\\life ain’t always empty.//
As we entered into blossoming April, there was not an album that had been released that I was not excited for most than Fontaines DC’s Skinty Fia.
Hot off the press, with that blood-red sheen glistening in the sun, Skinty Fia is the bands’ third studio album from their successive Grammy-nominated album, A Hero’s Death in 2020.
A brooding, brazen band with a drizzle of dark, Fontaines DC have always embedded their Irish identity deep into the heart of their music.
Coming from a hometown that they will never surely forget – as the “DC” in their name literally stands for “Dublin City” – Skinty Fia is a far-cry from your traditional Fontaines as it draws on a yearning malnutrition of identity – and a swampy mix of adulteration and contemplation that the likes of IDLES’ Joe Talbot will be proud of.
This is in stark contrast to their usual pellets of punk-peppering as they boast their outlandish Irish tones and angry baritone punk-rock like we saw with “A Televised Mind” and “A Lucid Dream.”
But instead, we get sorrowful “Bloomsday” and “How Cold Love Is” – a welcoming indifference from constant full throttle – as it resembles the lads’ devotion to their true ‘Irishness’, exploring the difficulty of such a task, all the while creating a mix-up of a new life on this epic journey of theirs: Irishmen living in London.//
Featuring “Jackie Down The Line”, “I Love You” and “Roman Holiday,” every single has slowly grown and consumed me to have this one on repeat since it dropped today.
Skinty Fia – an Irish phrase which translates to “the damnation of the deer” – echoes the bands’ Irish connections fully with the said Irish giant deer plonked out of its natural habitat into a blood-red hallway, which poses for vivid imagery but all the while making us unaware that the deer itself is extinct.
Drawing the rough-and-ready angle from punk-rock duo Sleaford Mods to the Manc conformities of The Stone Roses, it’s enough to take a pew on your lounge sofa with a bud light in hand (bucket hat optional) – but not enough to be entirely relaxed.
Whether this identity crisis started when they picked a London’s Black Dog over a Guinness during their tours is another story altogether, but either way, we are grateful for them picking up their instruments once again. Despite their growing settlement they’re having on me as an avid music listener, there is still a sense of confliction whenever I whack on a song of theirs. Similar to when I began listening to Yorke’s Radiohead, I’m melancholic for such pining heart-ache — but am awash with its charming and beautifully-packaged qualities that make it an album too good to ignore.
You know that feeling you get when you know somewhat which albums have had a lot of thought put into it? Well, it’s time to add Skinty Fia to that list, I think.
Best: Roman Holiday
Best moment: The Couple Across The Way