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If you were at WXPN’s NON-commvention this year, or if you’ve been to any Triple A convention for that matter, then you are aware that mosh pits are not a common sight at these events. However, that is exactly what happened when FONTAINES D.C. performed at Non-Comm on Thursday, May 9. The band took the crowd by storm with their blend of post-Punk meets grunge meets British new wave, and their stage presence was undeniable. The audience demanded an encore, and the band responded with an unreleased track called “Favourite,” which will appear on their upcoming fourth album. 

FONTAINES D.C. first made a name for themselves in 2020 with the Grammy-nominated album A Hero’s Death, and then broke further into the mainstream consciousness with their third album, Skinty Fia, released in 2022. Skinty Fia brought us the singles "Jackie Down the Line" and "I Love You," which blended elements of goth and alternative rock with vocalist Grian Chatten’s signature talk/singing style. The Irish group’s fourth album, Romance, is due out on August 23. In preparation for the upcoming effort, each band member spent time separately pushing their boundaries by toying with experimental riffs, chord progressions, and far flung lyrical references. When it all came together, Romance actually ended up with a concept behind it.

“This record is about deciding what’s fantasy – the tangible world, or where you go in your mind. What represents reality more? That feels almost spiritual for us,” says guitarist Carlos O’Connell. 

After pooling together their many different ideas and influences gradually, the five-piece band knew when it was time to get back into the studio. It was “an intensive return to FONTAINES D.C. at its fullest,” O’Connell says. They spent a month writing together again, three weeks of pre-production in a North London studio, and a month in a chateau close to Paris, sleeping among studio equipment, completely immersed.

“Everything became microscopic in detail,” says guitarist Conor Curley. “There was no breathing space between writing and recording. It flew quite close to the band having an aneurysm – and it needed that, really. Romance has the true madness of a late night session.”

“Starburster,” the explosive first single, is punctuated by Chatten’s sharp intakes of breath, inspired by his experience of having a panic attack. At press time, the song had reached #30 on the JBE tracks chart and was gaining support from WFUV, WFPK, Indie 102.3, KUTX, WAPS, Radio Milwaukee and many more. 

FONTAINES D.C. will be touring Europe throughout the summer and the band will launch a U.S. headlining tour in the fall. 

Photo by Theo Cottle


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