A few years ago we had the pleasure of getting to know a trio from Dublin called Squarehead, who in addition to being some of the nicest dudes also play really great guitar pop. Their 2011 record, Yeah Nothing, was one of our most-played that year, full of downcast pop songwriting inspired by both the Wipers and the Beach Boys, with unshakeable hooks and perfectly deadpan harmonies. It's a seriously timeless indie pop album; see "Save Yourself" and "Get Light" and "Fake Blood."
Last year, Squarehead released a split 12-inch with their Irish indie pop contemporaries and former tourmates So Cow. Their songs on that split, Out of Season, started to tread towards a heavier sound, updating their classic mellow melodies with huger instrumentation, and vocals that would build from boy-band harmonies to explosive, screeching howls. On Respect, Squarehead seems to have fully embraced those louder, pop-punk-oriented creative impulses more strongly, making for a moodier and more anxious-sounding full-length that we are ready to listen to on repeat for the rest of the fall. We are super honored to present y'all with the first listen; check it out below, and read some words the band had to offer about the making of Respect.
From the band's drummer, Ruan:
RESPECT was recorded about a month ago here in Dublin City. We went to a studio we'd never heard of, called 'Arad', part of Moxie Studios, a huge arts space hidden away right in the middle of the business district. Fiachra McCarthy, our good friend, sometime producer and sometime extra guitarist had been working with a guy called Les in there. We met with Les and got on straight away, the studio was nicer than anything we'd been in but was also grimey enough to keep us relaxed. We decided to start recording the week after that.
We tracked 17 songs in 2-and-a-half days and then decided on the 11 that'd make up the album, added some bits to them and tried not to think too much. We made a point of drinking wine at lunch-time every day. Les quickly became a firm friend, his contribution became so huge it's impossible to explain.
A lot of people helped out. Pete, Shane, Eamonn and Cian lent us gear, Ror too, and he was the one who sat us down and gave us a talking to when we were at our most confused. Les' mate Liam came over some nights for a listen and ended up mastering the record. Our dads all took turns delivering gear to the studio, our mums all texted constantly to check we were ok. Ruadhan came in at the last minute and played synth on our 2 favourite tracks on the album, that was the moment we knew we were onto something.
Three weeks later we were all done, I'm talking about last night, that's when we fought over the track-listing, decided on the cover (by our friend Loreana Rushe) and started mailing friends about it. Somewhere along the line we decided to put it out for free as soon as it was finished. We'd talked it over and over together and with friends. We could come up with a lot of big ideas and concepts behind the whole idea but mostly we just didn't want to sit on it, we wanted to give it to everyone who has given to us over the last three years. So no press release, no single, no video, nothing but the album. Everyone gets to hear it at the same time.
It hasn't been an easy but it's been fun. If anyone has any questions, mail us at firstname.lastname@example.org, we like meeting new people. Thanks guys, a lot.