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(Credit: Daniel Topete)

Music

Watch Fontaines D.C. perform an intimate set for NPR Tiny Desk Concert

Fontaines D.C. have issued a clip of their NPR Tiny Desk Concert, which was captured on their tour of America, performing versions of their songs from their latest album Skinty Fia. The clip, recorded inside the Irish American Heritage Center in Chicago, features Grian Chatten playing the accordion underneath a stack of bookshelves.

Cellist Maureen Dunne and viola player Isaac Henry accompanied the vocalist on ‘The Couple Across The Way’. The first song is done in a piercing, pastoral manner, before the vocalist changes room, and joins the band for a more electric set. The band are joined by members of University Chorale, a choir run by the Bienen School of Music at Chicago’s Northwestern University, performing ‘In ár gCroíthe go deo’. The band performed at several venues during their tour of America, including a musical set for CBS Saturday Morning, and a rollicking rendition of ‘Nabokov’ on Late Night with Seth Meyers.

Chatten states that his work comes from well-produced literature that formulates a connection between reader and author, creating a sense of union between the two portals. “Yeah, I don’t really have any interest in Beat poetry or writers anymore,” he said. “As uncool as it sounds, I’m interested in reading perfectly formed sentences and well-balanced verse. That kind of stuff excites me. I think it always did to an extent, but it does a lot more now. Poetry was kind of ruined for us for a while.”

The band’s third album, Skinty Fia, was released in April 2022 and features a combination of Irish and English compositions. The album topped both the UK and Irish album charts when it was released. This marked the first time the band reached Number One on either side of the Irish sea. The band released their debut, Dogrel, in 2019, and their sophomore effort, A Hero’s Death, in 2020. The band have recently enjoyed acclaim, both as a critical outfit, and a commercial one.

Fontaines D.C. come from Dublin, although bandmate Conor Deegan can frequently be seen wearing Mayo T-shirts onstage, remembering his tribe and family heritage.