Following his summer trance anthem “Save You”, Robert O’Connor returns with a brand new single that sees him sonically shape-shift once again.
Produced by Gareth Shortland (Steps, Will Young), “Been & Gone” is a break-up anthem that Robert wrote in “ten minutes flat” on his coffee break at work. “I have a normal life, I have day jobs, and that lends itself well to song writing”, says the Dublin-born artist. “I write songs that everyday people relate to, and no matter the genre, there is always a real story at the core – this one is about meeting someone who makes you question everything”.
“Been & Gone” marks Robert’s tenth single release since his return from a musical hiatus in 2018. Returning to the scene as a country artist, he has since musically experimented with each release. His critically acclaimed nine-track EP ‘Transcendence’ demonstrated an ability to merge on-trend EDM sounds with classic pop song writing, while his vocal, described by Room Full Of Music as being “reminiscent of mid-90s George Michael”, is the element that ties everything together.
“My music is celebratory of my influences, that’s what brings me joy, to make something that I enjoy listening to myself, that feels quintessentially me”, Robert explains. It’s an approach that has endeared him to critics, going from strength-to-strength with each release. Culture Fix called his last single “Save You” a “pulse-pounding club gem that feels plucked straight out of the late-nineties in the best possible way”, while cult blog Retro Pop said the track was “Reminiscent of early ‘90s Pet Shop Boys”.
“Been & Gone”, Robert says, went through a series of identities before becoming what it is today. “I brought the lyric and melody to my guitarist Gavin Sheridan, we recorded a bare-bones demo that had a Fleetwood Mac feel to it, and eventually sent it to Gareth Shortland, who assembled this emotionally-charged electronic soundscape that’s inspired by the sounds of Scandipop.
The next step was to record vocals, for which Robert enlisted producer Richey McCourt (Aimée, Rebecca Ferguson), who Robert credits with taking the track to the next level. “Richey really embraced the song and made little suggestions as we recorded, which I think made it even catchier – I joked to him that he’s a bit of a Max Martin character, he has a real pop sensibility about him”.
“Been & Gone” will be released on November 5, with remixes by Gareth Shortland, Fletz and Sakgra to follow on each remaining Friday of the month.