Gareth Dunlop Shares New Single “Look Back Smiling”

Belfast born singer-songwriter and producer Gareth Dunlop was fortunate enough to remain a busy man during the global pandemic. Having established Sycamore Studios in the city just prior to lockdown, he was subsequently in a position to record not only his own long-awaited second album, Animal (Zenith Café/Membran), but also produced new records by friends and fellow Northern Irish musicians Foy Vance (2021’s Signs Of Life on Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records) and Lee Rogers (Gameblood out spring 2022). All three artists will soon be on tour together, with Dunlop on additional duty as a member of Vance’s live band. 

Animal consists of a diverse set of songs that include the soulful and anthemic “Right About Ready” and first single “Look Back Smiling,”which evoke the ‘80s yet exude a timeless quality, the atmospheric “Sorrow” and ”Prisoner Of My Past,” which both channel late period Roxy Music, the laid-back ‘60s dream pop vibe of “Humans,” plus a memorable title song that adds an electronic bounce to its subtle groove.

Of “Look Back Smiling” – with video starring his charming son & daughter – Dunlop states: “I wrote it as a message of sorts for my son. In these weird pandemic years I had noticed him retreating into himself. He’d missed out on most of his first year at school and bypassed an important year of making those first connections with would be friends. It set my head off in a direction of wanting him to grab life by the horns and be as much of a kid as possible before the real trials and tribulations of life seeped in. In a time when it was hard to be a normal kid, I was desperate for his young sense of wonder and childlike fearlessness to rule his heart. When I was young I couldn’t wait to grow up, and now that I’m older I’d give anything to go back and be a kid again.”

Photo Courtesy: Jamie Neish