If you’ve ever written anything, be it an essay for English class, a short story, or a record, you know how the process can go: you sit down, start writing, and everything is going swimmingly… until writer’s block sets in. Suddenly, you hit a wall, your mind goes blank, and you begin to feel like you don’t even know how to put words together anymore.
That was exactly the problem that acclaimed Irish singer-songwriter Declan O’Rourke faced as he started to write his newest record, Mag Pai Zai. It forced him to let go of some of his most trusted writing methods and look at songwriting in a whole new way. “Up to a certain point, probably up to time of [writer’s] block, I felt I knew exactly what I was doing. I had a system for writing and was sure I understood the process. But when that stopped, I had to tear up the rulebook,” says O’Rourke. “I had to unlearn, throw away what I thought I knew, and admit to myself that I didn’t know how to do it. I just had to allow ideas through without scrutinizing them, and I had to see where they took me.”
As it turns out, breaking away from old routines made creating the record that much more enjoyable. “I had more fun making this record than ever before for so many reasons. When I listen to it, I hear that. It will always hold some very special memories for me, and I hope that even a hint of that goodness, that mood, is captured,” says O’Rourke.
Mag Pai Zai is set for physical release in the United States and Germany October 8 and will feature new artwork and bonus tracks not included on the 2011 version of the album, which was not previously released in either country.
Check out Mag Pai Zai below.