By Emma Furrier
Irish singer-songwriter Rory Gillanders returns with a new track ‘Eye of the Hurricane’ set to be released on April 9th as the first single from his upcoming third EP ‘Wilderness’.This folk-rock track follows suit to his signature style, and relates to many issues experienced in the modern world. Drawing inspiration from acts like Bob Dylan and Noel Gallagher, Gillanders’ maintains a modern folk sound with a clear and honest approach. Having grown up facing anxiety, his music chronicles tackling mental health in an unabashed and heartfelt way. ‘Eye Of A Hurricane’ is his first single release following his two EP’s, 'Tomorrow Means Nothin’' (2017) and 'Waiting' (2018), and is perhaps one of his most honest tracks to date.
The track begins with the melodious strumming of acoustic guitar that pays homage to his roots, and his opening lyric, “I want to blast out over the cosmos with you in my arms' creates a lush imagery that sets the tone for the track, as it then builds up in a staggering beat. While the song is an acoustic led track, the tempo quickly escalates with the entrance of a steady drum beat, creating an ever-growing pace that harnesses a deep energy. There is a noted similarity here to Bob Dylan’s ‘Hurricane’ with its foot-stomping beat and heavy layering of sounds, while nodding towards the folk roots of story songs. While its influences are clear, Gillanders still explores his own narrative in songwriting, in a plaintive and meaningful way.
Honing in on his singer-songwriter roots, Gillanders stated of the track, “The song came to me in a dream. I was looking down at a hurricane causing all this destruction but I felt calm. I woke up and thought, there’s gotta be an idea for a song in this. I guess this song is about hope and trying to keep moving forward no matter what obstacles life throws at you”. Applicable to modern days, this track sings of hope and reassurance without hesitance. There are sonically many layers to it, which he approaches full-throttle. Comfortable in its folk-rock style, there is a live sounding quality to the track, full of crisp guitar and pounding drums atop a punchy chorus. There contains a steady buildup of energy in the structure of the song, as well as quality of the performance, reminiscent of the climax of adrenaline experienced during a live show. During these dark days of a gig-less lifestyle, this is a much-welcomed element to the track that brings listeners back into that live setting.
As Gillanders sings “And I’m tryna figure out just where I belong/ This world can drive you insane/ Trying to figure out just where I went wrong/ But I feel like I’m stuck in the eye of a hurricane” the gentleness of that sentiment is blanketed around a rock ‘n’ roll twang and full band sound, with echoing guitar hooks. The track then climaxes with Gillanders bellowing the song title lyrics on repeat, “I feel like I’m stuck in the eye of a hurricane”, accumulating into the likes of an acoustic-rock anthem. The thumping of percussion is met with the welcomed entrance of electric guitar, with harmonica layered atop the persistent sound. It builds up stronger until the track reaches its own climax, paralleling a raging hurricane, and dies down in a similar fashion. The song ends with the roaring of electric guitar halting to a final screech as the drum beat fades into the back, signaling the storm is passing, and then we are met with silence, similar to the quiet after a storm. In this single, Gillanders beautifully constructed his lyrics to flow with the music in a realistic and purposeful way, taking listeners on a journey along with him through the storm he dreamed up.
If you would like to find out more about Rory or keep up to date with his latest releases, including 'Eye of the Hurricane', then the links to all his socials can be found below via the icons: