Having sold out Gorilla in no time, indie-folk outfit Villagers grant us another performance at Manchester Cathedral in March 2019. Possessing an orchestral yet electronically-charged folk sound, the band have received much praise for their music. Hailing from Ireland, Villagers consisting of members Conor O’Brien, Danny Snow, Cormac Curran, Gwion Llewelyn and Mali Llywelyn.

The indie five-piece formed in 2008 and just two years later released debut album ‘Becoming A Jackal’ which earned a place on the shortlist for the 2010 Mercury Prize. ‘Critically acclaimed’ is an understatement, as their second album ‘Awayland’ was awarded the Choice Music Prize in 2013, and their third offering ‘Darling Arithmetic’ won best album at the Ivor Novello awards in 2016.

The indie folkists released new album ‘The Art of Pretending to Swim’ on September 21st, looking to take the next step in Villagers’ ever-evolving sound. Adding samples of gospel legends The Dixie Hummingbirds, the albums emits a “new-found soulness and rhythmic nous”, and has been influenced heavily by artists such as Nina Simone and Alice Coltrane.
Lead vocalist and songwriter, Conor O’Brien, describes the album to be about survival and grace. “I know what it means to me and I’d like you to find out what it means to you,” he states. “It’s how I see life; you’re not drowning but you’re not exactly swimming either; you’re making it all up as you go along”.

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Villagers perform at Manchester Cathedral on Friday 1st March 2019. Tickets can be found here. Words by Sophie Cunningham.

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