Words: Dylan Murphy
“Pesuedo-American/English accents plaguing Irish music make us cringe so we were adamant about keeping our accent while sticking to our vernacular. It was crucial to us from day one to embrace every aspect of ourselves and Irish culture, good and bad.”
They may only have one solo single under their belt, but that hasn’t stopped the excitement around Belfast’s Enola Gay. Their anti-racism debut hit ‘The Birth of a Nation’ and its subsequent techno remix from Mount Palomar was more than enough to land performances at Ireland Music Week, Eurosonic and SXSW which they predictably smashed.
Today, they’re announcing the next step on their journey with news of their forthcoming single ‘Sofa Surfing’ arriving on May 19. Recorded before the global pandemic through a spanner in the works for everyone, the four-piece linked up with Chris Ryan (Robocobra Quartet/Just Mustard/NewDad) in January 2020 to deliver a vignette into the deeply personal struggles with substance abuse, the subsequent eviction from their home and the jading effects it had on their mental health.
Selected as one of our ‘Future Of Irish Music‘ acts for 2021, Enola Gay’s claustrophobic brand of post-punk inspired ragers are laying the foundations for an exciting career. Ahead of the release of ‘Sofa Surfers’ we spoke to the quartet about what the single means to them.
What was the process of writing the song like?
Joe: Sofa was the first track we wrote so when carving out our sound we wanted to blend specific characteristics that made music we love feel special to us. We knew we wanted the bass focused approach of Joy Division with Girl Band’s approach to pedals. Once that was established, we set the guitar settings and the rest fell into place organically, with the music being finished 40 minutes later. Originally it was way slower, once the music was written we felt it had a melancholic ‘coming of age’ sound to it so the subject correlated with a lot of needed introspection that was happening at the time.
Can you talk a little about what it means to you?
Fionn: When I came back and seen the lyrics Joe had written, it all deeply resonated. Each line in the song is a memory one way or another. It’s about making the same mistakes over again. I think that’s relatable for a lot of people.
Joe: It was also a crucial turning point, transcending us from just making industrial sounds to affirming that we could write actual songs. This was before the band was formed or Fionn stepped up from bassist to singer. We simultaneously hit the notes on the bass and guitar and instantly locked eyes realising we had found our sound. My computer was recording everything so once we listened back we knew “that’s it.”
What music were you listening to when writing this/ what was inspiring you?
Joe: ‘Sofa Surfing‘ was written while we were immersed in the buzz of the post-punk resurgence. When listening to contemporaries like Idles and Fontaines as well as classics from the late 70’s / early 80’s like Siouxie who laid the groundwork. We’d go to more techno clubs than gigs and wanted to echo that hypnotic repetition dance music gave so, like most of our tracks, we kept the bass repetitive whilst the guitar filled the role of a synth. Pesuedo-American/English accents plaguing Irish music make us cringe so we were adamant about keeping our accent while sticking to our vernacular. It was crucial to us from day one to embrace every aspect of ourselves and Irish culture, good and bad.
‘Sofa Surfing’ lands on May 19, pre save it here and in the meantime watch their video for ‘Birth Of A Nation’ below:
Elsewhere on District: Here’s the 21 albums we can’t wait for in 2021.