“We are talking things like the recession, the current gentrification of Dublin, it is just rampant”, James McGovern tells Clash. “When there’s a crisis, you really need assurance. I mean the list goes on; suicide rates are high and involve people at our age. There’s a lot to write about.”
The Murder Capital are part of something very powerful that is sizzling in Dublin right now. The city hosts some of the most compulsive and original new music in Europe, it’s a wave of freshly-discovered post-punk bands that are proud of where they come from, proud to have their own sound and identity.
Their songs depict Dublin’s underlying sense of disillusionment, but they also act as a vehicle for a wider creative, cultural and social agenda. Subjectivity is at the heart of what’s on display as is the documentation through literary and musical expression, portraying the city and showing what it’s like to be young there. For James, the band’s frontman, the role of literature is paramount and lyrics permeate every aspect of the band’s performances.
If there is a lot to be angry or unhappy about, anger only covers one aspect of The Murder Capital’s wide-reaching palette of emotional expression.
“We try to reflect our human experience, which hopefully people can relate to and that is not always about being angry”, states James. “It is also about loneliness, heartbreak or revenge. It involves a lot of different things for us and our music. If you come to one of our live shows you will see us reflect a much broader spectrum and understanding.”
The band’s debut single release Feeling Fades excites and initiates a craving for more, but the dark, hypnotic Joy Division-esque sentiments only form part of their influences. In fact, the inspiration is manifold, the derivation of ideas is multi-disciplinary and do not only originate from music.
“It can come from any instrument, any person or any idea; small or large, he reveals, “but it can also come from a lyric, a photographer’s work or a painting. Just allowing it to happen is the most important part.”
Sharing the stage with Slaves, Shame as well as fellow countrymen Fontaines D.C., an appearance at Eurosonic and recent tour dates are highlights of their nascent career. The propulsive five band members have been generating plenty of interest and curiosity, and this year should see them take things further; a live date with Idles, summer festival appearances and new releases.
The full effects of austerity and the recent recession are no doubt real, but this musical landscape is driven by stronger elements such as authenticity, lyrics and individuality.
“Musically, things seem very healthy”, James concludes. “In my experience, from five years ago to now, music is in a cool place. The bands out there are good, the quality is insane and the concentration is at a decent level at the moment. There seems to be a lot of great bands, it is a really nice thing to be part of.”
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Words: Susan Hansen
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