Fontaines D.C. have shared the opening track from their forthcoming album ‘A Hero’s Death’ – out July 31 via Partisan.
With its lonely intensity, “I Don’t Belong” stands in stark relief to the swagger that kicked off their debut album last year (“Big“). The song is also accompanied by a music video directed remotely by FDC bassist Connor Deegan III.
Singer Grian Chatten says of the song:
“This song is a dismissal of the expectations of other people who consider themselves loyal to you. We wanted it to be a statement, almost like the anti-“Big” [opening song on ‘Dogrel’], which is why we put it as the first song on the new album. This sentiment of not belonging can be liberating in a way, but it’s also lonely and sad. We wanted to show both sides of that type of loneliness.
One verse is about a soldier who has his bravery commended by his country, but throws his medal down and refuses to accept the commendation. He sees it as a hijacking and commodification of his principles. The other verse is about someone causing a ruckus in a bar, refusing to be enticed by any sort of friendliness and kindness, wanting to remain in the wrong corner. I had a few cans before I recorded the vocals, I wanted it to sound like I was playing the role of embittered barfly and feel like the soundtrack of someone swaying themselves home after a cold night out – full of principles but surrounded by nobody.”
Deegan elaborates on the video:
“We had a whole different video shoot planned in London, then all the restrictions hit so we had to figure out how to do something remotely from back home in Ireland. The idea was to use the limitations to our benefit. To try to match the emotional feel of the song but without being heavy-handed. Telling a visual story parallel to the lyrics.
I remotely directed the video from Co.Mayo, on the west coast of Ireland, where I am from. It was shot on location on the east coast of Ireland, in Skerries, where Grian is from.Grian’s character goes on a walk, passing by all these places. He’s telling us this dramatic story that slowly grows as the verses go on. At the start you do and you don’t really get a sense of the anxiety or negativity to come. It’s buried under the surface. At the end he submerges himself, completely consumed by his inner thoughts finally coming out into the world.”
‘A Hero’s Death’ was produced in London by Dan Carey (Black Midi, Bat For Lashes). The band have previously shared the title track, which features a music video starring Aidan Gillen (Game of Thrones, The Wire, Peaky Blinders).
‘Dogrel’ debuted Top 10 on the UK album charts, earning Fontaines D.C. a Mercury Prize nomination, #1 Album of the Year positions from BBC 6 Music and Rough Trade, a performance on The Tonight Show with Jimmy Fallon and numerous sold out tours in the UK and abroad – including triumphantly selling out London Brixton Academy in just 1 week. The Guardian (who gave the album 5 stars) praised ‘Dogrel’ as being “brilliant, top to bottom,” The FADER called Fontaines D.C. “One of the most exciting new bands around,” and NME (who also gave ‘Dogrel’ 5 stars) called them “One of guitar music’s most essential new voices.”