- 07 Jun 21
Formed in late 2019 following the dissolution of The Strypes – Cavan’s The Zen Arcade have adopted an independent approach that extends far beyond their musical output.
Irish indie-rock band The Zen Arcade are back with a new EP and featured single, 'High Fidelity'.
The outfit's debut single ‘Don’t Say A Word’ - released in October 2020 - saw The Zen Arcade pick up extensive airplay in Ireland and the US, peaking at No.1 on the Irish iTunes singles chart and ranking at No. 12 on the Irish National Homegrown Chart by end of trading on release day.
Having started life as the intro to their ‘Higher Fidelity’ podcast, the band’s second single has been released on 12” bubblegum pink vinyl as part of High Fidelity EP last Friday, 4th June.
Shared via their own Dental Records, the track morphed from jingle to future anthem in a matter of months.
“'High Fidelity' has gone from jingle to single and theme song to hit song," The Zen Arcade elaborate.
"This piece of music originally heralded the start of an episode of Higher Fidelity but now heralds the start of an episode of success. The track was written indoors, recorded in vain and released in case. It details the details of a relationship between a cinephile with a lot of boxsets and their partner with a lot to catch up on.”
The band is comprised of three ex-members of The Strypes, whose stellar rise saw them tour three critically acclaimed albums from Glastonbury to Fuji Rocks via performances for the likes of Jools Holland, The Late Show With David Letterman, and a support tour with Arctic Monkeys.
The Zen Arcade take their musical cues from the likes of Hoodoo Gurus, Jesus And Mary Chain, XTC and Graham Coxon; relentlessly genre-hopping from garage rock, to power pop, to cow-punk.
Deciding to embrace the pressure of independence, the band started their own zine, ‘Cro Mag Non’, and podcast, ‘Higher Fidelity’. Publishing the PDFs online, the zine has managed to make it to tabletops in England, Germany, America and Japan whilst also being physically available from kiosks in Tower Records, Rage Records and the Irish Writers Centre.
‘Higher Fidelity’ is a podcast focusing on music analysis in the form of segments like ‘When Should They Have Stopped’ (your favourite bands and the point at which they ruined it), ‘Guilty Hatreds’ (bands you feel bad about disliking) and ‘Never Mind The Fuzzbox’ (the guess the intros round from Never Mind The Buzzcocks but with a fuzz pedal thrown into to avoid any litigious tv execs) enjoying a dedicated listenership in equal measures across 5 continents.
The Zen Arcade also appeared on the Hot Press Lockdown Sessions' Y&E Series last year.
Check out the video for 'High Fidelity' below, directed by Pete O'Hanlon: