Growing Up In Soulful pop: The Brave Rebirth of Delorentos

by James Hendicott

Dublin’s deeply-personal indie-popsters Delorentos are growing up, fast. In ditching and rewriting their fifth album, they hope the result – True Surrender – shows them for who they truly are.

As an embedded mainstay of the Irish music scene since their debut album, In Love With Detail, propelled them to regular radioplay and local acclaim, Delorentos – some of whom have been friends since childhood – have been fairly quiet since 2014 release, Night Becomes Light.

In part, that period of quietness has come about because they’ve produced two different albums.
The Dubs entirely abandoned the first of the two, written in a Spanish vineyard, in favour of a sound that more reflects the changes in their lives.

“As an independent band, that was a really hard call to make,” vocalist and guitar player Kieran McGuinness says of the decision to simply ditch their first effort.
“Everything we do directly affects us as a result of being independent.

“With the Vineyard album, we’d taken several days off a tour to record, and the owner of Sonorama [a Spanish music festival] gave us access to a recording studio and a vineyard.
“We had 16 songs at demo stage, and we were happy when we finished.

“It gradually became clear that it wasn’t ‘us’ any more. A lot has changed for us in the last few years. Three of us have married and one has got engaged. Three have moved house, three have had babies.

“There’s been a crazy amount of things going on. That wasn’t reflected in the album we’d made.

“It was difficult, and scary,” McGuinness recalls.
“You don’t get a lot of guarantees in music, and this meant putting aside touring, things like that, to start again.

“We have certainty with this album, though. I believe it stands up, and shows who we are.”
He added: “There are songs with no guitar. Songs with beats instead of drums, songs that are ‘built’ rather than played in a room, and that adds another layer to things.

“We wanted to write songs that reflect that movement into adulthood. The independence, the fear and anxiety, but also the joy, comfort and self-reliance.

“We’re not Snow Patrol,” McGuinness continues. “We’re not about to tour the world playing the same songs every night, and we know that.

“But we mean a lot to people, and we have to respect that and put everything into what we do.
“We played five nights in small venues recently and there were some people who came to all five nights to hear the new music.

“I guess it’s Delorentos ‘mark three’. We had mark one with the first two albums, that I feel kind of came together as one thing, and mark two with Little Sparks, and Night Becomes Light.

“This feels like mark three because of the way it’s produced. We’ve put aside the idea of writing radioplay tracks aimed at 18-20 year olds.

“We don’t want to write any more songs about meeting girls or drinking with your friends.”
The result of that personal touch has been an intensity of connection with fans, one that’s clearly working, as a debut headline show at the Olympia Theatre, taking place in November, shows.

“If you’d told me as a 15-year-old that I’d be able to live my life making music, playing gigs and DJing [McGuinness is a semi-regular presenter on Radio Nova], I’d have thought that’s the most amazing news ever,” he admits.

“We burst ourselves with this, we left everything on the floor of the studio.
“You see a lot of bands quitting, and putting out press releases about how hard it is in the music industry now. They’re right, it is tough. But these are also joyful times.”
True Surrender is out on Friday, April 27.

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