Artist Profile: Orla Gartland, Enchanting Irish Songstress

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Are you growing tired of the same old coffeehouse music? Do you need a new singer-songwriter in your life to get you through the looming rainy spring months? Look no further than Irish singer-songwriter Orla Gartland.

Among the best-kept musical secrets of the UK, Orla found her way onto the music scene at age 13 when she began posting videos on YouTube, the talent scout of the 21st century, just to get feedback.

From there she made tremendous progress, slowly working her way up the ranks until she got her big break opening for a couple of artists on Britain’s Got Talent, including Nina Nesbitt and Ryan O’Shaughnessy.

The 20-year-old Irish folk singer-songwriter has become a sensation in the UK. She released her first EP in 2012 titled “Devil on My Shoulder”. On it, her voice is melodious and folksy as she brings her own quirky twist to her Irish “Roots” (see what I did there?).

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Image courtesy of Tumblr

Though the spunky Irish singer often comes off as quite bubbly, she can sing sadder tunes, like her tracks “Whispers," and “Human” just as masterfully. Orla makes the type of music that will get you through a Thursday night study sesh just as well as it will help you unwind from a long week on a lazy Sunday afternoon.

She usually gives off cheery, mellow vibes through rhythmic jams paired with profound lyrics. You can almost hear her smiling as she sings, and I wouldn’t blame you if you couldn’t help but sing along.

Orla’s originals are perfect for those late night concerts you have in your room where you dance around and sing into your hairbrush (don’t pretend this isn’t you, we know it is).

Every song is so radically different, yet mystifying in its own way. Her voice is light but soulful, which undoubtedly adds to the beautiful poetic nature of her music. Orla shows off a huge range of emotion on her EP, from her soft, soothing, melancholy side in “Whisper” to contrast the spunky and uplifting tune that is “Roots."

The singer-songwriter shows us her true Irish identity in the Mumford-and-Sons-esque melody “Devil on My Shoulder." Nonetheless, it is in the sensational single “Lonely People," after which her most recent EP was named, we most see the influence from Cindy Lauper—the 80s genius Orla admits is one of her greatest inspirations in song writing. You won’t be able to resist snapping your fingers to this one. A minimum of foot-tapping is required and will be enforced.

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This self –proclaimed “music-makin’ ginger weirdo” from Dublin is now in the midst of her first North American tour, visiting cities such as New York and Boston. Quite frankly, she could easily be mistaken for a BC student with her vibrant red hair (because everybody at BC is at least 1/27th Irish, right?) and her lively personality.

Orla brought so much positive energy to the stage when she came to Boston on Thursday, March 12, and said it felt like “a room full of friends.”

So dive into the unknown (“Roots”) with Orla, and checkout her videos on YouTube and EPs on iTunes and Spotify!

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