New Release & Tour: Villagers – Fever Dreams / The First Day

Conor O’Brien has announced Villagers’ fifth studio album Fever Dreams, which will be released on August 20th via Domino.

Coinciding with the announcement, O’Brien has also shared the first song from the forthcoming album, “The First Day”. It was inspired by a trip to the fabled Another Love Story festival in County Meath – beginning as a snatched electronic doodle, it morphed into a widescreen, lushly cinematic evocation of the joy in human connection. 

Director Daniel Brereton says of the video: “The whole process was pretty collaborative with Conor. I think we both imagined a floatiness to the video, and obviously the title conjures up a lot of imagery and ideas, ‘The first day of the rest of your life’. What does that look like? How does that feel? We were very lucky to shoot on film and have great casting and styling. Shooting during a pandemic is not easy, so I feel fortunate that we got to make it happen.”

O’Brien says on the gestation of Fever Dreams: “I had an urge to write something that was as generous to the listener as it was to myself. Sometimes the most delirious states can produce the most ecstatic, euphoric and escapist dreams.”

These are songs with the strange, melted shapes and the magical ambivalence of dreams. The intent of the songs is both mysterious and as clear as a bell. With Fever Dreams, there is a sense of a deepening mastery and an expanding reach by O’Brien. Inspiration for the album was found in many places and came in from all angles, from night swimming on a Dutch island to Flann O’Brien, Audre Lorde, David Lynch, L. S. Lowry via the library music of Piero Umiliani and Alessandro Alessandroni and jazz from Duke Ellington and Alice Coltrane.

Written over the course of two years, the main bodies of the songs were recorded in a series of full-band studio sessions in late 2019 and early 2020. During the long, slow pandemic days, O’Brien refined them in his tiny home studio in Dublin, and the album was then mixed by David Wrench (Frank Ocean, The xx, FKA Twigs).

'Fever Dreams' album artwork

Alongside the album announcement, Villagers have confirmed a string of live dates for later this year taking in the UK and Ireland….

Tues 12th October – SWG3, Glasgow
Wed 13th October – Rescue Rooms, Nottingham
Fri 15th October – Albert Hall, Manchester
Sat 16th October – SWX, Bristol
Sun 17th October – Junction, Cambridge
Mon 18th October – The Glee Club, Birmingham
Wed 20th October – Chalk, Brighton
Thurs 21st October – Roundhouse, London
Tues 2nd November – Opera House, Cork
Wed 3rd November – Set Theatre, Kilkenny
Thurs 4th November – Dolans Warehouse, Limerick
Fri 5th November – Black Box, Galway
Sun 7th November – Empire Music Hall, Belfast
Sat 11th December – Vicar Street, Dublin

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