A place in America we feel connected to as a group the most is undoubtedly New York City. Not only because some of us have family there, but because as a band we, like so many other acts, have drawn massive influence from New York. Through the media of music, film and fashion, New York as an idea has always been something to aspire to for four Irish kids from a small town. From the gloomy Manhattan backdrops of Taxi Driver, the punk sounds of Is This It, to the colourful Warriors, the city alone has produced some of the best art of our lifetime. New York’s music has punctuated all of our lives from a young age. When a large portion of your childhood has been sound tracked by Bruce Springsteen, you can’t help but sense the connection! Watching Simon and Garfunkel perform live at Central Park in 1981 seemed to capture the essence of the city more than any other gig we have ever witnessed . New York’s output of great music is almost overbearing and with so much to digest, we are still finding great music from the city. Around the year 2000, the city was awash with a new sound that drew from past New Yorker’s Television and The Velvet Underground. Bands such as The Strokes, LCD Soundsystem, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and Interpol exploded on to the scene, and us as youngsters finding their musical footing, this hotbed of creativity was impossible to ignore.
Our name alone is down to the influence of New York City. J.D Salinger’s Catcher in the Rye is the biggest literary influence on our band. The word “academic” is used a lot in the opening pages and as we were all in school together when forming the band, it just made sense! For people who have never been to the East Coast, the novel seemed to capture the different characters and situations that one would encounter in the Big Apple. New York film is something of an obsession for us, Dog Day Afternoon, Kids, Rear Window and Rosemary’s Baby are just a few of our favourites. Taxi Driver plays with the themes of paranoia and innocence, something that comes up in our songs quite often. In college, countless hours were spent watching Friends which of course is also set in the appealing streets of Manhattan.
In many ways New York is where it all started. The Beatles performance on The Ed Sullivan Show is surely one of the most iconic moments in rock and roll television history. We can only aspire to resemble some of the great art the city has produced, and we cannot wait to visit this city that has had such a massive impact on our lives.
Read more about The Academic here.
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IASCA is the Irish Association of Songwriters, Composers and Authors. Based in Ireland, their members are the Irish music writers of all genres - artists, songwriters, composers and lyricists. Their goal is to represent their members, support them, protect their interests and create an environment where new talent can thrive.PLAY IRISH is an IASCA initiative to promote Irish music both at home and overseas. This playlist is brought to you by the IASCA, visit their website here: www.iasca.ie.