The Dublin based alt-rock band made of Ró (vocals, guitar, piano), Kieran (vocals, guitar), Níal (bass, keys, backing vocals) and Ross (drums, backing vocals) have been making music together since 2005, and for fans of native Irish music, The Delorentos are a staple of the live scene.
Their first album, ‘In Love With Detail’, announced them as ‘A Band To Watch Out For,’ and brought award nominations and acclaim in Ireland. Reinforced by a steady string of gigs, the band continued to grow a fanbase, and in spite of a line-up change, 2009’s ‘You Can Make Sound’ was a strong followup album. Their third Irish-released album ‘Little Sparks’ won them the Choice Music Prize in 2012, and the 2014 Irish release of ‘Night Becomes Light’ was hailed as a triumph for the band.
The decision to release ‘Night Becomes Light’ in the UK is a confident assertion of the band’s belief in their sound. As an album, it works beautifully, playing with elements of tension and silence, as songs like ‘Home Again’ morph from delicate openings into rousing singalongs. The sound swells and grows with every track, with every instrument proving their worth.
The songs are controlled, but not rigidly, and there’s a frenetic energy that makes the prospect of these songs live truly exciting. Kieran and Ro’s vocals are stand out, and their voices play on one another, picking up lines and refrains and then falling into powerful harmonies. ‘Show Me Love’, ‘Sorry If I Hurt You’, ‘All My Life’ and ‘Wake Up’, are anthemic and unapologetic about it.
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Certainly there’s other bands to be heard in the mix. ‘Forget The Numbers’ speaks to early Arcade Fire, and ‘Fits’ has a definite Bloc Party sensibility. ‘Dublin Love Song’ has something about early days U2, and these reference points help, rather than hinder the band. They’re pop, but in the way that The Clash is pop – pop before it became a bit of a dirty word.
The album sounds familiar, but not in a way that’s boring or safe. There’s an appreciation of songwriting that can only really be honed through a lot of live performing, and it’s incredibly difficult to listen to the album and not end up singing at least four of the songs for days.
Although almost secondary to the sound, lyrically the songs have weird little twists that make them worth looking at. Take ‘Dublin Love Song’, where the chanting of ‘she can’t take a compliment’ transforms into ‘she can’t take a compliment home’. This kind of sly lyric choice makes the album easy to live with, giving up something different in each listen.
Not only is it exciting that ‘Night Becomes Light’ has a UK release, but more exciting is just how strong an album it is. Infectious and melodic, it pulses with energy: The Delorentos have arrived, and it’s good to have you, lads.
‘Night Becomes Light’ is out on the 2nd September via Universal.
This Delorentos review was written by CJ Atkinson, a GIGsoup contributor. Edited by Natalie Whitehouse.