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15 For ’15: Dear Desert

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With two acts left to go, Dublin trio Dear Desert are next up in our 15 For ’15 feature, looking at fifteen Irish acts we’ve extremely high hopes for in 2015 and beyond. Make sure to check out the January/February issue of our magazine to read the whole feature in full-blown technicolour physicality.

Words by David Turpin. Photo by Loreana Rushe.

Dear Desert’s debut single ‘Give It Up’, released last June, intrigued with an alluring combination of suave melody and lo-fi production. The Dublin-based three-piece – made up of Richie Fenton, James O’Donnell and Brendan Miller – followed the track up with the Gift Above EP, released in November.  Co-produced with Asta Kalapa, the release builds to a striking, six-minute title track, in which Millar’s reverb-heavy vocal weaves in and out of heart-tugging synth arpeggios. The band cites influences from Cocteau Twins and The Blue Nile to Frank Ocean and Blood Orange, and there’s a trace of Jamie Woon’s gorgeous, Burial co-produced 2011 single ‘Night Air’ in their blend of spacey atmospherics, sinuous rhythms, and soulful vocals. Dear Desert compellingly side-step the ultra-polished sound of so much “future soul” in favour of something rawer and more tactile. It’ll be interesting to see how far they take this approach, sonically and geographically, in 2015. David Turpin

is the editor of The Thin Air. Talk to him about Philip Glass and/or follow him on Twitter @brianconey.