Single Review: Fontaines D.C. – Jackie Down the Line
Aran Grover reviews Fontaines D.C’s latest single, Jackie Down the Line.
The princes of Irish post-punk have returned with a new single Jackie Down the Line. On the back of a sold-out UK tour, headlining slot at Alexandra Palace, and a new album, Skinty Fia on the way soon, Fontaine’s D.C. continue to prove their worth with a gloomy but formidable new single. The album title is Irish, meaning “the damnation of the deer” and the cover features the extinct Irish giant deer.
Anyone who’s heard the band knows they are no strangers to talking about Irishness. Their first album Dogrel, named after a style of traditional, comedy poetry, speaks about youth and growing up in Dublin, and the second album A Hero’s Death, about the “bleary absence of home”. This album, however, is their first album written outside of Ireland, so we can expect to hear more about the legacy of Ireland from an outer perspective.
Jackie Down the Line however, is a fitting addition to the bands’ existing catalog which continues to evoke bands like Joy Division and The Cure, but with the distinctive Grian Chatten vocals which I am loving more and more as time goes on. They don’t break any sonic boundaries here, but a strong melody and the restraint exercised prove the band to have further matured and honed their songwriting.
This song doesn’t explode into cacophonous, spiraling distorted guitars like some of their previous work (which isn’t a bad thing at all), but they pick up the seeds sowed early on from songs like Roy’s Tune, I Don’t Belong, or The Lotts. It starts with drums and bass, which often prove to be integral elements in the band’s sound, later adding sparks of bright guitar strums and some catchy riffs. Chatten’s vocals and lyrics stand out here with the poignant perspective of a broken person and their gripes with a relationship.
The band produce a track that does what it says on the tin, no gimmicks, no weird interludes, just a well-crafted song from a band who seem wise beyond their years and who undoubtedly resonate so widely despite, or perhaps because, their sound and lyrics are so deeply personal and specific.
Listen to Jackie Down the Line out now on all platforms.
The third Fontaine’s D.C. album Skinty Fia is out 22/04/2022