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It sounds like an existential talking point. What would happen if folk mavericks Kíla and sunshine boys The Thrills remixed each other’s work?
Peter Murphy, 16 Aug 2007
However, the follow up Let’s Bottle Bohemia, a solid album in need of a flagship single, stalled at a relatively disappointing number 9 in the UK and failed to capitalise on that initial Stateside headwind. The band forged ahead regardless, capping a year’s touring with a triumphant homecoming headliner at The Point before reconvening in a Rosslare beach house to write material for that crucial third album.
Teenager, released this month, finds The Thrills weathered but focused, the summery sheen replaced by autumnal mandolins and an air of bittersweet nostalgia. “Let’s walk through the park while the trees are still bare” Conor Deasy sings in the opening ‘The Midnight Choir’, while the title track, rather than being a delinquent call-to-arms, is a slow country lament. More than anything, Teenager is a clear-eyed collection of September songs that evokes an epigrammatical line from Cormac McCarthy’s Blood Meridian: “There is no such joy in the tavern as on the road thereto.”
And so, as you join us, Rónán O’ Snodaigh and Brian Hogan have just sat down for coffee with Conor Deasy and Daniel Ryan in the Library Bar. It’s noon on the last day of July. Later in the afternoon the Kíla crew will abscond to Karl Odlum’s Monkstown studio to pick the bones out of ‘Nothing Changes Around Here’ from Teenager, while The Thrills will saunter off to Apollo studios in Temple Bar to rebuild Kíla’s ‘Cabhraigí Léi’ from the ground up. The two acts meet for the first time even as the tape is rolling. Within seconds, they’ve granted each other a license to remix, re-record and rework each other’s tunes with impunity.
“No rules,” they decide. “Just jump into it.”
Peter Murphy: Just about the only common ground I can find between Kíla and The Thrills is that both bands are from the southside of Dublin. Your respective case histories couldn’t be more different.
Conor: Every band’s story is unique to the band. Comparisons are always going to be made, but the truth is, every time you make a record there is that sense of you have everything to prove, it is a chunk of your life. So almost every band knows what it’s like to put out a record and what’s at stake, your hopes and your fears all tied up in it, and that sense of this closure that you think it’ll give you or something.