Last September, I went to Dublin for a festival/conference called Hard Working Class Heroes, a CMJ-style showcase for up-and-coming Irish artists. It’s where I first came across one of our recent Artists To Watch, Paddy Hanna, and on the same night I saw him play, I caught a young band called Fontaines D.C. They were perfect for that setting, a tiny rock club on the first floor of an old building in the middle of Dublin. It was a set of snarling, swaggering post-punk filtered through the retro-rock bands of the early ’00s; their frontman Grian Chatten, in particular, had the kind of DGAF aloofness we associate with bands in the latter category.
They were one of the more exciting artists I came across that weekend, and it turns out they’ve already got a bit of buzz over in Europe: They’ve been written up in Irish publications, and they’ve toured with Stereogum-friendly names like the Horrors and the Lemon Twigs, as well as their countrymen Girl Band, another old Stereogum Band To Watch. They don’t have an album yet, but they’ve been putting out singles here and there, including the highly-addictive, anxious “Hurricane Laughter.”
Today, we’re premiering the latest single from Fontaines D.C., “Chequeless Reckless,” from a forthcoming double A-side with “Boys In The Better Land.” The straightforward, buzzing track finds Chatten adopting a sneering sing-speak vocal approach in the school of Mark E. Smith. It’s sneakily catchy, with Chatten repeating a few cultural examinations in his Irish drawl before he gets to the concluding refrain of “What’s really going on?” Check it out below.
The “Chequeless Reckless” / “Boys In The Better Land” single is out 2/23. Pre-order it here.