The Academic are pleased to share details of a brand new single. “Anything Could Happen” is streaming now and released via Capitol Records.
The single was produced by Nick Hodgson and lifted from a new EP for announcement imminently. Listen to it HERE and watch the video directed by Hope Kemp and Ronan Corrigan below, featuring couples shot enduring lockdown right across the globe.
Almost every other year (give or take), an article runs in a noteworthy publication by a noteworthy critic discussing and analysing ‘the cycle’. The cycle points to era-defining guitar bands breaking through at a similar time, before a barrage of copycat bands grasping for, and just missing, their coattails sends this new scene spiralling back underground, waiting for the next Great New Hope to bring it back into the mainstream some years later. And so said cycle begins all over again. Exhausting. Usually it’s just a shallow shoal of red herrings; rarely do one or two outliers warrant talk of guitar music returning to the airwaves and on hefty rotation.
Some would argue we’ve been in rude health for the past few years. With Idles and Shame’s state-of-the-nation punkish potency swinging open the doors for the likes of Fontaines D.C. and Murder Capital to burst through, over in the mainstream Sam Fender has been marrying critical acclaim with solid sales (a rarity), his chest-thumping Springsteen-esque tales of a community’s heart and struggle flying straight to the top of the charts.
Meanwhile, The 1975, veritable stalwarts on their own podium, now feel positively pop, yet at their very soul is an innovative, smart-talking guitar band with surely one eye on stadiums having long since slayed the festival fields and arenas. Catfish & The Bottlemen also tease arenas with something altogether less challenging but certainly as explosive. Off the media radar you’ve got the likes of Gerry Cinnamon booking up football stadiums north of the border, and Inhaler, Sea Girls and The Lathams cautiously bothering bigger live rooms to ever increasing audiences.
So what does that mean for Mullinger’s first noteworthy musical export since one quarter of One Direction; The Academic? Well, surely those pencilling the next ‘cycle’ missive will be interested to hear that godfather of it all Mick Jagger hand-picked them to support The Stones over in Ireland, but really their story is one of hard-graft, persistence and some exquisitely sharp indie-pop tunes.
It’s a sound that already has them down as hard-won hometown heroes, important to those who have studied the rulebook of era-defining guitar acts from Oasis to Arctic Monkeys, Sam Fender to Kasabian, and whilst in Ireland they’re daubed the country’s most likely to (with a number 1 album to their name, it wouldn’t take too many crystal balls to call it), the band’s music is already finding very willing ears much further afield (In London alone they’ve already sold out The Scala this year, with The Electric Ballroom heavy pencilled for a time when this lockdown lifts)
Fronted by Craig Fitzgerald, a man who gives good quote without over-selling the product, the young four-piece sit at the centre of a venn diagram that draws from the likes of Phoenix, The Strokes, Franz Ferdinand and Vampire Weekend. Instant guitar tunes that nestle in the cranium and need a bulldozer to remove. Speaking of bulldozers, this first track of new material slinks and weaves itself to the head and heart. A pulsating, sharp tune that sets its stall from the opening notes and expands its chest until the final cymbal crashes.
It’s a fine, confident opening gambit, with much more already committed to tape. White lads with guitars? No question. A potentially huge band with tunes to believe in? Absolutely.
The Academic, then. It feels exciting. Mention their name on taxi rides in the local area, or in bars no matter how remote, and you’ll hear colourful stories painted with hometown pride and excitement. Local boys about to explode. It’s palpable.