Villagers Coming To Hare & Hounds

Sunday June 9th – 7:30pm to 11pm


Always restless and inventive while always true to the power and glory of songwriting and melody, Conor O’Brien has made another great leap forward with Villagers’ fourth studio album, The Art Of Pretending To Swim.

Following the exquisitely sparse, intimate aura of 2015’s Darling Arithmetic, O’Brien’s new record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of Villagers’ 2010 album debut Becoming A Jackal and 2013’s {Awayland} while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and dazzling panoply of sonic detail, both analogue and digital, creating feverish moods while writing effortlessly accessible tunes. Balanced with subtle aspects and lyrical themes that embrace existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centred dystopian age, The Art Of Pretending To Swim is the most brilliantly realised Villagers album to date.

Given the accolades for Becoming A Jackal (Ivor Novello Award for Best Song Musically and Lyrically, shortlisted for the Mercury and Choice Music Prizes), {Awayland} (the Choice Music Prize, shortlisted for the Mercury) and Darling Arithmetic (Ivor Novello for Best Album) and the fact that his song ‘Nothing Arrived’ has been streamed on Spotify 105 million times and counting, O’Brien could have simply and comfortably retraced his steps. Instead, he worked diligently and intensely, almost single-handedly making The Art Of Pretending To Swim “in a tiny attic room, a cramped little hovel”.

In his hovel, O’Brien dug deep, his head buried in technical manuals while crafting songs and trying out multiple arrangements to best express the album’s core themes and intense emotion.

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