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Villagers Release New Single “You Lucky One” -Sixth Album “That Golden Time” out May 10th via Domino Records

March 13, 2024
Photo credit: Andrew Whitton

Villagers release new single “You Lucky One”
Sixth album That Golden Time out May 10th
Confirm instore tour

Villagers share “You Lucky One”, the second single from the forthcoming sixth album That Golden Time – due May 10th. The exquisite new record unfurls award-winning Dublin singer-songwriter-instrumentalist-dramatist Conor O’Brien’s trademark melodic flair, his gift for simultaneously vivid and subtle arrangements and lyrics that couch his hopes, fears and dreams in richly absorbing poetry.

 “You Lucky One” follows on from the release of title track “That Golden Time”, and features Irish legend Dónal Lunny [Planxty, The Bothy Band] on bouzouki. The song ties into the album artwork’s secondary image, an Irish twenty pence piece. “The types of physical currency change throughout time, but the essential power relationships and bartering principles persevere throughout the cosmetic changes,” explains O’Brien. The cautionary tale documents two protagonists, one who promises riches to the other but is revealed to be more of a parasite. “Who is using who?” asks O’Brien. “I think it explores the often-simplified notion of privilege.”

That classic Villagers appeal can distinctly be found in the entire new arrangement, the appeal which creates this hypnotic trance-like state, a world that you can truly lose yourself within. The stirring vocal harmonies lift the journey and the listener, pulling them into the centre of this emotive ensemble. It’s so refreshing to be able to be elevated from a new contemporary release, still packing in this emotive context and a critical journey that we need to be consumed by. This is an exploration focused on the immersive atmosphere.

With O’Brien making his music video-directorial debut, the video is a menacing straight-to-camera-shot which showcases the twisted narrative and people’s hidden faces. O’Brien says: “The video, much like the song, is a complicated, messy affair full of hellish landscapes and internal demons. It exists in a world conquered by irrational beings and emotional, selfish creatures. Corruption of the soul and disingenuous motivation are the order of the day, so I thought it best to serve with a side plate of the macabre and sinister.”

After the band-centred sessions of its predecessor Fever Dreams,That Golden Time’s solo-centric core was not forced on O’Brien by lockdown. “For me, That Golden Time has an internalised voice, so much so that I almost found it impossible to let anyone else in,” he says. “It’s probably the most vulnerable album I’ve made. I played and recorded everything in my apartment, and finally, towards the end, invited people in.” Aside fromDónal Lunny, the album features American songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Peter Broderick on violin, David Tapley of Dublin band Tandem Felix on pedal steel guitar, and a group of players that O’Brien had first seen performing in a tribute to one of his great loves, Italian composer Ennio Morricone, who added soprano vocal, viola and cello.
The understated poetry within That Golden Time is effortlessly carried by gorgeous melodies and sublime instrumentation. Inspired by philosophers, poets, playwrights and singer-songwriters that had seeped into O’Brien’s consciousness: namechecks this time go to Friedrich Nietzsche (his Beyond Good and Evil: Prelude to a Philosophy of the Future is quoted in the album’s accompanying booklet), Dory Previn, Marcus Aurelius, Fintan O’Toole, Lorraine Hansberry, Chet Baker, Joan Didion, PJ Harvey and post-classical beauties Rachel’s.
Ahead of the full band tour in the summer (including London’s Royal Festival Hall), Villagers have announced a string of stripped-back instore shows.

That Golden Time is available to pre-order on DomMart/Indies-exclusive gold vinyl, standard vinyl, CD and digitally. Pre-order: DomMart | Digital

Instore tour
Friday 10th May – Tower Records, Dublin
Saturday 11th May – Rough Trade East, London – sold out
Sunday 12th May – Rough Trade, Bristol –sold out
Monday 13th May – Resident, Brighton
Tuesday 14th May – Banquet Records, Kingston (early & late performances)– sold out
Wednesday 15th May – Action Records, Preston

Friday 16th May – Rough Trade, Liverpool
Friday 17th May – Cool Discs, Derry
Saturday 18th May – Bending Sound, Bangor
Pre-order the album for access

Upcoming live dates
25th May – Tomavistas Festival, Madrid
Monday 27th May – Ancienne Belgique, Belgium
Tuesday 28th May – Paradiso, Amsterdam
Wednesday 29th May – LantarenVenster, Rotterdam – sold out
Thursday 30th May – Pop Seasons – Christianskirche, Hamburg
Saturday 1st June – Passionskirche, Berlin
Sunday 2nd June – Luxor, Cologne
Monday 3rd June – La Maroquinerie, Paris
Wednesday 5th June – Wylam Brewery, Newcastle
Thursday 6th June – Irish Centre, Leeds
Saturday 8th June – Royal Festival Hall, London
Saturday 29th June – Trinity College, Dublin
7th July – Down the Rabbit Hole Festival, Netherlands
Friday 26th July – Ludlow Castle, Shropshire w/ Elbow
Friday 2nd August – Dranouter Festival, Belgium

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