The irresistible appeal of songwriting is the opportunity to give voice to the ineffable. For NewDad-singer/guitarist Julie Dawson, music has always served as a safe haven for articulating what she struggles to express elsewhere – a place where she can explore her deepest emotions without compromise.
“I’m buried under blankets / Descending into madness / And there’s no escape from the thoughts burned in my brain,” she coos on recent single ‘In My Head’, her confessions cocooned within Sean O’Dowd’s gauzy guitar textures. More widescreen in its scope than their previous releases, the song heralded the start of an ambitious new era for the Galway-formed four-piece. That vision is ultimately realised on Madra, NewDad’s hotly-anticipated debut for Atlantic Records.
Collectively, the band’s key musical touch points include The Cure circa Seventeen Seconds and Doolittle-era Pixies, alongside the work of Wolf Alice, Men I Trust, Sorry, Beabadoobee and Dundalk-outfit Just Mustard. Certainly the last three years have substantiated that hunch. Since self-releasing debut single ‘How’ in 2020, NewDad have released two acclaimed EPs, opened for Inhaler and Wet Leg at Fairview Park and played arenas with Paolo Nutini. And as their audience has grown, so too has the scope of their ambition sonically.
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