Fontaines D.C. – Skinty Fia
Fontaines D.C. return with Skinty Fia, a dark and moody album steeped in the history and politics of Ireland
An accordion plays, a voice arrives and any memories of Dublin you may have enter your mind's eye. The Couple Across the Way could have been the song that revealed most about the third album from Fontaines D.C., but the lilting tune just anchors this relentless record, tucked away on its second side. It's beautiful.
Heavy hitters both musically and lyrically (such as Bloomsday and I Love You) dominate, and create a dark mood fast becoming the Dubliners' trademark. But it could have been different. Conor 'Deego' Deegan has spoken of Fontaines D.C.'s plan to record a double album, with one side taken up by such trad productions as the Lankum-esque The Couple Across the Way. However, the band changed tact and it's an oppressive sound that again dominates much of Skinty Fia.
The music carries the weight as songs tell stories of Fianna Fáil, Fine Gael and the history of Ireland and the emigration of its people. There are lighter moments too: the irresistible Jackie Down the Line sounds like The Smiths; Roman Holiday's guitars hint at a widescreen future and the repetitive beats and riffs of How Cold Love Is would have ensured a massive hit single in any of the previous six decades. There's a great album in Fontaines D.C., and Skinty Fia takes them one step closer.
Listen to: Jackie Down the Line, The Couple Across the Way, How Cold Love Is