Last month, Fontaines D.C. released the title track from their highly anticipated new album Skinty Fia – to be released this Friday (22nd April) on Partisan Records. “Skinty Fia,” was met with international acclaim and joined the last two singles, “I Love You” and “Jackie Down The Line,” in building widespread excitement for the band’s third album. Today, the beloved Irish band – who recently took home the trophy for “Best Band In The World” at the 2022 BandLab NME Awards – released the final single to come ahead of their new album titled “Roman Holiday”. The track was premiered by Zane Lowe alongside an interview with the band on his Apple Music 1 show. The track was also featured on New Music Daily.
A texturally nuanced yet intense final preview of the band’s new material ahead of Skinty Fia’s release, “Roman Holiday,” sees frontman Grian Chatten reflect on his experiences of moving to London and embracing the city as an Irish person in the local diaspora. The single sees the band delving further into the album’s poignant themes surrounding identity and belonging, with the lyrics celebrating the camaraderie found in the community of Irish people and friends that the band have found for themselves.
Speaking on the single, Chatten says, “Roman Holiday makes me think of the wide streets of north London in the Summer and the urge to discover them at night time. The thrill of being a gang of Irish people in London with a bit of a secret language and my first flat with my girlfriend.”
Skinty Fia is an Irish phrase which translates to English as “the damnation of the deer” and the album’s cover art features a deer, plucked from its natural habitat and deposited in the hallway of a home, illuminated by an artificial red glow. The Irish giant deer is an extinct species and the band’s thoughts on Irish identity are central to Skinty Fia. While Dogrel was littered with snapshots of the Dublin characters – like the cabbie in “Boys In The Better Land” – and A Hero’s Death documented the dislocation and disconnection the band felt as they travelled the globe on tour, on Skinty Fia Fontaines D.C. are addressing their Irishness from afar as they recreate new lives for themselves elsewhere. For a band whose hometown courses through their veins – “D.C.” stands for “Dublin City” – the album finds them trying to resolve the need to broaden their horizons with the affection they still feel for the land and people they’ve left behind.
There are echoes of Dogrel’s rumbustious rock ’n’ roll, and the bleaker atmospheres of A Hero’s Death, but Skinty Fia, the third in the triumvirate, is much more expansive and cinematic. Fontaines D.C. are a band in a state of constant evolution and this time the result is an album of shifting moods, startling insight, maturity, and considerable emotional wallop.