Posts Tagged ‘Dearbhla Minogue’

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Not to be confused with Wharves, the Australian band. But The Wharves who are a three piece from London who we saw supporting Frankie and the Heartstrings a few years back. Fast forward, the band released an album called ‘At Bay’ back in 2014 and their latest single ‘NAZ/My Will’ which showcases their minimal, psychedelic yet haunting sound at its best.


The Wharves are

Marion Andrau, Dearbhla Minogue and Gemma Fleet

2016 LP ‘Electa’ on Gringo Records
2015 7″ Single Naz on Upset the Rhythm
2014 LP ‘At Bay’ on Gringo Records
2013 Split LP on Soft Power Records, Glasgow,




The Drink are the trio of singer and guitarist Dearbhla Minogue, bassist David Stewart and drummer Daniel Fordham. All three members are involved in other projects; Dearbhla plays with the superb The Wharves and Shield Your Eyes, Daniel has collaborated with short story writer Stuart Evers producing soundscapes inspired by his writing, and both Daniel and David were involved in the recent album by The Leaf Library.

One of the most impressive facets of The Drink’s sound is that they are a three piece, but they never sound like it. The musical textures, and layering is beautifully judged throughout, so you can’t help but think you’re listening to a much larger ensemble. The instrumentation rarely stretches to much more than bass, drums, guitar and the odd blast of synth or organ, yet they never sound creatively stifled by these limitations. They’re also a band who seem to borrow influences from all sorts of sources and stitch them into a cohesive whole; there’s elements of prog, pop, psych, disco, they willingly admit that their excellent single, The Coming Rain, is heavily influenced by Kenyan luo nyatiti player, Ayun Ogada, and no we’re not sure what a luo nyatiti sounds like either.

Although all the members are not all from London, (Dearbhla grew up in Galway and the other two members are from parts unknown) and they recorded their album in a converted Pig Farm outside of Sheffield, The Drink are essentially a London band, which should go some way to explaining their new album title, Capital, because London is as you’re most likely aware, the capital city of England.


The Drink were formed after Dearbhla overheard David and Daniel playing in another band, and decided she needed that rhythm section for herself! Having released a series of EP’s, The Drink signed to Melodic to release Company, their sort of debut album, sort of greatest EP hits compilation. That only saw the light of day back in 2014, but not wanting to lose the momentum by heading out on tour, The Drink reconvened in the studio and back on November 13th they released Capital, again on Melodic Records.

In a word, ambition. Capital is a record that pushes the boundaries of what is possible for three people to produce with tight time constraints and we can only assume limited budget. Discussing the record Dearbhla has mentioned the, “got-to-catch-my-train feel” of the guitar sound on many of the tracks, brought about by discovering the perfect sound just hours before having to leave the studio. This record sounds not stifled by these limitations but energised by them, the record is laced with the exuberance and buoyancy that can only be brought about by recording things live, and in some ways in a rush.

That said, this is no simple three chord punk record (not that there’s anything wrong with those). The Drink seem to absorb influences from everything they hear. The piano on Potter’s Grave that has the same bar room-jazz meet indie-rock feel of later-period The Walkmen, Hair Trigger is jerky psych-prog-pop that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Field Music recording, whilst the frankly gorgeous I’ll Never Make You Cry is equal parts Grizzly Bear and The Shangri-Las.


However for all those influences there’s plenty of calling points that are unmistakably and wonderfully, The Drink. The effortless chemistry of the rhythm section, who seem to take it in turns to lead and follow, in a way more akin to cyclists in the peloton than musicians. They’re the epitome of tight, injecting the more melodic instrumentation and vocals with the freedom to play loosely and creatively atop the perfectly crafted sound-bed beneath them; and what creativity Dearblha has! The guitar patterns that fluctuate from simple reverberating strums, to intricate cyclical patterns and almost free-form prog-soloing. The vocals at times layered into intricate and complex round patterns, at others piercing and solo. Dearbhla’s voice is unmistakable and sounds almost effortless even and her range is stunning, the high notes that suddenly leap forth are as arresting as they are impressive.

There’s very rare occasions on this album when the songs slightly overstay their welcome,  a product most likely of having too many ideas, which is hardly the worst problem in the world. There’s also the odd occasion, most noticeably Potter’s Grave, where the resemblance to Dearbhla’s other band The Wharves is perhaps a little too close for comfort, still again it’s a minor fault, and there’s far worse bands you could sound a little too much like.

Dark folk trio The Drink have re-released their debut album Company, via Melodic. The band, whose members are Dearbhla Minogue (also of The Wharves), Daniel Fordham, and David Stewart, have been compared to Throwing Muses of a more folk based Warpaint. Personally, I immediately thought they sounded very much like a version of Minogue’s other band that has never heard of the Breeders.

The band have the quite significant honour of impressing independent record store Rough Trade to such a degree that they stocked their first two handmade EPs. The first time they have stocked an unsigned band’s release in recent history. The album Company collects these two EPs together and deals with what it means to be human, and alone, “The idea of company is really interesting, why is it so important?” asks Dearbhla. “The way people operate in company – and in companies – is so interesting. Groups are formed by individuals but after that they take on a life of their own.”



With one of the best debut releases of the year ,please check out The Drink the trio are based in London, Imagine the instrumental prowess of now defunct North London outfit Fighting Kites teamed with a Sleater-Kinney like attitude and you basically have The Drink. In 2012 Dublin native lead vocalist and guitarist extraordinary with her jerky African styled rhythm guitar sounds Dearbhla Minogue joined forces with erstwhile Fighting Kites members David Stewart and Daniel Fordham and began creating beguiling, dark pop music delivered by a sweet tongue. It’s this darkness, paired with trio’s knack for folding juddering guitar led melodies underneath surreal lyrics, that saw their first full length Company held up by The Guardian, NME and the Independent alike as one of the debuts of the year. After recent performance at Green Man festival The band followed it up with a blistering performance at End Of The Road Festival, Lets hope for more provincial dates this is a band you need to see. Thier first album release Company sees the London trio collate the 12 songs which comprised their first three EPs (all now out of print), shuffle the running orders and repackage them as one release.


1. Microsleep
2. Bantamweight
3. Playground
4. Dead Ringers
5. Fever
6. Wicklow
7. At The Weekend
8. Beasts Are Sleeping
9. Demo Love
10. Desert
11. Junkyard
12. Haunted Place

“A fascinating first shot, packed with potential” – UNCUT
“As unique as it is beguiling … one to watch” – Independent
“Straddles the dream pop of Warpaint and the roaming melodies of British folk” – Observer
“Gloriously weird indie folk pop … flashes of blackness and oddity” – The Line Of Best Fit
“Up there with the best indie-pop songs of 2014” – Drowned In Sound
“4½ / 5” – Independent on Sunday
“4 / 5” – The Times
“4 / 5” – MOJO