Irish indie punks Fontaines D.C. have shared their latest single, ‘I Love You’, taken from their upcoming album Skinty Fia.
At first glance, with a title like ‘I Love You’, one might be forgiven for thinking that the aggressive post-punkers have gone a bit soft. While there might not be any ear-splitting feedback or overwhelming dissonance in the new track, ‘I Love You’ is still right within the bands expertly gloomy wheelhouse.
“I think the song ‘I Love You’, that’s the most ostensibly a love letter to Ireland,” lead vocalist Grian Chatten told Matt Wilkinson on his eponymous Apple Music 1 show. “But has in it the arrangement, and like I said, the corruption and the sadness and the grief with the ever-changing Dublin and Ireland.”
“It reminds me of Kae Tempest saying, ‘I trap you. I trap you so much’. It’s the same kind of thing,” Chatten continues. “But I mean, the reason that I wanted to call a track ‘I Love You’ is because it’s the cliché in it I found very attractive. Because it meant there was a lot of work to be done in order to justify such a basic song title. And not have it be a cliché tune.”
I’m not sure the boys in Fontaines D.C. could write a clichéd tune if they tried. That being said, ‘I Love You’ does represent a more accessible angle than most of the group’s material, lifting the darkness for long enough to incorporate some chiming guitar lines and some swirling effect pedal sounds. Chatten is as uncompromising as ever, refusing to even flirt with vocal melody, but his turn to genuine heartfelt affection for his home country is a surprising and effective change for a band who usually favour more doom-laden imagery.
Evidently, the song’s more gentle atmosphere came about because of a botched food delivery. “That was a total accident at first,” guitarist Carlos O’Connell says. “Actually, we started writing that one just before we moved to London. We were just playing the main groove of the verse and singing the melody, blah, blah, blah. And then Tom [Coll, drummer] suddenly dropped his sticks because he got a call from Deliveroo outside the rehearsal room when he just went running out, and then I think he couldn’t find the guy with the food.”
“So it took him ages to come back. But we kept playing without him,” O’Connell continues. “Running around and Grian just started … So suddenly there was this super, everything dropped for a second, but the three guitars kept going, and then Grian started building it up just with this rant, with no drums to back it up. And then Tom just suddenly came in and just did his little fill and just started, slowed back into the groove.”
“I think the most heroic part of that whole story is I’m pretty sure he took a bite first,” Chatten adds. “He got in, realised we were still playing the track, life moves on without him, and he comes in and he has a bite and then he quickly discards it and just does a little fill… That’s a whole section of a tune that’s basically based on his insecurity with his own food delivery.”
Check out the video for ‘I Love You’ down below. Skinty Fia is set for an April 22nd release.