Skinty Fia


It helps to ignore trend forecasting in music, because whatever genre it is that’s died is at that very same moment being played by someone across town, or across the world. Guitar rock has died almost as many times as jazz, but the problem is nobody told Fontaines DC. The five piece from Dublin has a real knack for channeling two entire generations of post-punk at the same time. If Interpol and The Strokes absorbed decades of New York and Manchester rock, Fontaines DC have absorbed all of it, and made it sound just like a way of doing business. There’s more Echo and The Bunnymen and Joy Division in Fontaines DC than Television, but they do have a plainspoken way of selling doom that feels very New York to me. Frontman Grian Chatten has written songs called “Nabokov” and “Bloomsday” in case you’re worried he can’t read. For all that signaling, he’s an unpretentious lyricist, and good at leaning into his vocals without getting hammy. This album wears well, and feels like a victory for craft and patience.

Sasha Frere-Jones