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Listen: Fontaines D.C. Return with New Single ‘Starburster’ and Announce New Album ‘ROMANCE’

Fontaines D.C. release ‘Starburster’ and announce fourth album ‘ROMANCE’out August 23rd via XL Recordings.

Fontaines D.C.’s unstoppable rise over the last five years has never left those die-hard early fans bereft. You know that overused phrase (I find most commonly used in the context of Fleetwood Mac’s back catalogue), which goes something like “I liked their early stuff, before the big budgets and solo albums.” Well, I must admit, I was a little sceptical after catching wind of Grian Chatten’s record ‘Chaos For The Fly’ last year. Regardless of this however, this ground-breaking band are stronger today than ever, setting the tone for an unforgettable fourth record titled ‘ROMANCE’, out in August via XL Recordings. Despite all odds, the aforementioned phrase is irrelevant when it comes to Fontaines D.C. Why? Their vision has been unwavering from the start.

This new single ‘Starburster’ is their most personable yet, recounting a panic attack Chatten experienced at St. Pancras station. This track, and the album more broadly, tries to grapple with one’s experience of reality; whether that is something we find in the tangible world, or in our subjective minds. Underneath this is the bands’ relationship to Ireland, and how their current lifestyle has warped the nostalgia they feel toward their homeland. As Connor Deegan says, “We’ve always had this sense of idealism and romance. Each album gets further away from observing that through the lens of Ireland”.

The music video for ‘Starburster’, directed by Aube Perrie, brilliantly echoes this loss. It sees the band returning to Ireland, but it’s not as it once was; here it’s sparse, derelict and empty. Beginning with a punchy drum break and a simple-yet-effective guitar lick, Chatten’s recognisable delivery is broken by sharp intakes of breath and inhaler puffs. It’s a five-star introduction to perhaps the most highly anticipated album this year. ‘Starburster’ is the best thing I’ve heard from Fontaines D.C. since ‘Dogrel’.

Photo by Theo Cottle

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