Villagers can do no wrong in my very humble opinion. They are one of the few bands where you know that their new music is always going to be emotionally and creatively transportative, taking you to places you may never have imagined. They have released consistently excellent albums ever since their wondrously eerie debut ‘Becoming a Jackal‘. It’s, therefore, with lashings of excitement, to hear that Conor O’Brien (the Captain of the good ship Villagers) has announced their fifth studio album – Fever Dreams – will be out on 20th August via Domino.
O’Brien has also shared the first song from the upcoming album, ‘The First Day‘, which is a triumphant, full colour, endorphin releasing ear worm. You know that feeling where you come out the other side of something awful and it feels like the best day you’ve ever had in your whole life – like coming out of lockdown maybe? It sounds like that. You can stream the single here.
The video, directed by Daniel Brereton, captures that sense of joy brilliantly. The first 30 seconds of the song, which are out of tune, at the wrong pace and sound like you’re just waking from a dream, are filmed in dull, languorous, black and white. At the 30 second mark, the video bursts into lush, evocative colour at the same time as the song. Brereton, talking about the making of the video, said:
The whole process was pretty collaborative with Conor. I think we both imagined a floatiness to the video, and obviously the title conjures up a lot of imagery and ideas, ‘The first day of the rest of your life’. What does that look like? How does that feel? We were very lucky to shoot on film and have great casting and styling. Shooting during a pandemic is not easy, so I feel fortunate that we got to make it happen.
New album, Fever Dreams, was written over the course of two years with the main bodies of the songs recorded in a series of full-band studio sessions in late 2019 and early 2020. O’Brien refined them during the slow days of the pandemic in his home studio in Dublin, and the album was then mixed by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, FKA Twigs).
Talking about the new album, O’Brien says:
I had an urge to write something that was as generous to the listener as it was to myself. Sometimes the most delirious states can produce the most ecstatic, euphoric and escapist dreams.
The thing that makes Villagers’ music so enticing is the mastery and creative risk that O’Brien brings to each outing. He also understands what good music sounds like, describing himself as a massive music fan. Add to that an incredibly literate mind which creates lyrics that are closer to classic poetry than song lyrics and the results are always astounding. I can’t wait for Fever Dreams to transport me to somewhere astonishing.
1. Something Bigger
2. The First Day
3. Song In Seven
4. So Simpatico
6. Circles In The Firing Line
7. Restless Endeavour
8. Full Faith In Providence
9. Fever Dreams
10. Deep In My Heart
Alongside the album announcement, Villagers will also be touring the UK and Ireland. I’ve seen them live and they are not to be missed!
Tues 12th October – SWG3, Glasgow
Wed 13th October – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Fri 15th October – Albert Hall, Manchester
Sat 16th October – SWX, Bristol
Sun 17th October – Junction, Cambridge
Mon 18th October – The Glee Club, Birmingham
Wed 20th October – Chalk, Brighton
Thurs 21st October – Roundhouse, London
Tues 2nd November – Opera House, Cork
Wed 3rd November – Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Thurs 4th November – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
Fri 5th November – Black Box, Galway
Sun 7th November – Empire Music Hall, Belfast
Sat 11th December – Vicar Street, Dublin
Tickets on sale here.
You can pre-order Fever Dreams on Dom Mart exclusive coloured vinyl (with one-sided 7” and signed 4 postcard set), indies exclusive coloured vinyl, Dinked Editions exclusive coloured vinyl (with flexi disc), Irish exclusive coloured vinyl, vinyl, CD and digitally.
Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital The initial press of all vinyl formats features a die cut sleeve with 4 interchangeable album covers. View all the album covers here.
You can catch Villagers online at these places: Website | Twitter | Facebook | Instagram