One of the virtues of grief is its power to bring us together. That’s what Irish singer-songwriter Gareth Dunlop found when he was asked to write a song for the upcoming film A Hidden Star about award-winning filmmaker, novelist & cancer fighter Allison W. Gryphon (Allison Wilke), which will be released on November 1, 2022. After performing at her scattering of ashes ceremony & wake amongst Ireland’s Cliffs of Moher, Gareth drew from his own journey of grief to write “Sorrow,” out now – along with a touching live performance from Gareth on his wife’s grandmother’s piano. Hey The song will be featured on his new album Animal, out April 22 on Zenith Café/Membran, along with previous single “Look Back Smiling.”
“One of the hardest songs I’ve ever tried to write,”Gareth Dunlop said. “Ultimately, I pulled on my own dealings with grief and loss & tried to map out how that journey has been for me in the past.”
When their friend Allison passed away from breast cancer (she was diagnosed at just 38 years old), fellow filmmakers Mary Elizabeth Gentle & Alia Tarrafembarked on an odyssey back to Ireland with a “death midwife,” Harvard psychologist Dr. Staci Emerson, to unravel their sorrow & find a sense of hope again. They worked at Disney together & Allison was also a producer on Netflix’s The OA – Dr. Emerson served as psychological consultant for Netflix, CBS, Cedars-Sinai, PBS. “Gareth’s music captured our emotions and became the soundtrack for our journey through grief,” Mary Elizabeth Gentle said. The song & film have already won many awards, including Best Original Song at IndieFEST Film Awards.
Gareth Dunlop recorded Animal in his own Sycamore Studios just prior to lockdown, where he also produced new records by friends and fellow Northern Irish musicians Foy Vance (Ed Sheeran’s Gingerbread Man Records) and Lee Rogers. All three artists will soon be on tour together this spring, with Dunlop on additional duty as a member of Vance’s live band (tickets here). He’s previously toured with Van Morrison, Jeff Beck, Snow Patrol & Stereophonics. Animal was mixed by Gareth’s frequent collaborator Alastair McMillan, who had also recorded Dunlop’s first studio sessions at Dublin’s esteemed Windmill Lane and has engineered for U2, The Rolling Stones and Van Morrison.
Photo Courtesy: Jamie Neish