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In 2004, Declan released his debut album, Since Kyabram. He regards the comfortably haunting debut as little more than a collection of songs and an introduction to the different styles he subsequently intended to use. “I was also trying to break the moany singer-songwriter myth – I definitely didn’t want to be put into that category.”

Such was the critical and commercial success of the album in Ireland that it opened the doors for him internationally, earning him plaudits from the likes of Paul Weller and Jonathan Ross, each of whom were rapturous in their praise of Declan’s deep-honey voice and astute song writing abilities.

His follow-up album in 2007, Big Bad Beautiful World, easily consolidated his appeal in Ireland as well as with his growing list of well-connected champions. Support slots followed in the UK and Europe to the likes of Snow Patrol, Teddy Thompson, The Cardigans, Paulo Nutini, Badly Drawn Boy, Divine Comedy and Paul Weller, and before too long major labels started calling, siren-like, for his signature on the dotted line. O’Rourke has since been through the major label mill and come out the other side – smiling (eventually!), we’re glad to say.

“I had a great relationship with the people who worked with me on the first two records,” he admits. “I’d been reading for years about people having control of their own music, so I felt it was time to start. I’m sure I’ve made the right decision.”

He’s a free man, then, with a free frame of mind, and a new record label he can, quite literally, call his own. And on his new record label he releases his third album and first independent offering, MAG PAI ZAI, which sees him maturing as a songwriter in ways he would, most likely, have never thought possible.

Word is getting out, slowly but very surely, about Declan O’Rourke’s songwriting skills. Don’t be the last to find out.

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