The Academic

With their self-released debut album, ‘Tales From The Backseat’, The Academic announced themselves with an unlikely bang. Buoyant guitar hooks and earworm melodies together with Craig Fitzgerald’s lyrics about teenage romance and tribulations in rural Ireland, placed the band firmly as the ones-to-watch. Released in 2018, it hit number 1 in the Irish Albums Chart but had enough of a global reach that over the next few years, the band toured the UK, Europe and a good chunk of North America. Since then, they’ve released two more EPs (2020’s ‘Acting My Age’ and 2021’s ‘Community Spirit’) and supported the likes of The Pixies, The Rolling Stones, Noel Gallagher and The Killers. Fans have got lyrics tattooed and their songs have been used to soundtrack fans’ weddings.

New album ‘Sitting Pretty’, which once again rocketed to the number 1 spot on release last month, has “a more matured edge to it” promises the band. “We're different people now but that's natural. You grow out of things, we’re in our mid-20s and experiencing all the chaos that comes with that, but nobody is panicking because we’re all in it together.” ‘Sitting Pretty’ packs an energetic punch as you would expect from this band. Not having played a live show for almost two years due to COVID, by the time they went into the studio with Kaiser Chief Nick Hodgson, their excitement was at an all-time high. That same excitement and giddy joy can be heard all over their second album. The band hopes ‘Sitting Pretty’ “connects on a visceral level with people who are grappling with their sense of self-worth, their identity and not knowing where they belong in the world. It is a struggle to know where you fit or what’s around the corner and it feels like that’s only getting harder,” explain the band. “I think a good chunk of young people feel lost or confused. Hopefully there’s comfort to be found in knowing other people feel the same way.”

‘Sitting Pretty’ is the first time a record from The Academic is getting a huge push anywhere outside of Ireland. “The idea of breaking into new territories and seeing new parts of the world is what you dream of,” says lead vocalist Craig. “We’re ready for that leap as well. Right now, we’re playing the best we’ve ever played and we’re very comfortable with what this band is becoming.” Playing with The Killers at stadiums earlier this year “is the most comfortable we’ve ever felt onstage,” says Craig. “I don’t know what that says about our delusions of grandeur though.” With extensive UK, European and USA dates over the next 6 months, by the time The Academic get to Far West Fest they will be on fire!

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