Villagers Release New Single

Irish band Villagers released a new track titled “Occupy Your Mind” purposely coinciding with the start of the Olympics in Sochi, Russia. Upon release, frontman Conor J. O’Brien accompanied the song with a few words speaking to the anti-gay laws in Russia, writing, “In the advent of the 2014 Olympics in Sochi, please find attached a song written for you, your mother, your father and your gay brothers and sisters in Russia.” A music video was also released at the same time portraying O’Brien in a dark room both sitting and dancing with his face powdered white and his lips painted red.

In an interview with the Irish Times’ Laurence Mackin, O’Brien says the idea for the song changed after reading about the situation in Russia. “The initial impulse for the song was an article about a particular gay nightclub in Sochi and I was wondering what it would be like to be one of the clientele in there,” he says. He quickly reached out to the band’s label, Domino Records, about wanting to release the track on a specific day and naturally “everyone got behind it really excitedly.” O’Brien often incorporates social issues in his lyrics even with the first record, Becoming a Jackal, and it’s something I’ve always admired. His songs very honestly portray some of the darker aspects of societies, and he is not shy about revealing his intentions in writing certain songs.

The new single is coated with dark bubbly synths, and is similar to the more electronic songs on {Awayland}, which was released last summer and nominated in September as Album of the Year for the Barclaycard Mercury Prize. “Occupy Your Mind” is on the front page of the band’s website and available for download on iTunes.

By Pascale Sylla

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