FFO: fontaines d.c., one of the most exciting bands making music right now
I can hear it now: but Emily, isn't this feature on Buzzkill meant to highlight up-and-coming bands? Aren't you a few years too late for them? Yeah, I know. I know that's what I said. Here's the thing though - Fontaines D.C. are so absolutely balls-to-the-wall insanely good, I couldn't not work them into FFO somehow, somewhere. I know they've garnered a dedicated following in the UK and in Europe, but I feel their reign deserves to spread further.
If you don't already know them, Fontaines D.C. are an Irish post-punk band - they're at the forefront of the post-punk revival, in all honesty - from Dublin. Their sophomore record, A Hero's Death, was released on July 31st and is one of the best albums you will listen to this entire year. There's truly not much to say about this band and their music that hasn't already been said by someone more articulate than I am, but I'm going to try.
Fontaines D.C. formed in 2017 while attending music college at BIMMI in The Liberties, Dublin, bonding over a shared love of poetry, of all things - although this love is quite evident once you really start listening to their music. References to Irish literature and Beat poetry are strewn throughout their debut, Dogrel, and everything they make is laced with balladry. They're storytellers at their soul, and the stories they chose to tell when given the opportunity were of escapism, of getting out of their homeland and never coming back.
Dogrel was an exciteable and exciting debut, its acclaim nowhere near few and far between, and it left them feeling winded. Whiplashed, if you will. The band put it like this: “It wasn’t even the rise of the band that was head-spinning. It was the pace and the relentlessness of it. I really did feel like we were put into a chamber that spins around and you come out the other side.” And immediately after they were released from Dogrel's whirlwind, the pandemic hit, and now this band who'd been given a taste of the freedom they'd lusted after were stuck at home.
Their sophomore release, A Hero's Death, is something so much softer than their debut, in a way that makes you question the emotional journey it must have taken to get from Dogrel's in-your-face-ness to where they are now. The whole of their discography is a trip that you need to take.
The only other modern band that comes to mind when I think of Fontaines D.C. is IDLES, and I'd go so far as to assume everyone who's heard of and listens to one, listens to the other. If you're looking for a band that, when put on shuffle, will make you want to start a mosh pit alone in your living room and then, with the next track, make you want to sit in your tub in all of your clothes with the shower going, contemplating life, Fontaines D.C. are the one for you.