11 Songs, 43 Minutes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the wake of his Mercury Prize–nominated sophomore full-length (2013’s ambitious {Awayland}), Villagers’ Conor O’Brien retired to a coastal farmhouse to write, record, mix, and produce Darling Arithmetic, a collection of folk songs whose warm yet spartan arrangements are as intimate as their lyrics. Above the softly brushed drums, pulsing piano, and fingerpicked guitar of “Dawning on Me,” you can make out every crack and quiver of O’Brien’s voice. On the gorgeous “Hot Scary Summer,” O’Brien tells the story of an ill-fated romance with little else but a light strum and ripples of starlit Mellotron. “We got good at pretending,” he sings. “Then pretending got us good.”

Mastered for iTunes

EDITORS’ NOTES

In the wake of his Mercury Prize–nominated sophomore full-length (2013’s ambitious {Awayland}), Villagers’ Conor O’Brien retired to a coastal farmhouse to write, record, mix, and produce Darling Arithmetic, a collection of folk songs whose warm yet spartan arrangements are as intimate as their lyrics. Above the softly brushed drums, pulsing piano, and fingerpicked guitar of “Dawning on Me,” you can make out every crack and quiver of O’Brien’s voice. On the gorgeous “Hot Scary Summer,” O’Brien tells the story of an ill-fated romance with little else but a light strum and ripples of starlit Mellotron. “We got good at pretending,” he sings. “Then pretending got us good.”

Mastered for iTunes
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Ratings and Reviews

4.5 out of 5
35 Ratings
35 Ratings
Jivejoey

The soul serene

Is the best free song that I like by far the best

gmtoy

Insomnia music

I would not buy this song but good for when I have insomnia to put me to sleep

Tree716

Love!

He sounds like Paul Simon! I love this song! Going to have to buy the whole album!

About Villagers

Villagers, a solo vehicle for Irish singer/songwriter Conor J. O'Brien, specializes in atmospheric, indie folk/chamber pop that balances the youthful exuberance of contemporaries Jens Lekman, Eugene McGuinness, and Johnny Flynn with the classic rock and pop of artists like Paul Simon and Robert Wyatt. Formed in the late 2000s after the breakup of his band the Immediate, O’Brien began writing his own, solo material. A four-track EP appeared in 2009 and was performed entirely by the Irishman. He soon realized that to re-create his burgeoning ideas live he would need a band, so he hastily recruited Tommy McLaughlin, Danny Snow, James Byrne, and Cormac Curran. There was a quiet buzz about O'Brien's new project from the music critics and fans, which eventually transferred into support slots for Neil Young and a European tour with Tracy Chapman. The Dublin native's debut album, Becoming a Jackal, was released on U.K. independent Domino Records in 2010. The record was highly praised across the board and went on to receive a nomination for the coveted Mercury Music Prize, while O'Brien won the prestigious Best Song Musically and Lyrically Ivor Novello award for its title track in 2011. Toward the end of 2012, the band announced the release of the first single from their sophomore album, "The Waves," which marked a slight change in direction and introduced an electronic influence to their indie folk sound. The hotly anticipated follow-up to their debut, {Awayland}, came in early 2013. In 2015, O'Brien returned Villagers to a more introspective, acoustic folk sound with the group's third full-length album, Darling Arithmetic. Their 2016 release Where Have You Been All My Life was recorded at London's RAK studio in one day, the majority of the songs being captured in one or two takes. The band eschewed overdubs or extensive post-production in favor of a more pared-back, intimate sound. ~ James Christopher Monger & Scott Kerr

ORIGIN
Dublin, Ireland
FORMED
2008

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