If you’re in the mood for some outstanding post-punk, then Fontaines DC. is the band for you.
The Irish quintet just released their third album Skinty Fia at the beginning of 2022, and we cannot get enough of their music. Since releasing their debut album Dogrel in 2019, Fontaines DC has received universal acclaim, winning Album of The Year for Dogrel on BBC Radio 6 Music. Their second album, A Hero’s Death, received a nomination for Best Rock Album at the 2021 Grammy Awards.
They almost toppled Taylor Swift‘s Folklore in the United Kingdom upon release. However, she bested them in a last-minute sales strategy. That’s incredible, nearly taking down a pop-megastar! But their accomplishments didn’t end there: Fontaines DC’s latest album, Skinty Fia, reached #1 on the U.K. Albums Chart and Irish Albums Chart.
If you’re unfamiliar with this great band, allow us to provide an introduction. Fontaines DC was formed in Dublin in 2017 and consists of five members: Grian Chatten (vocals), Carlos O’Connell (guitar), Conor Curley (guitar), Conor Deegan III (bass), and Tom Coll (drums). The band members first met in college, bonding over a shared love of poetry. Together the boys put out two volumes of poetry, Vroom, and Winding. As a group, they self-released singles before being signed to Partisan Records in 2018. Originally called The Fontaines (named after Johnny Fontaine in The Godfather), they later changed their name to Fontaines DC (D.C. = Dublin City) to avoid confusion with a band in Los Angeles that had the same name.
Before their debut album, the band gathered decent recognition in the states, performing for KEXP in Seattle. They would continue this exposure with sold-out performances at SXSW 2019 and a massive appearance on the Jimmy Fallon show the same year. Since then, the boys in Fontaines DC have steadily been cranking out hit after hit, gathering accolades along the way.
Fontaines D.C. is unafraid to embrace its Irish heritage. In addition to Chatten boldly embracing his Irish accent and not attempting to hide it, their album names and album art frequently contain references to old Irish sayings. For example, Dogrel references Doggerel, which is working-class Irish Poetry.
A Hero’s Death references a line in a play by Irish writer Brendan Behan with the album cover featuring a statue of the Irish mythological demigod Cú Chulainn entitled “The Dying Cuchulain” by Oliver Sheppard. In addition, Fontaines took Skinty Fia from a saying that drummer Tom Coll’s aunt would say, translating to “the damnation of the deer” for their latest album. Likewise, the album’s cover features an Irish Elk, a now-extinct species of deer known as the “giant deer.”
What makes Fontaines so great is despite their post-punk roots, the band is not afraid to experiment with different genres in their sound.
Their second album was a vast departure from their debut album. In it, they dabbled with psychedelic influences, with a sound inspired by the experimental era of The Beach Boys, one of many influences the band drew from in making the record. While Skinty Fia returns to more of a punk-based sound, the truth is Fontaines DC is a band you can always expect to keep you guessing.
Listeners have compared them to early Joy Division, The Cure, Siouxsie, and The Banshees, Oasis, The Stone Roses, U2, Campag Velocet, as well as more recent post-punk bands. Perhaps that’s what makes them so great, the fact that their music feels at once fresh, but familiar as well. They remind you of the best music of the last 20-30 years while operating within their own space, giving it their own special twist.
If you’re from the U.K./Ireland, you’re probably well familiar with this band and agree about how awesome they are. However, some of our friends in the United States and other parts of the world may not be as familiar with them. So, if that’s you, and you haven’t checked out this band on your DSP of choice yet, what’s keeping you? We highly recommend giving Fontaines DC a listen. Whether you’re a fan of the post-punk genre or just have been looking for something fresh, we think you’ll find something to love about this great band.
Listen to their “Jackie Down The Line” from Skinty Fia here.
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