Irish post-punk protagonist Outsider, the performance avatar of working-class musician Seán Ó Corcoráin has unveiled his shamanistic video for “Saviour”, a song that sees the singer making his own Joeseph Campbell-Esque hero’s journey in the wake of a diagnosis of CPTSD.
Taking its moniker from Colin Wilson’s 1956 book The Outsider, Ó Corcoráin has come to terms with his struggles with mental health and psyche through the healing power of music.
As he explains:
“Finding bands that you could connect with allows you to share that fear of isolation. Music can be a solitary past-time and I found it was very soothing even in some of the lowest times in my life. I’m always trying to pay that back with my own music. People write to me and say, ‘I’m going through hell at the moment, but your songs have had a huge impact on me. Music is one of the world’s great stimulants, but it’s curative too.”
Seán started working under the OUTSIDER name after the disarray in the wake of a crumbling relationship and another’s band projects both simultaneously coming to an end. His debut track ‘Late Night Radio’ represented the first time he’d recorded a lead vocal, and it went on to feature in the Netflix Original Series ‘Shadowhunters’.
We asked Corcoráin, what exactly inspired the song Saviour?
This is something I have had to think about a lot…
I think the song was a premonition of a spiritual awakening I was about to experience a few months after I wrote it. I wrote this song at the end of a relationship. I had just let go of everything and ended something which held a lot of promise for me…a home, maybe a family etc. I let it all go, and I felt cool about it, it just felt right. Yet it’s about a [woman] saying ‘I am your Saviour, I will find you’.
I call the song ‘Saviour (Shamanic Verses)’ because the verses have very shamanistic imagery. There is a lot of archetypal imagery in it, dreams of drowning dragons (dragon- fear/kundalini serpent),
eating spiders (spiders represent the mother),
blinded brothers (third eye references),
haunting the living, living with the dead, talking to spirits. It is very astral and subconscious lyricism… ethereal stuff…
It often takes me time to figure out what my songs are about. I write from my subconscious as much as possible. So after I had wrote the song this monumental spiritual awakening happens to me. Now I am not a spiritual guy generally, I am not attached to any spiritual practices, but it happened so it has to be addressed and well this song came before it.
I would say that I was a channel for the song. I am not sure how much choices humans consciously make and how much is channeled through us from the collective unconscious.
…How does it fit into your repertoire?)
I think it fits right into the concept of the album, which is Karma of Youth. The whole album is about paying your Karma of Youth and “Saviour” as a song, about spiritual awakening. The whole album is about that process of awakening. Paganism, Wicca, Hermeticism, Occultism, Hinduism, Buddhism, Sikhism, The Abrahamic faiths, the Freemasons, all have a framework around it. It’s just that source where all ideas and creativity come from.
Karl Jung has some great work exploring the spiritual awakening from a psycho-analytical point of view. In psycho-analytical terms it’s often called Ego Death. It is hard but it comes for us all. Most people avoid it and evade it. Hopefully, my music and album will encourage people to confront their shadow selves, their darker selves and in doing so find some freedom.
That’s what great music was always about for me, helping me to take a breath, to find light in the dark and dark in the light. This is why music with depth is so important. When you are completely fucked.. you will search for it… a road map for your lost soul. I truly believe music has saved countless lives. That’s the energy of this album.. this fucking album could save your life… If you don’t believe me check the comments on YouTube under my songs. People open up and tell their stories…It’s life-affirming.
Can you tell us about the story behind the video? Where was it filmed? Any interesting stories about the video?)
The video was filmed in the forest nearby Dublin. An 18-year old Russian kid flew from Moscow to direct it. He basically talked me into letting him shoot the video. I generally hate music videos, they piss me off. I like really simple abstract shit that costs 10 quid and no director ever wants to do that. So I finally relented and let him shoot it. He flew to Ireland from Moscow to do this and I admired his gusto. I did the final edit which I am pretty sure he hated hahahah. He is a great guy, Danil Rudnowsky. That took huge balls to do what he did and I love that kind of energy. Oh and he can’t speak much English, which was kinda perfect in a way because I am away in my world anyway.
Watch the video below:
Outsider’s Karma of Youth is out April 17th through OK! Good Records.