Villagers | 11/20/12

Image: Villagers

All of us at Domino are super-excited to announce details of Villagers’ new album {Awayland}, which will be released on April 9th 2013 (North America) / January 14th 2013 (Rest of the world). 

{Awayland} is the follow up to the Mercury-nominated and Ivor Novello Award winning debut, Becoming a Jackal. Engineered, produced and mixed at Attica Audio in Donegal by Conor J. O’Brien and Villagers’ guitarist Tommy McLaughlin, the album will be released on CD, LP and digitally.

"Nothing Arrived" is a song of epic proportions and of much beauty, showcasing another side to the band's multifaceted, highly anticipated forthcoming album.  The accompanying video, directed by Alden Volney, documents a day in the life of one Terrence Bliss - a lonely office worker whose repetitive existence is momentarily disturbed. Watch it below or here.

While every instrument on Becoming a Jackal was performed almost entirely by songwriter Conor J. O'Brien on his own, {Awayland} is an entirely different beast, with O'Brien inviting his fellow touring partners to perform his songs as a group, allowing a certain level of collaborative inventiveness to inform the arrangements.

After initially beginning to write material for {Awayland} on his acoustic guitar, O'Brien felt he needed to take a new and different approach, "flip on its head the idea of what music is for myself," and began creating musical landscapes, listening to widescreen instrumental music like Lalo Schifrin and David Axelrod. There is a different kind of movement on {Awayland}, an exploration of what O'Brien felt was most important, yet not immediately obvious. Trees, birds, the sea - all recurring images in O'Brien's work that provide a kind of metaphor for living and dying, and the sense of soaring otherness. The record is possessed with playful joy as it is with devastation, a filtering of disparate influences - the quiet elegance of Nick Drake, and the sensuality of Curtis Mayfield. It is, as Kurt Vonnegut might have put it "intricate and voluptuous and enchanted and absurd" (Slaughterhouse-Five, Chapter 6)- life, in other words.

Villagers are Conor O'Brien (vocals/guitar), Cormac Curran (keys), Danny Snow (bass), James Byrne (drums), and Tommy McLaughlin (guitar).

{Awayland} tracklisting

  1. My Lighthouse
  2. Earthly Pleasure
  3. The Waves
  4. Judgement Call
  5. Nothing Arrived
  6. The Bell
  7. {Awayland}
  8. Passing a Message
  9. Grateful Song
  10. In a Newfound Land You Are Free
  11. Rhythm Composer