thu 25/04/2024

Album: NewDad - Madra | reviews, news & interviews

Album: NewDad - Madra

Album: NewDad - Madra

Unlike their Irish peers, NewDad reenergise a classic sound for the next generation

Resurrecting late 80s alt-rock in a bleak, post-COVID world

When Ed Sheeran sang about a Galway girl in his radio-friendly folk number of the same name, he hadn’t met NewDad vocalist and guitarist Julia Dawson. This Galway girl doesn’t play a fiddle. She fronts an ethereal foursome re-energising a classic shoegaze sound rather than falling in line with fellow Irish acts and their hard-hitting anthems (see 6Music staples IDLES and SPRINTS). 

The band, completed by Cara Joshi, guitarist Sean O’Dowd and drummer Fiachra Parslow, share a closer resemblance to their experimental rocker peers Just Mustard – another group happy to swoop in on the coattails of TikTok’s shoegaze revival. Thirty years on from genre-defining bands like My Bloody Valentine and Ride, the dreamy distortion and reverb-soaked vocals get another airing as a whole new generation of avid music fans resurrect this late Eighties alt-rock in their ‘bleak, post-COVID world.*’ 

Former single "Angel" takes us straight back to the sinister sound of Lush’s Spooky with Dawson’s lullaby-like vocals. But don’t be fooled by the songwriter's tender tones, the lyricism stems from a far darker place. "Where I Go" is seeped in regret as she achingly admits: “I wish someone could fix what’s broken / I wish I hadn’t been so open.” So much of the record feels plagued by shame and chagrin, as Dawson reckons with unrequited love in recent single "In My Head" reasoning “We don’t have the same dreams / We don’t have the same hurt.” While standout "Dream of Me" paddles into Pale Wavves waters with delicate lead licks weaving through a bittersweet undercurrent as Dawson soothes: “I’m not on your mind / You’re still fucking fine.”

Galway gang or not, Ed’s got one thing right. We probably could have that voice playing on repeat for a week. 

*as explained by 16-year-old shoegaze fan Jude Atkins to Vice  

Below: Watch the video for "Angel" by NewDad

Don’t be fooled by Dawson’s tender tones, the lyricism stems from a far darker place


Editor Rating: 
Average: 3 (1 vote)

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Cool review though if there's literally no negative comments about the album whatsoever then 3/5 seems a confusing score to give.

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