Fontaines D.C.

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Fontaines D.C.
Fontaines DC at Loose Ends 2019.jpg
Fontaines D.C. performing at Loose Ends festival Amsterdam, 2019
Background information
OriginDublin, Ireland
GenresPost-punk, Garage Rock Revival
LabelsPartisan Records
Associated actsIdles
The Murder Capital
  • Carlos O'Connell
  • Conor Curley
  • Conor Deegan III
  • Grian Chatten
  • Tom Coll

Fontaines D.C. are a post-punk rock band[1] from Dublin, Ireland.[2][3][4] The band released their debut studio album, Dogrel on April 12, 2019.[5]


Carlos O'Connell, Conor Curley, Conor Deegan, Grian Chatten, and Tom Coll met in Dublin while attending music college at British and Irish Modern Music Institute in Liberties, Dublin.[3][6] They bonded over a common love of poetry[7] and collectively released two collections of poetry, one called Vroom, inspired by the Beat poets (Jack Kerouac, Allen Ginsberg) and another called Winding, inspired by Irish poets (Patrick Kavanagh, James Joyce, W. B. Yeats). None of the published poems were translated into songs, but the track "Television Screens" off their debut Dogrel started out as a poem and was turned into a song.[8]

Lead singer Grian Chatten is half-British (his mother is English and his father is Irish)[9] and was born in Barrow-in-Furness, England[3] but grew up in the County Dublin town of Skerries, Dublin.[10] Coll, Curley, and Deegan are from Ireland – Mayo, County Mayo, Emyvale in County Monaghan, and Mayo, County Mayo, respectively, and O’Connell grew up in Madrid, Spain.[6][11]

The band got their name from a character in the movie The Godfather called Johnny Fontane, a singer and movie star portrayed by Al Martino. Fontane was godson of Vito Corleone. They added the initials "D.C." when a band in Los Angeles had the same name. The initials D.C. stand for "Dublin City".[12]

Fontaines started out self-releasing singles. In May 2017, Fontaines released the single "Liberty Belle" followed by the split "Hurricane Laughter / Winter In the Sun". "Liberty Belle" is in homage to the Liberties, a neighborhood in Dublin where many band members lived.[12]

In 2018, Fontaines released the single split "Chequeless Reckless / Boys In The Better Land" and "Too Real".[8] Stereogum, who premiered "Chequeless Reckless" in early 2018, described their sound "a synthesis between post-punk, garage rock, and a kind of gritty, urbane sense of rhythm and narrative" and naming them a Band To Watch.[12]

In May 2018, Fontaines played an in-studio at KEXP in Seattle,[13] which provided high level exposure in the United States.[14] In November 2018, the band signed with Partisan Records.[3]

They released music videos directed by frequent collaborator Hugh Mulhern. The video for 2018's "Too Real" was inspired by The Pogues's 1985 song, "A Pair of Brown Eyes" and the band Girl Band, among other concepts.[8] The 2019 video for the song Conor Curley co-wrote called Roy's Tune was directed by Liam Papadachi and was inspired by Curley's late night walks home from a job at a burrito shop.[15]

Fontaines received tour support from Irish Arts Council which allowed them to tour internationally.[16][17][18] They also received grant funding from RTÉ 2fm.[19]

On April 12, 2019, the band released its debut album Dogrel on Partisan Records. The title "Dogrel" is an homage to Doggerel, working class Irish poetry[9] – 'poetry of the people' – that dates back to 1630. It was popularized by William McGonagall and later Ogden Nash.[12][20] The record was recorded live on tape.[21]

The NME said that "Dogrel proves that early-days pinning as punk’s next great hope was perhaps premature – there’s far more to Fontaines D.C. than your typical thrashed-out, pissed-off young rebellion."[22] The Guardian gave the album a five-star review, hailing it as a "perfect debut", and commending Chatten for embracing the Dublin accent. Paul Duggan gave the album an unprecedented 10 bananas out of 10.[5] The Times said that their "Shouty post-punk bands are making a surprise comeback in 2019, with this brutal but articulate Irish bunch emerging as one of the most captivating. Capturing the feeling of living in Dublin as it balances historical weight with financial upheaval, the singer Grian Chattan makes his statement of intent by announcing in a monotone rant on the opener, Big: “Dublin in the rain is mine, a pregnant city with a Catholic mind.""[23]

In 2019, the band extensively toured 50 cities throughout Ireland, Europe, and North America. They have toured with Shame and [14][24] Idles.[8] They played nine sets at SXSW 2019 over the course of five days, selling out venues, and count Girl Band as a major influence.[21][25]

They were the musical guest on The Tonight Show on May 1, 2019.

