Explore Issue 01 of LOOP Magazine

Featuring Sam Tompkins and Victor Ray as our cover stars, as well as internal spreads from Girli, Jords, Mysie, Finn Askew, Kara Marni and Master Peace

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Orla Gartland Tackles Toxic Masculinity And Therapy In Her Wholly Relatable Album, ‘Woman on the Internet’.

After a month’s worth of listening, the album can be branded to be packed full of assurance, emotion and encouragement. It discusses the ins and outs of being a 20-something-year-old woman in the age of the internet.  We see this from the get go in the opening track, ‘Things That I’ve Learned’.

Gartland sings: “take up all the space even when you think you don’t deserve it” –– it seems to be a well-used self-affirmation Orla hopes her fans will also begin to use. 

‘You’re Not Special, Babe’, despite its somewhat passive aggressive title, is in actual fact written in solidarity. It’s comforting to hear Gartland sing about how everyone’s 20s are messy and it’s not just that ‘your life is one big mistake’. Her harmonies, chatty tone and elongated vowels makes it feel almost like a pep talk from a friend and rather reassuring. 

Whereas ‘Madison’ is a moment of stillness and reflection amongst the brighter tracks. Her vocals come a little more towards the forefront over the top of acoustics. After releasing a demo of the song in August 2020, Gartland revealed the song was written about an ex-therapist which makes the lines ‘this sadness is familiar, I don’t know where you’re at, won’t you please call me back?’ a little more distressing than if the song were about a friend. It’s followed by another melancholic song, ‘Do You Mind?’, where Gartland’s vocals are complemented by twinkling notes from a keyboard, making the track very heartbreakingly more-ish. It dissects the emotions felt after a break up and that even though Gartland sings ‘I don’t cry like I used to cry’, she’ll always be devastated over the events which led to and followed it.

Gartland even tackles the issue of toxic masculinity in ‘Zombie!’, which is also one of the singles off the record. The song is rather peppy, upbeat and definitely has some hint of Irish folk influence. Orla, through some jittery pop, takes out the frustration she’s built up witnessing some men not being capable enough to express their emotions –– them quite literally living life-less like a zombie. 

The album, without any label backing, reached Number 3 in Ireland and 10 in the UK, for good reason too.

Gartland played a large role in it’s production, allowing it to sparkle with flecks of her own personality. The 26-year-old Dubliner unsurprisingly takes inspiration from Irish folk, it’s a sound (whether prominent or not) that features in all her music.

In ‘Woman On The Internet’ Gartland proves herself as somewhat a triple threat: an alluring singer, stunning songwriter and talented producer.

Words by Tara Davies

Posted On 3 October, 2022