Ireland, like the UK and much of Europe, has been under lockdown on and off for the past year, but for Irish singer Róisín O, it became the impetus for creating new music. Her new single, HEART + BONES. will be released by Blix Street Records on January 22 via all digital platforms. A fresh, new anthem from one of Ireland’s most exciting and talented exports, HEART + BONES is the first of four tracks born from the Covid19 crisis and resultant lockdown that will be included in an upcoming Róisín O EP planned for later this year.
Listen to it here.
Co-written with Danny O’Reilly of The Coronas while in isolation in Dingle in southwest Ireland, the song’s powerful lyrics, combined with Róisín O’s undeniable vocal depth, elevates HEART + BONES to something at once intimate and epic. The single, produced by Philip Magee (Kodaline, Wild Youth, The Script, The Academic), soars effortlessly, constantly building, as Róisín O belts out the poignant lyrics in a commanding performance that hooks you from the start. “It’s a song I was supposed to write a very long time ago and never did,” she explains. “It’s a confession, a truth that I’d been suppressing for a long while. It’s the most honest thing I’ve ever written.”
Following her 2012 debut album THE SECRET LIFE OF BLUE, Róisín O went on to release a number of successful singles, among them the originals “Better This Way,” “Give It Up” and “Warn Me of Silence” as well as her take on Sia’s “Chandelier,” which received over a million online views.
A passion project with frequent writing partner John Broe, christened Thanks Brother, was born in 2017. Their band built a large fan base and released a strong debut EP in 2018, which included the singles “‘We Are Different,” “We Caught It” and “F*ck My Life” while playing clubs and festivals all over Ireland. Róisín O has also toured extensively in the U.S., primarily as the support act for Mary Black on world tours that also included shows in the UK, Europe, Canada and Australia.
But it was 2020 that brought Róisín O back to her roots, using the timeout from the constant touring and recording to reset and relaunch. After receiving an enormous response to a video of her cover of Selena Gomez’ “Lose You to Love Me,” she recorded and released the studio version of the track during lockdown in June 2020. “Being locked down gave me the opportunity to produce covers in new ways," she says. "I loved the sense of this song, it reflected how lockdown made us look at ourselves again, even find ourselves in the things we’ve lost.”
This is the original video for “Lose You to Love Me”:
Additionally, she was part of the standout success of Irish Women in Harmony, joining a cadre of 38 Irish singers on the Dolores O'Riordan classic “Dreams” to raise money for SAFEIreland, an organization that provides support for women and children who are experiencing domestic violence and abuse. She also participated in the annual fundraising "Busk for Simon" homelessness community on Irish television’s Late, Late Show when Covid forced the annual Christmas Eve live performance on Dublin’s Grafton Street indoors for the first time in its history. The Late Late Show's "Busk for Simon" raised over €1.2 million.
These varied projects helped to cement Róisín O’s decision to return to her solo work. HEART + BONES is breathtakingly raw and perfectly expresses the enduring spirit of these times out of which it was born. “It’s important to make music for yourself,” she explains. “Maybe that’s an obvious statement, but I’ve learned that it’s easy to get caught up in trying to please others with music. People will get on board when music is genuine and sincere, and you can only do that when you make music that is original and heartfelt.”