By Colleen Taylor
The number of indie electro bands forming in Ireland these days makes it hard to distinguish one from the other, but Delorentos stands out from the pack.
Rather than a footnote for a cultural moment, this group demonstrates a special finesse that distinguishes them within the wider music scene.
Their recently-released fifth studio album confirms this endorsement: “True Surrender” is surprisingly elegant, moving electro music.
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Kieran McGuinness, Ross McCormick, Ronan Yourell, and Nial Conlan found each other in 2005, after playing in various college bands throughout their earlier teens.
The musicians cite a trip to Chicago as the real formation of their talent as a group.
Like all good Dublin bands, Delorentos launched their first recording, a short EP, in Whelan’s on Wexford Street.
The title track of that EP, “Leave it On” (2005), quickly reached the number 1 spot in the Irish charts and marked a key stepping stone in their road to fame, succeeded by a tour in the UK and some appearances on RTE.
They won “Best Student Artist in the UK in Ireland” the same year, which led to tours across North America, as well as appearances at the Irish music festivals, Oxygen and Electric Picnic.
Soon, Delorentos found themselves touring the U.S. twice throughout 2008, as well as performing as the supporting bands for major acts like the Arctic Monkeys and Sinead O’Connor.
But the Delorentos truly came into their own with their 2012 album, “Little Sparks,” an audible, musical maturation for the band.
Following “Little Sparks” they released two more albums, and now, April 27, 2018 marked their fifth release with “True Surrender.”
“True Surrender” was a long time in the making for this group of four.
In 2015, the band had recorded a completely different fifth album that they eventually scrapped, wanting to challenge themselves to produce something more innovative and more emotionally probing.
Now, the long work in progress signifies a completely new phase for the band.
“True Surrender” is more than music. It’s a pastiche of narrative, creative instrumentation, and vibrant color.
The vocals sound more sophisticated and polished than they ever have before for this band, and the electro-synth sounds are softly airbrushed through the tracks, so that they are never overbearing. The result is an ironic one: a perfectly natural synth-influenced album.
“Islands” is the true set piece of the band’s new phase: the song is rhythmic, catchy, creatively arranged, and speaks in visually-evocative metaphor. It’s a product of hard work, experimentation, and vision.
What I love most about this album is that the Delorentos aren’t afraid to step away from the electric equipment and turn to a simple, powerful acoustic ballad.
“Am I Done?” is a moving lyrical piece, addressing some personal and wider social issues about mental health and masculinity, as can be seen with the line “But it’s manlier to just suppress.”
Here, their goal of approaching challenging topics with their music has come to fruition. There are some real beauties on this album, which I not a sentence I typically expect write about an electro-indie band.
“In the Moment” is another great track, for its unique application of synth-sounds and dynamic choruses. You can hear the sweat, tears, and sparks that went into making “True Surrender,” and that dedication only enhances what was already good music.
Delorentos recently played the Olympia Theatre with Mary Black, James Vincent McMorrow, Thanks Brother, and others for a #TogetherforYes Fundraiser. This year, they have gigs in Spain and Ireland lined up.
But, most importantly, Delorentos will be enjoying the fruits of their hard work as “True Surrender” begins to reach fans at home and abroad.