Featured Photo Credit: Karina Barberis
Six years after Dublin-born singer-songwriter/producer, Orla Gartland first introduced her unique brand of lyrical candor, she is back with her long-awaited debut album ‘Woman on the Internet’ via her own label New Friends.
An ode to what Gartland has dubbed “the chaos of my 20s,” the 11 track project tackles subjects like toxic masculinity, self-discovery, and authenticity with wit, understanding, and a desire for connection.
We chatted with Gartland about the album, writing and recording during lockdown, and what to expect next!
Excerpt from the podcast:
What was it like writing and producing in lockdown and what kept you inspired during that time?
Yeah. I mean, just the desire to not write an album about lockdown was very real. I just didn’t want that for my debut, like 11, 12 songs about how sad it was to be stuck inside. I don’t think it’s music’s job to do that. We all knew what was happening and it’s still happening. We don’t need to be reminded of it. In the films I watched, the music I listened to last year,I wanted to escapism, I wanted not to be reminded. That was a big motivating factor, even though there wasn’t a lot of life going on and that made the writing hard at times and a lot of imagination needed. I’m still glad that I don’t have some sort of COVID themed album. I can’t think of anything worse, honestly. There was a lot of dipping into previous times to try and draw things out a little bit, just remembering older situations and diving back into them was a big part of it as well.
Do you have a favorite song off the album, and if so, why?
Yeah, let me think. I think probably “More Like You,” because it was a bit, it was a bit of a wrestle. It was a bit of like a, not necessarily like super straightforward one to get right. It had lots of different versions and it had like a couple of verses that were, kind of like a wrestle.I think sometimes songwriting is just like that. And I think there’s a fear I have of romanticizing the writing process when you talk about it in the past tense. It’s so easy to be like, these songs just fell out of me in like 10 minutes. Is it reality? Yeah,I don’t buy it. I think the reality for me with this album was sitting with songs, picking them back up a month later, six weeks later,Oh, it’s not working, Oh, I gave up, oh, maybe I shouldn’t give up. You know, it’s way more of like a wrestle and the song like working against you before it works with you. “More Like You,” I just like had the chorus phrases and liked something about it. It also had the album title in it, which I think at the back of my head, I liked as an album title, which probably made me fight for it a bit more. Ultimately, I’d had a lot of different verses that weren’t, weren’t clicking at all. And I think having the time the last year gave me, there was no excuse to not just waste a day trying something, because why not? Like literally, what else are you going to do? So, yeah, that allowed me to give some of the things that I might’ve otherwise given up on, like a second or third chance at finishing.
The album title is ‘Women on the Internet,’ and like you said, that comes from your song “More Like You,” what drew you specifically to that line?
I kind of liked how sticky it was. It was not about anyone in particular, but like I liked that it just pricked my ears up a little bit, and I was like, oh, that’s kind of cool, I wonder who I mean. In “More Like You” and in “Pretending,” the other song that it’s in, it’s not this really super deep thing, it’s just this character. In one of them teaches you how to do eyeshadow, you know, it’s more just like some figures, some helpful sort of fairy godmother type. The more I thought about it and considered it as an album name, she just became this sort of, this character in my head of someone that you don’t actually have access to, but you think you know them and you think they’re helping you and they don’t really know you, but if you get comfort in it, then that’s fine.
Listen to the rest of the interview here: