Lorkin O'Reilly | Heaven Depends(Team Love Records)
Finger-picking guitars lay a bluestone bedrock of folk stylings on this debut album by Lorkin O'Reilly. The fact that the lad hails from Scotland and has Irish heritage would seem to further narrow the musical definition, but most things in life are not black or white, and Heaven Depends mines the grey areas between traditional American, Celtic, and indie folk. The music is original yet influenced, intimate yet expansive, haunting yet serene, searching yet grounded. As the songs weave in and out of a young man's psyche, they take on life's experiences and complexities with an old soul's perspective and the wisdom of a traveler, a transplant, and ultimately an artist.
The close-miked voice, personal lyrics, and acoustic instruments welcome the audience into the weathered home and tender heart, where the songs were birthed. Sitting at the kitchen table, we feel the emotions of the wind and the seasons and the sad and beautiful world as it dances and mourns outside. Lines like, "I'm here to raise suspicion / I've come to collect your debt / I'm the coming of the seasons, I'm the bookie breaking even" (from "I Reside") reward the listener with piercing prose as the languid delivery and subtle melodies betray a gentle aloofness. There is an array of thoughtful instrumentation including slide guitar, cello, organ, piano, bass, fiddle, and scant, but well-placed percussion by Lee Falco, who also recorded and produced the album. Lorkin O'Reilly is based in the Mid-Hudson Valley, so keep an eye out for live performances.