Orla Gartland’s new EP Why Am I Like This? dropped at the end of May, and these four tracks have kept avid Patreon fans, and new followers alike, intrigued by their cross-genre capacity.
“Why Am I Like This?” is riddled with relatable millennial lyrics: “last night I smoked a cigarette, my dad would have been so upset” opens the song, accompanied by the melancholic loop of the electric guitar playing a bass line. Although the track focuses on anxious thoughts and a loss of control, there is a calculated self-awareness to them. Pinpointing moments of regret, Gartland reveals to us an inner struggle specific to the insecurity of moving abroad, being unsure of love, and seemingly void of purpose. The bridge is particularly powerful – “it’s like I’m looking down from the ceiling above”. This sense of detachment coupled with lyrics about social phobia lead to a dissociative and dream-like track.
“Flatline”, on the surface, seems like a much more upbeat song. Yet, “and I give my love, but it’s not enough/ now this feels like a waste of time” reveals a similarly desultory sentiment. This song is a beautiful blend of pop and indie-rock in its melody and catchy lyrics, and this in no way detracts from the more confessionary lyrics of unrequited affection.
Gartland’s third track, “Inevitable”, is my favourite off of the EP. This track is very reminiscent of “Empty Man” from her previous Roots EP. Somehow, out of this collection of sombre pop songs, the line “this just isn’t fun anymore” is the most hard-hitting. This track is Orla’s first to incorporate some strings into the timbre and it’s perfect. Without selling out to become an imitation of friend and YouTube-success dodie, Gartland introduces a more layered acoustic sound than her past guitar-driven pop tracks.
“Overthinking (Demo)” is an experiment that stretches Orla’s previous musical journey even further. The verses are rapped, the pre-chorus very melodic, and the chorus almost helpless in its lyrics: “lyrically it is vulnerable but stylistically it didn’t really fit in with anything else” – Orla Gartland for Millenial Pink Blog.
Listen to Why Am I Like This? now: https://orcd.co/whyamilikethis-ep