This Is: Luke O’Brien


MCLA junior Luke O’Brien may be studying abroad in Ireland this semester, but that doesn’t mean he isn’t thinking of what music and songs he will write next.

“I have been writing since I got here and I might record something while I’m here to document my time,” O’Brien said in a text interview.

Music has been a large part of O’Brien’s life. He has always been surrounded by it.

“Growing up my dad would always have music playing when he was working on the house and his taste initially rubbed off on me,” said O’Brien. “But since then I’ve definitely developed my own taste.”

He credits his dad for being a big initial inspiration, but he eventually branched off and listened to song and band suggestions from friends in high school and college. Excited to discover new music, O’Brien also gains inspiration from suggestions his own favorite bands and musicians give.

For the most part, O’Brien’s music consists of guitar and vocals, although after taking a piano class last semester, he is looking to incorporate it into future songs. He also played clarinet from third grade until his high school graduation.

“I think I wrote my first song when I was just around 16, but that was before I really knew what I was doing,” O’Brien said. “Starting in the middle of freshman year of college I started seriously thinking about writing my own songs. That’s when I wrote my first EP, ‘Angst All Over!’”

Now, O’Brien has another album planned which he began writing and recording before leaving for Ireland.

“Those are mostly full band pieces that I can’t really work on by myself here,” O’Brien said. “When I get back home though, I really want to finish recording.”

O’Brien has two “projects”; Crashing Sunset is the name used for collaborations and working with others in a band. When doing solo work, he goes by the name Lucifer O’Brien.

“Most of my shows have been at open mics in the old Parlor Café and at bars back home where I live,” O’Brien said about his performances. “I’ve also played two WJJW sponsored events on campus as well as Figment this past spring.”

He has done features at both the Bent Water Brewery in Lynn, MA and the Gulu-Gulu Café in Salem, MA.

One of O’Brien’s biggest motivators to keep creating music is the wish to make a difference in people’s lives, creating art that affects his audience and helps them or shifts their perspectives.

“I guess that feeling to be heard by someone I don’t know and having a profound effect on them is a big motivation for making music,” O’Brien said. “I know how great a feeling it is to be touched by music that means a lot to me, and I want to be able to bring that feeling to other people.”

Luke O’Brien’s music is available for download at