VILLAGERS – ” Hot Scary Summer ” and ” Courage “

Posted: April 13, 2015 in MUSIC
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Photo: Press

As Villagers’ third studio album approaches, it’s hard to shake the suspicion Conor O’Brien is a cruelly underrated talent. The Irishman’s two previous records have been tender folk gems, coated in stirring electronic textures. Hopefully ‘Darling Arithmetic’ will provide him the mainstream breakthrough he deserves.

Darling Arithmetic is the third album from Villagers, released on 13th April 2015. The follow-up to Conor O’Brien’s debut, Becoming a Jackal, and its successor, Awayland – both hugely acclaimed and Mercury-nominated – is a breathtakingly beautiful, intimate album entirely about love and relationships.

“No disrespect to the absentees (that being the band with whom he recorded with on the previous two albums) but in Darling Arithmetic Conor O’Brien has put together his best album under the Villagers moniker. The Irishman has turned a sound which invited adjectives like obscure, surreal, and eerie, to one which can be described as simple, clear and ethereal – both sets perfectly fine in their own right, but in the latter there is far more to be gained by the listener. Let’s just hope he never wins that Mercury Prize.”

Darling Arithmetic is out now via Domino.


Darling Arithmetic was written, recorded, produced and mixed by O’Brien at home – the loft of a converted farmhouse that he shares in the coastal town of Malahide to the north of Dublin – revealing a single-minded artist at the peak of his already considerable songwriting powers. It encompasses the various shades of feeling – desire, obsession, lust, loneliness and confusion, and deeper into philosophical and existential territory, across a cast of lovers, friends, family and even strangers. Backing up his supple and emoting vocal and guitar is the subtlest palate of instrumentation – piano, Mellotron (which accounts for the album’s occasional horn and cello tones) and brushes. O’Brien plays every instrument on these exquisite, melodic songs in a sparse, spacious, acoustic-leaning fashion.

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