by Andrew Frisicano
DOWNLOAD: Villagers - Becoming A Jackal (MP3)
Villagers (by Simon Houston)
Contact Music: You've recently signed to Domino, who boast one of the most exceptional rosters in music with the likes of Pavement, Franz Ferdinand and the Arctic Monkeys among their ranks. How did that come about?Irish band Villagers release their debut album, Becoming A Jackal, in the US on June 8th. Shortly after that, the band comes to the US for shows. They include a gig at Union Hall on June 17th (tickets) and one at Joe's Pub on June 23rd (tickets). Frontman Conor J. O'Brien's songs are literate, broadly melodic and fleshed out by a full band, reminiscent of groups like Okkervil River, Elvis Perkins in Dearland, et al. Download the album's title track above.
New Domino band Villagers: Funnily enough we're supporting Pavement next week. Am I excited? You bet I am! The link with Domino came about mainly through my manager, although I hadn't actually agreed for him to be my manager at that stage! We were supporting Cass McCombs - Villagers second ever show - and he managed to persuade one of the Domino guys who works in Ireland to come down, and he just caught the end of the set. He then told Laurence Bell, who runs the label, about us and he came to a few of our shows and after we played a particular one in London he offered us a deal.
CM: I guess one major positive about signing for a label like Domino is the creative freedom you're given.
Villagers: Totally. We actually recorded the album in our guitarist Tommy McLaughlin's parents attic in Donegal, and when it was finished we delivered the record to the label and they never batted an eyelid about how we'd recorded it or where! I think after hearing the demos they just believed in what we were doing, and the only input they really had in making the record was choosing someone to put together the final mix.
Cass McCombs's latest, Catacombs, came out on Domino in July '09. Cass, who last played in NYC, by our records, in August, has a show lined up at Bowery Ballroom on Friday, July 9th. Tickets go on sale Friday at noon. He also plays Pitchfork Festival in Chicago and a few other shows.
Videos and all current tour dates for both are below...
Cass McCombs - The Executioner's Song
Cass McCombs - 2010 Tour Dates
May 15 Free Show @ Berkeley Street Studio Santa Monica, California, US #
May 21 The Highlands Los Angeles, CA ^
Jul 09 Bowery Ballroom New York, NY
Jul 18 Pitchfork Music Festival Chicago, Illinois, US
Aug 20 Green Man Festival Crickhowell, UK
# w/ Blake Mills
^ w/ Foreign Born, Boys Like Us + The Calder Quartet
Villagers - Becoming A Jackal
Villagers - 2010 Tour Dates
May 14 ***IRISH ALBUM RELEASE DATE*** Ireland, IE
May 19 Set Theatre Kilkenny, IRELAND, IE
May 20 Cyprus Avenue Cork, IRELAND, IE
May 21 Roisin Dubh Galway, Ireland, IE
May 23 The Button Factory Dublin, IRELAND, IE
May 24 ***UK ALBUM RELEASE DATE*** UK, GB
May 25 Deaf Institute Manchester, UK
May 27 Brudenell Social Leeds, GB
May 28 King Tuts Glasgow, UK
May 29 Dot to Dot Festival @ Louisiana Bristol, UK
May 30 Dot to Dot Festival @ Bodega Nottingham, UK
Jun 01 Glee Club Birmingham, GB
Jun 02 Bush Hall London, GB
Jun 08 ***USA & CANADA ALBUM RELEASE DATE*** USA & Canada, US
Jun 12 De Helling Utrecht, NETHERLANDS, NL
Jun 13 Oerol Festival Terschelling, NETHERLANDS, NL
Jun 14 Paradiso Amsterdam, NETHERLANDS, NL
Jun 15 Richard Thompson's Meltdown @ Queen Elizabeth Hall (w/ Field Music) London, UK
Jun 17 Union Hall Brooklyn, USA, US
Jun 19 The Armory Cafe Room Boston, USA, US
Jun 21 DC9 Washington, USA, US
Jun 22 Side Chapel @ First Unitarian Church Philadelphia, USA, US
Jun 23 Joes Pub New York, USA, US
Jun 25 'Harmonic' @ the Marquee, Cork (with Grizzly Bear, Midlake and Camera Obscura) Cork, IRELAND, IE