Orla Gartland - 'Why Am I Like This?'


Irish singer-songwriter Orla Gartland’s latest offering ‘Why Am I Like This?’ is an infectious musing on social anxiety. Fusing a deeply confessional tone with a real knack for a pop hook, the track is a big mood from start to finish for anyone who has ever asked themselves the question “WHY AM I LIKE THIS??”.

The lyrics are filled with observations that manage to be nuanced and relatable, from her opening confession that “Last night I smoked a cigarette, my dad would have been so upset” to seeing a girl on the train sipping “gin and tonic from a can to ease the pain” (we’ve all been there, am I right?). Gartland manages to find a kind of poetry in the mundane, without coming across as glib.

The chorus repetition of ‘Why Am I Like This?’ has you singing along a few lines in, proving that you can be create something simple and catchy whilst still making a point. In this case, the repetition emphasises the frustration and destructive thought patterns that can swirl around your head. Meanwhile, the bridge detailing feelings of disassociation has a killer noughties pop melody worthy of Kelly Clarkson (“it’s like I’m looking DYOWN” comes out of nowhere in a completely brilliant way). Anxiety pop at its finest.

The song’s final line nicely summarises the plight of the socially anxious: “I’ll be there in the corner thinking right over every single word in the conversation we just had”. Don’t worry Orla, we’ll all be right there with you doing the exact same thing.

Words by Hattie Long