The Orchard – Hotpress
Hot Press – The Orchard

“A star is Sean.” – Hot Press Review of Sean Tyrrell’s ‘The Orchard’ (Longwalk Music). There are singers who can take ordinary songs and turn them into jewels. Sean Tyrrell is one. His second album, The Orchard, was a long coming but it’s worth every second of the wait, simply because it will last forever.

Tyrrell opens up a marvellously idiosyncratic selection of tunes, that he alchemically re-interprets, resurrects, revises and recreates, with ‘The Rising Of The Moon’. To most Irish people, this is the kind of old rebel song that you’ve heard a million times during your life and probably never cared to hear again each time. Typically, Tyrrell strips it of its rabble-rousing impetus and gives it a more reflective tone. Yet, the song sounds even more defiant this way and the words have a sense that never seemed present before. That’s the way Tyrrell works his magic, and he does it time and time again on The Orchard. The title track itself is a tale of a man’s life from those first innocent forays into the dark pool of drink and sexuality, right down to the deathbed years later.

Another of Tyrrell’s talents is his ability to dig out local songs from next-to-unheard of songwriters. But what compositions he uncovers! Ruth Dillon’s ‘One Eye Open’ is a painfully close-to-the-bone account of an embattled relationship. Tyrrell’s primeval sing-shouting on this and another chillingly outstanding number called ‘Dark Horse On The Wind’ will send shivers up your spine. A moment later, his passionately timeless rendition of ‘Wild Mountain Thyme’ will have you in tears with its honesty, hope and integrity.

What is most striking about The Orchard is the sense that behind the spellbinding musical constructions is a man who has suffered and lived to tell his story with a soul-voice that rings deeply, profoundly true in a time of superficiality.

The Orchard is magnificent. Buy it and hear for yourself.

Patrick Brennan