From Ireland, indie-rock band The Academic is built up of lifelong friends Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, Matthew and Stephen Murtagh. They made a name for themselves opening for The Strokes and Catfish and the Bottlemen (one can hear the resemblance). Now, they release the self-produced, gleaming Community Spirit EP.
It’s hard not to fall in love with at least a couple of these tracks. The album flows together so seamlessly, each carrying a similar storytelling vibe behind it, that if you like one, you’ll have to like the next.
Notable tracks like “I Don’t See Good” have a brooding atmosphere with edgy '00s vocals, single-hitting guitar strums, and slow, heavy drums. The underlying production carries a multi-layered haunting feel behind it, which is something not heard often throughout modern alt-rock. “Not Your Summer” and “Smart Mouth” immediately pull the listener in with beaming and feisty guitar riffs. “Kids (Don’t End Up Like Me)” feature bumping drums and anthemic melodies to deliver a rebellious coming-of-age montage. That’s how this EP sounds, in general — free-spirited and playful, but also highly mature and sincere at the same time.
The Academic is finally jumping back on the road, embarking on a tour around the UK next year. To whoever is able to score some tickets while you can, it’ll be worthwhile joining the community spirit that the band has so well crafted, especially since they're on the fast trajectory for major stadium headlining very soon.