Away from a stage or a microphone, George might seem more inclined to simply shoot the breeze. Yet like nature itself, which with little warning can stir from merest whispers into a devastating tempest, through music O’Hanlon has the power to connect with some truly elemental forces.
Earlier this year, George released his debut EP, The Storm a release full of smoldering beauty. From the gentle acoustic opening of the title-track, O’Hanlon’s bare emotions are there for all to feel, vocally running a spectrum from earthy to angelic, before the song first swells and then bursts with an intense passion worthy of its title.
The four tracks are an immersive gust of horizon-spanning passion that ebbs and flows between raw feelings and warming emotional embers. Accompanying ‘Storm’ is the vividly drawn ‘This Town’, which simmers with hope and frustration; ‘The Weight’ shimmers between a fragility yet a firm resolution, while ‘Explanation’ is an intoxicating flare of heart-stirring fireworks. O’Hanlon’s vocals fizz with scuffed-up personal experience, yet when they need to, soar with a fresh personal passion.
Yet though comfortable writing his own songs, initially his music remained a private passion. Eventually, it became a case of maybe playing just one show, just to see…
“I just thought, ‘I can I can get up on the stage and play a couple of songs and give it shot,’” he recalls of his live debut. “Seeing that side of me probably did shock a few people.”
It turns out that while O’Hanlon might not feel comfortable talking to a crowd, if that crowd is in front of a stage magic happens. The songwriter swiftly expanded his performances away from the college circuit – where he picked-up members for his live band – to a series of grassroots venue shows as O’Hanlon soon came into contact with a manager and producer who have helped to guide him towards the creation of The Storm EP.
“I switch into a very different person when I play or write music,” admits the singer-songwriter of the contrast between George O’Hanlon with a guitar in his hands and George O’Hanlon without one. “It's a very different person to who I am walking down the street or whatever. I really like to be in that moment. I think that's the whole point of music is that connection between people when you're on stage or when they are listening. That moment is so important.”
George is now ready to extend that connection with a run of live dates scheduled for January and February 2022.