“Anyone who lives long enough in a country learns that it has its up and downs,” Devin Reardon says. “‘Ireland Song’ is about me learning to find warmth in a handful of good people around you. It really just wants to wrap you in a blanket of calm… That’s how I feel it’s been moving back in with my family in Ireland.”
Ireland Song, released a few weeks ago on the 30th April, is the debut single from Devin Reardon, an Irish-American, indie-folk singer-songwriter, hailing from North-East Florida, but now based in County Wicklow. It is a heartfelt and intimate ballad, described by some as, “mountain manish”.
“I had a bad break-up after college,” he reveals. “I felt I needed to get out of the States… start over.” And so he moved to Ireland, following in the footsteps of his mother, a native of County Dublin, who had moved back whilst Devin finished college. Within a few months, however, the first lockdown hit.
“It was hard,” he admits now. “But it also helped me realise that songwriting was a way for me to manage my mental health… reflect.”
Songwriting, something that had always been an overriding passion, went from being a hobby to a form of “self-actualisation”, as he calls it now, and Ireland Song emerged from out of what he sees as a beautiful experience. Built along a simple, acoustic melody, revealing auto-biographical lyrics are coloured, lifted and swept along on the haunting tones of a grateful voice, and with a depth of warmth that comes from eventually finding newly found friends and family to help spite the cold rattling outside:
“Though this place is just so cold, grey, damp, and dark It’s started to warm the darkest place in my heart”.
“I just want to share my own lessons and the joy of discovering positives on the other side with other people. Just giving something to people as we emerge from this mad time. I think music can really help people,” Devin continues, “and I think this song can do that. I’m happy to share that. I just want to make some real art and music out of this madness.”
Ireland Song is deceptively joyous, the range and depth of emotion telling of a traveller’s freshly discovered dawning of wisdom and realisation, and fully capturing that eventual sense of finding your belonging, and now reflecting on a much more balanced moment when coming out of a very difficult period; a returning home.
“I’ve learned a lot of valuable lessons in this time, and I’m excited to come out the other side with those things close to my chest.”
Don’t be fooled by the song’s apparent simplicity, for it is deliberate and calculating within all the tone of revelation. It is a love song to the kindness and affection found within family and friends now gathered about and proving to be the narrator’s salvation in a once distant land that is now shining light amidst the once cold and grey surroundings. When Devin sings of his family the melody changes discreetly, so that both the words and the simplistic tune are no longer regaling of some cold unknown land outside, but of something now far warmer: a place where he feels he would want to be while he grows old.
“Ireland might be icy But friends keep me warm in the cold The kind of place I’d like to be when I start to grow old”.
It is a lament to the place in which he now feels he truly belongs, that he happily calls home. Devin Reardon has finally found his place in the land of his mother and, like him, we too are reassured, and calmer.
Ireland Song. Released on the 30th April