Irish indie rockers The Academic release their encouraging second EP Acting My Age shortly after signing with Capitol Records in May 2020.
From the heart of Ireland’s midland emerges four musicians (Matthew and Stephen Murtagh, Dean Gavin, Craig Fitzgerald) with distinctive influences. It did not take much time for those around them to realize the music they were creating was worthy of critical acclaim as their first LP Tales From The Backseat quickly rose to the top of the Irish charts in 2018. The group got their start swooning over iconic Y2K rock bands and following the resurgence of rock in NYC led by Interpol and The Strokes. From playing in half-empty pubs to playing sold-out shows transatlantically, their ebullient energy and hypnotizingly-catchy melodies.
The band endured a busy release week with events like a live-streamed concert, a Zoom EP release party and a press conference Q&A for outlets to ask questions about the release.
At the beginning of the COVID-19 quarantine, it felt strange for the band to be creative as their shows were getting canceled and good news seemed few and far between. Each member expressed how lucky they are to be in a position where they are continuing to use music as a creative outlet and sharing newfound musical gems with each other to expand their palette as musicians.
“When life isn’t happening there’s not much inspiration going on, you can only write so many songs about going on a walk and the dog you saw,” Fitzgerald explains on a Zoom press conference held a few days before EP release.
The hard work does not stop here — the band has stayed productive over quarantine writing songs via email and meeting virtually whenever possible.
After a while, they were able to tap into new-to-them influences (Craig expressed his newfound love for the Talking Heads) in order to activate their creative senses. Overall, the group is enthusiastic about music as an art form and about the growing digital support from music companies for their artists.
“It made us think on our feet in a really different way,” Fitzgerald adds.
The end result brought six cheerful tracks crafted collaboratively about living in the moment and being open to new adventures. Throughout the process, the group learned patience and the importance of looking at each track with a fresh perspective. A strong storyline is woven throughout the entire project that can be interpreted differently based on personal experience from start to finish.
“‘Them’ is the last song on the EP and it leaves you with something to think about…we definitely wanted to end it like that with something different that people hadn’t hard before,” Murtagh (Matthew) explains.
Thematically speaking, The Academic teaches us to start manifesting our own destiny at a young age and to make the most of the little moments. The Acting My Age EP is a huge success for the quartet who are eager to share their music across the U.S. in the coming months. The band was also able to test their cinematography and branding skills remotely with their new music video for “Acting My Age” which is the epitome of a dreamy teenage coming of age film.
With the windows down and the Acting My Age EP up—this project is a necessity for an endless summer drive as this group’s positive vibrations continue to extend across the globe.