Carlow, County Carlow
After a year spent locked in the studio writing new music, EXILES are back and their upcoming release, Rearview Mirror, is a feel-good, hook-laden banger that sees Carlow musician-producer duo Jack O’Flaherty and Darragh O’Connor produce one of the most sophisticated pop songs to come out of Ireland in a very long time.
EXILES crafted their debut EP Red Lights in Camden Recording Studios under the expert guidance of producer Ross Fortune, who has worked with the likes of Clean Bandit, Jess Glynne, Friendly Fires and Florence + The Machine. Released in September 2016, the EP graced every synth-wave Spotify playlist the world over and, in Ireland, publications from Hot Press Magazine to The Irish Times were full of praise and RTÉ 2fm, Today FM and live music institution Whelan’s all heralded EXILES as ‘ones to watch’. Bolstered by a series of successful gigs throughout Ireland, airplay soon followed across the UK, and as far away as Sydney, Moscow and LA.
With such early signs of success, EXILES might have been forgiven for sitting back and riding that synth-pop wave all the way to the bank. But EXILES are not a band who rest on their laurels.
“We’re still in our infancy, so we’re having fun creating new sounds and challenging perceptions - our own and other peoples.”
One thing is clear from what EXILES have in store for us - they won’t be shoehorned into a specific genre, with diverse musical influences range from the likes of St. Lucia, Fenech-Soler and Fleetwood Mac to Talking Heads, Bell X1 and Arctic Monkeys. Most recently, EXILES have been working with producer extraordinaire Michael Heffernan, whose impressive roster of clients includes Dermot Kennedy, Chasing Abbey, Gavin James, The Script and The Coronas.
With a gigging roster beginning in February and an arsenal of new songs ready to take them all the way through to festival season, 2019 is set to be a big year for this band from Ireland’s south-east who have developed a knack for fusing genres to produce decadent pop songs with hints of atmospheric nostalgia that hark back to their influences. There is a confidence about their music that comes from an obsession with their craft, innate talent and a mission to embrace contradictions, with Hot Press Magazine anticipating, “Everyone might want a piece of these guys soon.”