Declan O’Rourke has achieved critical acclaim for his songwriting, singing and performance. Jon Pareles of The New York Times said there was virtuosity in his guitar playing, with ‘intricately contrapuntal picking and meticulous dynamic,’ and that his calling was as a balladeer.
“He writes the sort of classic songs that people don’t write anymore, songs that sound like they’ve been around forever […] Listen to Galileo, which is possibly the greatest song written in the last 30 years.”
– Paul Weller, Mojo Magazine (Apr 2012)
- Declan’s debut album in 2004, Since Kyabram, debuted at no. 5 on the Irish Charts and scored double-platinum sales, earning him three Meteor Awards nominations including Best Male, Best Album, and Best Folk/ Traditional Album, as well as landing him a recording contract with V2. His debut album launch took place over three sold-out nights in Whelan’s, one of Dublin’s most popular music venues, broadcast live nationally on Today FM.
- The debut single ‘Galileo (Someone Like You)’ has been recorded and performed by many artists, including singer Josh Groban who cut it for his album Illuminations. Declan performed ‘Galileo’ at the 25th Anniversary Gala Celebration of Ireland’s National Concert Hall, at the opening ceremony of the 2011 Solheim Cup, and at the BBC-televised ‘Proms in the Park’ with the Ulster Orchestra in Belfast.
- O’Rourke’s versatility live has resulted in successful appearances in concert halls, clubs and on television. He has played for three Irish Presidents, and the King and Queen of Sweden (with Peter Jöback). He appeared on two seasons of the popular music show Other Voices, as well as season five of BBC’s Transatlantic Session alongside Alison Krauss and Amos Lee.
- Declan has guested with New Zealand indie-sensation Bic Runga, and 3multi-platinum alternative rock group Snow Patrol throughout Europe, including London’s Wembley Arena.
- He has also performed at such festivals as Glastonbury, Oxygen, Electric Picnic, The Cannes Film Festival, Latitude, Cois Fharraige, and SXSW. Declan’s own shows have included The Paradiso Club, Amsterdam; The 100 Club, London; The Waterfront Hall, Belfast—his sold-out performance at Sydney’s Basement venue was broadcast on Australian TV’s ABC network.
- In 2012, Declan performed alongside Bono, Damian Rice, Lupe Fiasco and Bob Geldof at Electric Burma, a concert in celebration of Burmese Humanitarian Aung San Suu Kyi. At the 2013 Oscars, Declan played the Oscar Wilde awards in LA for such luminaries as Steven Spielberg and J. J. Abrams.
- April 2013, Declan sold out an eight-night residence with a string quartet at New York City’s Donaghy Arts Theatre. The residence was a smashing success and was raved about by Jon Pareles of the New York Times.
Louis Walsh X-Factor Judge (UK) : “Declan has three superb talents: songwriting, singing and showmanship.”
Edith Bowman BBC Radio : “There is something so simple but overwhelmingly power (sic) about the melodies and emotive storytelling. [Since Kyabram] is an album I will listen to for the rest of my life and will probably never tire of.”
Glen Hansard Oscar-winning singer-songwriter : “Declan O’Rourke is one of the rare breed, he arrived fully formed, his songs, and delivery belie his age, and ours. He’s a timeless troubadour with a voice that breaks through all your defenses and gets to the heart of the matter. One of the true greats of our island.”