Dundalk, County Louth
Like a phoenix formed from the ashes of 2015, Orwells ’84 are a unique musical outfit based in Dundalk. With a huge variety of musical influences ranging from David Bowie, Guy Garvey and Nick Cave to the Libertines, the Arctic Monkeys and Led Zeppelin, the band have created a neo-psychedelic sound among influences from the roots of blues and rock ’n’ roll. Since their formation, they have shown a confidence in both the style and deliverance of their music, both live and while recording.
Their debut release, Eye for an Eye, had been anticipated by people in the Dundalk music scene for some time. Released on 3rd September 2017, Eye for an Eye received rave reviews from music critics such as REMY; “The first buds of something which perhaps might grow into something special, all they need to do is let fly,” and U&I; “It really deserves to be held in high regard because they have achieved something of an accomplished effort on this one.” Their new single, Broken Glass, was released on 2nd March 2018 and both singles are currently available on all major streaming platforms. Their new single ‘Cailín,’ which is the first recording with the current incarnation of the band, was released on the 26th January to rave reviews. REMY said ‘The joyful thing about Orwells '84 is that their singles are musically instantly appealing, but they maintain the listener's interest by adding significant quirks into each new release.’
The band have already performed in several notable venues in the North East. In November 2017, they took to the main stage in the Spirit Store in Dundalk and delivered. They have performed in Whelans several times and are currently looking to expand their roster of venues from more than just the East Coast. The band have currently set their sights on the festival stages and have high ambitions to move swiftly through the Irish music scene in 2019.
Orwells ’84 was essentially Damien McKenna, who was joined by John Mellon (bass guitar) and Sean Byrne (lead guitar/bouzouki/backing vocals) in late 2016. The following year brought about the addition of strings and more vocals in the form of Ella Englishby (cello/harmonium/backing vocals) and Zoe Backwell (violin/backing vocals). 2018 brought about Pauric McCrum (drums) and the current Orwells lineup was complete. With such a large band, one might assume that there is simply a wall of sound. This isn’t the case with Orwells ’84, however. The band have spent countless hours crafting a unique and identifiable sound in both their songwriting and musicianship.