The Murder Capital…it’s a big name to live up to. But if anyone can do it, it’s the Dublin five-piece who are on the road to promote their debut album, When I Have Fears.
The suicide of a close friend led not only to the birth of the band’s name but to the philosophy of the entire record.
“Every single one of those lyrics relates back in some way to his death,” says frontman James McGovern.
The band have a bleak, post-punk sound but it comes with tenderness and hope too.
One band member buried his mum half way through recording, and so was born the dark grooves and tragic beauty of the record’s bravest track, Don’t Cling To Life.
“Even through everything that was going on we didn’t want to write a sad song, we wanted to write a song you could dance to,” explains James. “Feeling grief and wanting to dance through it, and feeling the rawness and emptiness of our own grief, because any relationship that involves love is so specific to you.”
There’s a lot going on in The Murder Capital’s songs and they seek inspiration all over the place. For example, discovering the work of photographer Francesca Woodman who took her own life at 22, was also a significant touch point.
“The biggest impression her work left on us was relating to the loneliness of her photos<” says the singer. “That sense of being completely on your own, but also taking solace in the beauty of the work as well.
“I think we’d be lying if we ever truly admitted to ourselves that we weren’t afraid of dying young. I think we push the boundaries at times. There’s something about Francesca Woodman’s work that just takes control of that.”
The band have already caused a stir with their first two singles, Feeling Fades and Green And Blue, a masterpiece of isolation written immediately after discovering Woodman’s work. They’ve also toured with the likes of Idles, Slaves, Shame and fellow countrymen Fontaines DC.
The quintet have grown up together – especially since forming the band and When I Have Fears feels like a coming of age album.
James agrees, saying: “The last time we played through the album we felt every second of those six months spent writing it and a lot of it is a reflection of what we went through together.
“When you get to your teens you begin to feel like you’re playing catch up with your inner child. You have to dismantle all the shit that was put into your parents brains and given to you.”
“We’ve tried to dismantle it in the fact that we’ve been completely honest in attempting to dismantle ourselves.”
The Murder Capital will play at the Boileroom, Guildford, on Tuesday (16 July).