Following the release of early singles ‘Barricaded Sky’, ‘Playing House In The Woods’ and ‘Mothers Day’ earlier this year, Philadelphia-based songwriter Radley O’Brien is now set to flesh out his emotive, impressively vulnerable lyrical world with debut EP ‘When Your Father Couldn’t Dance’ OUT NOW
‘It’s Gonna Get You Just When You Think It’s Gone’
Written during the long, lonely days of the first lockdown back in 2020, the five-track release sees the singer embracing and leaning into the self-analysis and questioning that fuelled the period for so many: reflecting on his own queer story, his place in the world and finding hope in an often seemingly-hopeless world via tender and purposefully raw piano missives.
“This was a time characterised by an endless abyss of time, alone in a bedroom and sometimes a back deck in Austin, TX,” says O’Brien. “For me, the only way to cope with the suspension of familiar reality was to fully plunge into a creative practice and finally catalogue the years of obsessive and absurd voice memos I had logged in my phone. I watched old movies on my little TV/VCR, ate PB & J breakfast sandwiches on biscuits every day, and regressed into a strange sort of musical womb. To me, when it’s at its best, I hope the record feels like being tightly squeezed between the alien and the intimate. This isn’t a party record. It is a feeling helpless laying in bed with headphones on at the end of a weird night record. Queer lullabies crafted in a makeshift womb.”
Aided by producer Luke Temple (Adrienne Lenker, Here We Go Magic), who helped flesh out his early demos into new forms, the result is an EP that veers from tender introversions to the more experimental, electronic ‘American Girl Late Capitalism’ – which judders in with nods to John Grant’s more outre offerings.
‘When Your Father Couldn’t Dance’ will be preceded by single and EP closer ‘It’s Gonna Get You Just When You Think It’s Gone’. Of the track, the singer explains: “It’s about the fury and sadness one experiences when you see how deeply traumatised loved ones can become by political dread and a fracture in the social fabric of a community. Ultimately, it’s about holding out hope in the face of that. Personally, I find that I have to root myself in the natural world and the animalistic within myself, to fuel this sort of optimism.”
Its accompanying, sentimental video also features O’Brien’s father: “His name is Danno Francis and he is currently for hire as an actor in the Northeast US. Please DM me if you want him in your movie or video!”
Follow Radley O’Brien HERE