“Too Far Gone” by Singer/Songwriter Arun O’Connor

Get swept away with the new song “Too Far Gone” from country crooner Arun O’Connor. O’Connor is a New Zealander and worked with Nashville songwriters Ryan Sorestad, Brittany Knott and Taylor Nash to pen the track. “Too Far Gone” is from O’Connor’s debut album, Songs from the Reading Room. Like a lot of artists, the track was written during lockdown and via Zoom. One might think that because the writers and O’Connor weren’t in the same room it would be missing that chemistry – far from it. “Too Far Gone” is just too good.

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The first thing that I noticed about O’Connor’s voice is that it has just a slight curl to it. A bit of a gnarly nook. Maybe it’s a bit of a bite or a raspy timbre. Regardless, his voice has character and authenticity. The song’s cadence and the melodic electric guitar is the perfect booster to O’Connor. When he sings am I too far gone for you to pull me in, it seems every time I’m crossing that line, I’m back to the start again, the listener feels that circular motion in his delivery. I immediately started humming that catchy hook. O’Connor’s vocals definitely reel the listener back in, and the gripping guitar, with just the right amount of twang peppered in the arrangement, is on point. Sometimes when you hear a song, you’re not sure if it’s the guitar that galvanizes the vocals, or the other way around. In this case, I felt like O’Connor drives the spirit and keeps the guitar in check.

I think this song is about taking another chance, another look at someone else and maybe even another glance in the mirror. There is a yearning in O’Connor’s voice that just makes you want to know more about him. You not only have an instant rapport, but you feel like you’ve been in his shoes. The undercurrent, too, is optimistic and bright. You’re not stuck in the mud listening to this one. I found that quite inspiring and invigorating. The guitar just transports you away to a light, airy state-of-mind. It’s complex too – meaning the guitar moves in waves, and there’s a rapture it has with the percussion. The beat is feverish, but not so much that you’re drenched in sweat listening. It has just the perfect balance of anticipation and punctuated melodic tones. What a great reminder that country music harnesses ‘restless’ guitar shapes in a way that is stronger and bolder than most genres. 

The New Zealand country scene continues to bridge a stronger bond with Music City, and O’Connor might just be the spark that ignites a Kiwi Country Revolution. New Zealand, it seems, is always getting shafted from the spotlight from Australia. I’m sure it’s a friendly rivalry. Though he is noted for his Australian roots, Keith Urban is technically from New Zealand. Just sayin’. “Too Far Gone” rocks a bit and at its core, it’s top notch songwriting. In other words, it has all the makings of a great modern country song. 

Michael Rand

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