“I think there was a sense of working with synthesisers and maybe creating a more modern soundscape and with that, I suppose, there is a little bit of a nervous excitement about, ‘oh, maybe it will crossover into daytime radio’,” O’Rourke chuckles self-deprecatingly, “or, you know, be a pop hit. But I think with this song, it was written during lockdown and I just let go of all of that apprehension and just decided to record it as it was on piano. And you can even hear the pedal sounds. I was writing for no other reason than to write.”
‘Opera at the Top Floor’ deals with another kind of ivory tower, or as O’Rourke puts it a sanctuary. It was inspired by a gig he played prior to lockdown at the award-winning North Kerry live music venue Mike the Pies. The current manager and nephew to the previous owner invited O’Rourke upstairs to his uncle’s den. Observing his collection of artist books, paintings, and opera records a picture of the character began to form in his head.
“I must have been at the whiskey,” Jack jokes.
‘Opera on the Top Floor‘ is out Friday, June 11.