Orla Gartland's candid, colourful mission in self-discovery is one of the most engaging Irish debuts of 2021.
Arriving on the back of acclaimed EP’s Why Am I Like This and Freckle Season in the past couple of years, Orla Gartland’s full length debut is a candid, colourful mission in self discovery that establishes the 26-year-old Dubliner as one of the most charismatic and engaging songwriters on the current Irish scene.
Woman On The Internet builds from the warm and relatable narratives of Gartland’s earlier works to deliver the most cohesive statement of her young career, as the singer journeys every inch of her psyche across 11 tracks that range a veritable palette of emotions without losing the delightfully droll spark that peppers Gartland’s stories for a second.
The London based artist channels her formative influences proudly throughout this debut – there’s the powerful introspective spirit of Fiona Apple that permeates the record on ‘Things That I’ve Learned’, 'Madison' and 'Do You Mind?', while the playful self-deprecation and humanizing wit of ‘You’re Not Special Babe’ joyfully invokes Regina Spektor. All of this is juxtaposed with a most unlikely callback to Gartland’s teenage pop-punk obsession Avril Lavigne, which works a charm on the explosive ‘Over Your Head’ and later ‘Codependency’ with their grungy guitar blasts.
It may read like a slightly haywire mix of styles and sounds, but the most impressive thing about Woman On The Internet is just how naturally Gartland ties it all together. Whether comically ripping into toxic masculinity on indie pop banger ‘Zombie!’ or casually tugging heartstrings with the delicate, raw piano balladry of ‘Left Behind’, Gartland’s undeniable character shines brightly and connects deeply throughout this open reflection on the self-described chaos of her twenties.
8.0 / B+
Best Tracks: 'You're Not Special, Babe'/'Codependency'/'Bloodline/Difficult Things'
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