Rory & The Island have cracked the cocoon of lockdown and switched styles to deliver a warm and bubbly disco-pop hit.

The track, Donna Don’t Take My Summer, shares DNA with some of the vocal tracks from Daft Punk’s Random Access Memories. Rory’s falsetto playing atop casual, Nile Rogers-like strumming patterns and breezy drums. 

It’s a serious change in direction for singer Rory Gallagher. He found fame as frontman of the Donegal, power-pop outfit ‘The Revs’ and has taken to releasing more melancholic tunes over the last two years. He said, “I decided that with a bit of light at the end of the tunnel to just go crazy with a feel-good bubblegum pop summer song!” 

The verses take an almost Billy Joel approach to the 80s, listing off ‘west end girls dancing in the dark’ and ‘cocktail waitresses working at the bar’. In both lyric and style, Rory mines the decade for its best bits. There’s a sweet middle-eight packed with echoey female vocals, rising chorus lines and rhythmic percussion. 

So what’s the result of all this emulation? Well Rory nails it with a bright, feel-good bit of summer pop. The faux-live quality to the recording keeps it carefree and the persistent groove keeps you moving. If Donna took the summer, Rory brought it home. 

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Words by Nathan Makalena