Orla Gartland - 'More Like You' Review

Label: New Friends

Release Date: 13th January 2021

Rating: 9/10

"'More Like You' opens with a Kate Nash-esque layering of electronic percussion and builds to an anthemic rhythm."

'More Like You' artwork. Credit: Orla Gartland.

On ‘More Like You’, Orla Gartland croons about the power of jealousy: “Please don’t be so perfect right in front of me / Tell me how to be more like you.” Full of introspection and imagination, it’s a beautifully relatable and contemplative piece of indie-pop.

‘More Like You’ was written in collaboration with Tommy King, who has previously worked with HAIM and Vampire Weekend and his influence shines through in the track’s pulsating beat. It opens with a Kate Nash-esque layering of electronic percussion and builds to an anthemic rhythm. “My favourite sound in the track is the pulse that you hear in the first verse,” Gartland said. "I didn’t want this song to feel sad but instead curious, so I liked the idea of the song starting not with a guitar or piano but a sound that was less recognisable, made up of layers and layers of other sounds.”

The uplifting production contrasts brilliantly with the vulnerability of Gartland’s lyrics: a captivating inner-monologue which leads (in typical Gartland fashion) to the empowered catharsis following the recognition of one’s own feelings. She perfectly captures the relatable impulse towards self-improvement when confronted by envy: “Oh I heard it from a woman on the internet / She told me to eat well and try to love myself / Then maybe I won’t wish that I was someone else”. Gartland’s previous single, ‘Pretending’, included a reference to learning “smokey brown eyeshadow” from “a woman on the internet”. It’s a tribute to her confidence as a songwriter that she’s building her own canon of lyrical references.

Speaking about the song’s inspiration, Gartland said: "‘More Like You’ was born from a petty friend jealousy I have for my best friend’s other best friend. She’s someone who I only ever heard good things about, someone I wanted to hate until I met her and - of course - I didn’t. I loved her.

"When you don’t have much access to someone it’s easy to put them on a pedestal and forget that they have their own layered and complex life, you only see perfection,” she continues. "I became obsessed. I wanted to sing like her, I wanted to dress like her, I wanted to swap bodies with her Freaky-Friday style. So, ‘More Like You’ is another song about identity, about yearning to switch lives with someone who makes it all look easy.”

‘More Like You’ is the second release from Orla Gartland’s debut album: currently untitled, it will be released later this year. With such an impeccable single, we can only hope the rest of the album will give us more like this.

Words by Abigail Howe.

18th January 2021.