Lorkin O'Reilly Releases Collaborative Project with Melanie MacLaren: Tadpole Emporium
posted 18 Nov 2022 by Krister Axel
What began with voice notes and Garageband demos was crystallized in March when the two met up to record at Building Records in upstate New York.

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Melanie MacLaren and Lorkin O'Reilly are set to release their collaborative EP 'Tadpole Emporium' on October 27th in anticipation of a UK tour to celebrate the release which will take them all over the UK and Ireland.

Melanie McLaren is based primarily on the east coast between Nashville and New York. Her impressive debut EP "Kill My Time" was released independently to enthusiastic critical reception before gaining the attention of Tone Tree Distribution in Nashville. She is in the process of releasing another solo project and a project of folk duets for 2022.

Her distinct sense of lyricism is both wistful and imagistic, while her musical aesthetic ranges between ethereal melancholy and a timeless hyper-realism. She seamlessly joins the threads of past and present folk music into a haunting and transcendent experience. We are in love with her beautiful melodies and a vocal presence that is at once subtle, plaintive, and completely fearless.

Lorkin O'Reilly, based in Catskill, NY, landed on our radar with his excellent full-length debut "Marriage Material" and we were thrilled to learn about his recent collaborative effort with McLaren.

These 4 songs organically extend the existing talents of both songwriters, who in many ways share parallel sensibilities. They both pay considerable attention to emotional authenticity and a lyrical turn of phrase that feels both natural and illuminating, in an exploration of daily habits and the intellectual processing of this modern world through young eyes. Featured here, the second single from their EP "Sleeping With Headphones" offers a generous and telling example of this phenomenon—how life can be assessed and disseminated through the microcosm of an uncertain romance. It is love itself that serves as a proxy for the fragility of human existence.

Previous single "Clearance Aisle" delivers a playful depiction of an afternoon spent at Walmart, juxtaposing what often feels like an overly automated, robotic sense of consumerism against the quirky warmth of human connection. Indeed, the instinct to hug those around you just a little bit closer is an important one, and one of the things I love most about this collection of songs is the fact that it pinpoints, quite accurately, the monolithic reality of our human condition. As we 'sway with the wind and the rain' through the seasons of our time on earth, our boats will rise and fall to the quality of our loves, and little else. These songs are a gratifying example of the stirring synergy that is possible between two creative, folk-inspired souls in the early stages of their career. By both poking fun at, and cherishing the eccentricity of, life as a twenty-something in modern America, McLaren and O'Reilly (known as melanieandlorkin on Soundcloud) encourage us all to laugh a little bit about what, collectively, we have become; and to prioritize, whenever possible, the healing power of empathy as we seek our own path through the chaos.

Right now cold comfort is all I can take
I hate advice more than making mistakes
Your heart is a wave that is too small to break
It just sways with the wind and the rain
I don't want a lot from you
Don't need postcards from places you go
I just want to be with you
A couple lifetimes or so

About the Author


Krister Bjornson Axel

Ogdensburg, New York

Paris, France. Madison, Wisconsin. Los Angeles. Ashland, Oregon. Ottawa. I write music, I write about music, and I write code. See also: photography, prose, podcasting. I have 1 gorgeous wife, 2 amazing kids, and many interests.

Recent Awards: 2020 ND (Photo) Honorable Mention, 2020 Accenti Writing Contest Finalist