Galway, County Galway
"Not merely one of our favourite Irish songsmiths at the minute, but quite clearly one of the very best – the most astute and consistently captivating – singer-songwriters around. This is beautiful, vital stuff." (The Thin Air)
David Boland, aka New Pope, has been quietly releasing albums for the last three years - Youth (2015), Love (2016) and Depravations (2017) - along the way building a reputation as a composer of poetic, melodic and sometimes transcendent indie-pop and folk gems.
Endearingly self-reflective, cathartic and romantic, New Pope’s songs have been described as “thought and emotion provoking poetic essays” (DervSwerve), “wonderfully re-assuring, immaculately crafted” (The Thin Air) and “profoundly wry, introspective and brilliant” (Barry Gruff).
New Pope is indebted to the likes of Velvet Underground, Daniel Johnston, David Kitt, Neil Young, Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen.
His fourth album will be released in 2018.
"His timeless set was truly beautiful to witness... endearingly reflective, perfectly balanced with simple, nostalgia and melodic moments in each song. " (Pure M, Tuam, 2017)
"One of the most significant figures in the independent music scene in the west of Ireland." (The Galway Advertiser, 2017)
"Somewhat of a confessional songsmith, New Pope wears the varying shapes of his heart on his sleeve – humourous, romantic, nostalgic, observer of life, dreamer. His song-crafting skills are exceptionally on point – thought and emotion provoking poetic essays on the world with which the Galway native surrounds himself. Observations on the natural world, the changing face of Irish landscapes, soundscapes and culture, love won and lost, nostalgic odes to youth and its blushing romances. They’re all in there like pages torn from a collection of diaries." (DervSwerve, Discover Ireland #2, 2017)
"Love proves that the success of Youth was no one-off, and if anything, Boland’s songcraft has improved in the year between the two, tackling the subject of relationships with emotion on his sleeve and languor in his voice. What theme he opts for next remains to be seen, but it’s hard to imagine it won’t be tackled with a similar level of mastery as on display here. " (The Thin Air, LOVE, 2017)
"New Pope has created a clean and deliberate collection of love songs that is as striking as it is sincere." (thrdcoast.com, LOVE, 2017)
"His is a craft indebted to memory; the bittersweet, the humorous, and the kind that inherently shapes one’s outlook – for better and, at times, for worse. To hear it on record is to acknowledge the confessional nature of Boland’s songwriting; we become willingly and unapologetically complicit in his experiences – an increasingly rewarding transaction as New Pope continues to create and release his brand of charming, melodic alt-folk." (The Thin Air)
"The title track to New Pope's new album LOVE is one of the best songs I've heard in some time." (Kernan Andrews, LOVE, 2017)
"The seven tracks that comprise the release [LOVE] coalesce to re-affirm, once again, that Boland is not merely one of our favourite Irish songsmiths at the minute, but quite clearly one of the very best – the most astute and consistently captivating – singer-songwriters around. This is beautiful, vital stuff." (The Thin Air, LOVE, 2017)
"Yet further evidence, if that were needed, of Boland’s profoundly wry, introspective and brilliant songwriting ability." (Barry Gruff, LOVE, 2016)
"This Irish artist has a moving pen that accompanies rich and captivating melodies, giving us gems. You probably recognize the influence of the Velvet Underground and Neil Young, a little pop, a little folk, nostalgic rides, but friendly and therapeutic music. Boland is a gift." (mespetitesrevolutions.com, YOUTH, 2016)
"Contemplative, reflective, gentle, forgiving, lush, ambient, folky, dreampoppy, insert adjective here! Whatever this is, it’s good……… really good... This album is a friend to your ears. Lyrically pensive, restrained and thoughtful; anthropomorphically speaking, this album sounds like a mothers love!" (Primal Music, YOUTH, 2016)
"This stuff just makes me happy as hell every time I hear it, sounding like the feeling you get when you are being tucked into bed by your favourite person and the room is the right temperature." (Pure M, YOUTH, 2016)
"Truly beautiful, timeless and carefully crafted acoustic folk sounds." (Barry Gruff, Electric Picnic, 2016)
"The YOUTH album is a series of kind of sad woozy meditations... [All My Life] is like a doo-wop song where the record player is starting to slow down and the electricity's been cut off and I just think it's great." (BBC Across The Line, YOUTH, 2016)
"Beautifully washes over you in what is almost a cleansing musical experience that you immediately want to delight in again and again." (Ceol Caint, YOUTH, 2016)
"YOUTH LP is weighted with memories, the draw of the past a tangible thing; rose-tinted and tender, yet at other times more difficult to relive. Boland, though, seems as content to revel in – or at least confront – the darker interludes as much as those blissful memories... as Boland recalls pivotal moments in his life with both ennui and joy. The real joy is ours though. It can’t be right to take this much pleasure in someone’s spilled guts, can it?" (Goldenplec, YOUTH, 2015)
"Simple, melodic and endearingly reflective, Dave Boland’s collection of dreamy songs may lead to Neutral Milk Hotel comparisons, but that will never, ever be a bad thing." (dyladvisedramblings, YOUTH, 2015)
"Perfectly balanced between both the tender and more pining realms of nostalgia... offers up a wonderfully re-assuring, immaculately crafted summation of the inner, intersubjective workings of dealing with change and growing up" (The Thin Air, YOUTH, 2015)
"Treat yourself to a record that is a subtle gem with hints of dark American folk." (State.ie, YOUTH, 2015)
"An understated acoustic strum and accordion drone joins Boland’s distinctive vocal in creating a warm and lush atmosphere; the perfect companion to showcase Boland’s profoundly brilliant songwriting and storytelling abilities." (Barry Gruff, YOUTH, 2015)
"One of the finds of the festival... It’s a low key gig, but the crowd’s attention never wavers – this is a chance encounter that pays off in spades." (Goldenplec, HWCH, 2015)
"New Pope is a treat that has left a now totally full yet utterly silent room entranced." (The Thin Air, Róisín Dubh, 2015)
"The songs trigger feelings of nostalgia for things you didn’t know you missed and yet everyone in the room is smiling and nodding to the blissful folksiness of it all.” (The Thin Air, Strange Brew Summer Shindig, 2015)