I must admit to being in awe of artists who have remained inspired and creative this year, and someone who definitely falls into that category is UK’s own Roisin O’Hagan, a singer/songwriter who is fortunately no stranger to us here at Belles and Gals . Her strong work ethic combined with her undoubted talent has seen her building a strong fanbase in recent years, and although the enforced cancellation of so many of her planned gigs throughout 2020 must have been particularly frustrating at this stage in her career she has been fortunate enough to have played several (sold out) socially distanced shows in recent months.
And when it comes to new music she has apparently been very productive on the writing front this year which may explain with October seeing the release of the stirring and motivational single ” Us” , an acoustic version of the quirky and amusing ” Girls Like Me” which was inspired by a social media troll was made available on YouTube a few weeks ago and yesterday she brought us her brand new single ” Damn It, It’s 2020″ . The track saw a steady climb up the iTunes singer/songwriter chart throughout the day, standing at number 8 when I last checked…..congratulations, Roisin.
As the title suggests this is a largely light hearted track, a tongue in cheek reflection on how life hasn’t gone to plan this year which sees her poking fun at situations we now all consider “the new norm”. In the acoustic country/pop style verses, for example, I’m sure you’ll smile as I did as she sings about staying inside and taking part in quizzes, getting into baking, considering writing a PhD or philosophical poetry… but how can you decide what to do with your life when you can’t even decide on what day of the week it is? But as is so often the case with Roisin’s writing she also manages to throw a curveball into her ponderings and includes some very thought provoking lyrics along the way, telling us how ” I hate the news, I hate the lies and I hate the men in suits. I’ve watched the music left to die and I wonder what to do”… hard hitting truths to stir the listener’s conscience but just as relatable to most of us as the more humorous lines.
Vocally Roisin is so much stronger and assured these days, it’s been great to witness her flourish into a confident performer with more self-belief whether on stage or in the studio, and this new song is a great example showcasing the gorgeous tone to her voice and her ability to convey the varied emotions she has written about. While she comes across clearly during the verses I did however find that in the choruses, where there’s a switch to a fuller rock/pop arrangement (a contrast I think works very well) her vocals do get slightly overpowered at times as she vents her frustration with the realisation that “there’s no fast way out” of the current situation. But this is the only small criticism I have of a single that all involved with ( sorry, I have no details of the credits) have the right be extremely proud of as far as I am concerned.