With their self-released debut album, ‘Tales From The Backseat’, The Academic announced themselves with an unlikely bang. Buoyant guitar hooks and earworm melodies coalesced with Craig Fitzgerald’s lyrics about teenage romance and tribulations in rural Ireland to place the band firmly amongst many ones-to-watch lists.
Released in 2018, it hit number one in the Irish Albums Chart but had enough of a global reach that over the next few years, the band toured the UK, Europe and a good chunk of North America.
In fact, the four friends from the small village just outside of Mullingar have been on an upwards trajectory since they decided to learn Kings Of Leon covers to play in their local pub in 2013. An EP of guitar-driven originals followed in 2015 alongside a sold-out show at the 1500 capacity Vicar Street in nearby Dublin.
Since then, they’ve released two more EPs (2020’s ‘Acting My Age’ and 2021’s ‘Community Spirit’) and supported the likes of The Pixies, The Rolling Stones, Noel Gallagher and The Killers. Fans have got lyrics tattooed and their songs have been used to soundtrack weddings. “The fact that our music has soundtracked someone’s life is incredible,” says bassist Stephen Murtagh. “What an unbelievable privilege.”