Self-described "indietronic" merchants Hybrasil formed in Wicklow, just outside of Dublin, Ireland, in 2003. Influenced equally by electronic pop pioneers New Order and '90s dance mainstays the Chemical Brothers as they were by the angular post-punk of the Fall and Britpop forerunners like the La's and the Stone Roses, the group soon gained notoriety for their live show, opening for the likes of Republic of Loose, Snow Patrol, and the La's, for the Manchester band's first show in over a decade, before they'd released so much as a single. The group's shrewd pop instincts have led the U.K.'s flourishing college rock scene to embrace them as one of their own, propelling debut single "We Got Music to the radio airplay charts.
Named for the mythical island of Hybrasil (or just "Brazil"), the rural Irish equivalent of Atlantis, the group's lineup was in place from day one, consisting as they did of five long-time friends and journeymen musicians: guitarist Keith Byrne; singer, chief songwriter and additional guitarist Spud Murphy (born John Murphy); drummer Neil Horan; bassist Nipper Kinsella (aka Neil Kinsella); and keyboardist Joe Kavanagh. Stumbling upon their signature sound through intensive rehearsal in their hometown, Hybrasil signed their first record deal in mid-2005 with Dublin label FIFA Records. They put out two limited-edition EPs with FIFA: We Got Music, released in September of 2005, debuted at number 43 in the Irish singles charts, and made a similar impact when it was released in the U.K. the following February, peaking at number 29 on the Student Radio Association chart; the follow-up, When I'm Yawning, was released in July of 2006.
Shortly afterward, Hybrasil ended their deal with FIFA Records and signed with nascent electronic label Manazo Records, managed by a friend of the band, and began to record their debut album. The Monkey Pole was produced by Spud and Pete Meighan, and was released in September of 2007, accompanied by the band's first official single, "God Bless the Devil." ~ Dave Donnelly