A second album is planned for 2020.[8][26]

Band members[edit]

  • Carlos O'Connell – guitar
  • Conor Curley – guitar
  • Conor Deegan III – bass
  • Grian Chatten – vocals
  • Tom Coll – drummer


Studio albums[edit]

Title Details Peak chart positions
Dogrel 4 75 9


Title Year Album
"Liberty Belle" 2018 Dogrel
"Hurricane Laughter / Winter In the Sun"
"Chequeless Reckless / Boys In The Better Land"
"Too Real"
"Television Screens"
"Big" 2019
"Roy's Tune"
"Boys In The Better Land" (re-release)[30]

Awards and nominations[edit]

Year Organisation Award Work Result
2018 DIY Class of 2019 Themselves Included[6]
2019 AIM Best Independent Track "Boys In The Better Land" Nominated
Best Independent Album Dogrel
Hyundai Mercury Prize

Works and publications[edit]

  • Vroom (self-published) – poetry chapbook
  • Winding (self-published) – poetry chapbook


  1. ^ Berman, Stuart (17 April 2019). "Fontaines D.C.: Dogrel (8.0)". Pitchfork.
  2. ^ Byrne, Niall (6 January 2018). "New artist of the week: Fontaines D.C." The Irish Times.
  3. ^ a b c d Barshad, Amos (31 July 2019). "Irish Band Channels the Spirit of Punk, and James Joyce". The New York Times.
  4. ^ Nguyen, Dean Van (5 April 2019). "Irish punks Fontaines DC: 'You can feel the growing Anglophobia'". The Guardian.
  5. ^ a b Beaumont-Thomas, Ben (12 April 2019). "Fontaines DC: Dogrel review – boisterous Irish punks' perfect debut". The Guardian.
  6. ^ a b c Richards, Will (14 December 2018). "Class Of 2019: Fontaines DC". DIY.
  7. ^ Smyrk, Katherine (9 May 2019). "Articles: Reasons to Check out Fontaines D.C., the Poetry-Inspired Irish Punk-Rock Band Behind Triple R's Album of the Week". 3RRR.
  8. ^ a b c d e Wadsworth, James (13 January 2019). "Interview: Fontaines DC: Currently The Second Most Important Dublin Export to Guinness". Underscore Part 3.
  9. ^ a b Villarba, Izel (10 April 2019). "Waxing Romantic with Grian Chatten of Fontaines D.C." Alt Citizen.
  10. ^ Power, Ed (5 April 2019). "Fontaines DC: Dublin city rockers". Irish Examiner.
  11. ^ "Band Profiles: Fontaines". IrishMusicDB. Retrieved 11 August 2019.
  12. ^ a b c d Leas, Ryan (16 January 2019). "Band To Watch: Fontaines D.C." Stereogum.
  13. ^ Richards, John; Fontaines D.C. (14 May 2018). "Fontaines D.C. - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)" (Live in-studio). KEXP-FM.
  14. ^ a b "Neu Pick: Dublin's Fontaines D.C. prove an intoxicating live prospect with electrifying KEXP session". DIY. 25 July 2018.
  15. ^ Renshaw, David (6 March 2019). "Fontaines D.C. show their tender side on "Roy's Tune"". The FADER.
  16. ^ "Culture Ireland Forms - Outcome Grant Autumn 2018". Irish Arts Council. 2018.
  17. ^ "Culture Ireland Forms - Outcome Grant Spring 2019". Irish Arts Council. 2019.
  18. ^ Cronin, Ruth (25 April 2019). "Culture Ireland have issued funding to a host of Irish artists and bands for international touring". Nialler9.
  19. ^ "First Music Contact Monthly Newsletter". Create Louth. 12 February 2019.
  20. ^ Cole, Kevin; Fontaines D.C. (28 May 2019). "Fontaines D.C. - Full Performance (Live on KEXP)" (Live in-studio). KEXP-FM.
  21. ^ a b Crook, Oliver (10 April 2019). "Feature: Fontaines D.C. Channel Past Poets to Ponder Ireland's Future in Debut 'Dogrel'". Atwood Magazine.
  22. ^ Connick, Tom (11 April 2019). "Fontaines D.C. – 'Dogrel' review". NME.
  23. ^ Hodgkinson, Will (12 April 2019). "Fontaines DC: Dogrel review". The Times.
  24. ^ Sims, Paige (12 April 2019). "Fontaines D.C's Grian Chatten discusses all things "Dogrel" [Interview]". EARMILK.
  25. ^ Manno, Lizzie (15 April 2019). "Irish Rockers Fontaines D.C. Want to Bring Romance Back to the City". Paste.
  26. ^ Nash, Ed (9 April 2019). "Fontaines DC: Tales of the City". The Line of Best Fit.
  27. ^ "Irish Albums Chart: 19 April 2019". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 19 April 2019.
  28. ^ "Le Top de la semaine : Top Albums Fusionnes – SNEP (Week 16, 2019)". Syndicat National de l'Édition Phonographique (in French). Retrieved 23 April 2019.
  29. ^ "Fontaines DC: full Official Chart history". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 April 2019.
  30. ^ "Fontaines D.C. have dropped a brand new track, 'Boys In The Better Land'". Dork. 10 April 2019.
  31. ^ "AIM announces 2019 Independent Music Awards nominees". Association of Independent Music. 24 July 2019.
  32. ^ Snapes, Laura (25 July 2019). "Mercury prize 2019: The 1975, Dave, Cate Le Bon and Idles shortlisted". The Guardian.

External links[edit]