and try to love myself. An exact repetition is used here, which makes you think that it must be the same woman. In both occurrences this 'woman on the internet' is seen as helpful and guiding, perhaps a ray of hope in Gartland’s solemn and deprecating lyrics. But, who exactly is this woman; A friend, A stranger? Whoever she is, she symbolises comfort: A digital-age guardian angel. There is possibly another link to be made, as Gartland herself started out by uploading her music to youtube. She once was, simply, 'a woman on the internet' too.
Two very strong singles have been released by Gartland already, reminiscent of her previous work whilst still providing an edge of originality and flair that will surely make this album stand out on a pedestal with the likes of Freckle Season and Why Am I Like This?. Gartland ended 2020 with a prelude of what to expect in the new year, and she delivered that resonantly with More Like You. If the rest of the album is more like that, then the post-Covid music era is sure to be much more exciting than we anticipate. Orla Gartland will be center-stage when her album is released into the wild crowd of hungry music fans, and the music industry will have a promising year after last year’s torments.