By Mollie Eisler | March 15, 2023
Hailing from Drogheda, a small town in Ireland, the four-piece indie-pop/rock band, modernlove., recently embarked on their first cross-country headline tour. The foursome kicked things off in Philly then New York–selling out Mercury Lounge–with stops along the east and west coasts and a visit to SXSW in between. modernlove., comprised of Barry Lally on vocals/guitar, Graham Fagen on guitar, Daniel Rooney on bass, and Cian McClusky on drums, got their start in 2016 after becoming friends growing up. Fast forward to today, they’re signed to the London-based independent record label, Akira Records, and have released several EPs. Their latest EP, Only Ever Only You, explores falling in and out of love, providing an outlet of emotive expression through a mix of genres and musical influences: From the emo era-inspired anthem, “Take Me Far Away,” to the introspective titular track, “Only Ever Only You,” chronicling a tumultuous tale of being in love at different times. modernlove. describes the root of every song as pop music that’s both dancy and catchy, and they write and refine songs with the experience of playing them live at the forefront of their creative process. modernlove. had us movin’ and groovin’ in a packed room at Mercury Lounge, where the band realized their dream of playing in New York. We know it won’t be their last 😉
We caught up with modernlove. a few days after their Mercury Lounge show where they answered a few questions for the groovement.
What was your first concert you went to?
Graham: Paul McCartney
Barry: I know it’s not really a concert but The Lion King musical…
Is this your first time playing in NYC?
Yes, and we can’t believe that it was sold out. It was a very surreal experience. It’s always been a dream of ours to play in NYC.
How did you first get started?
Cian: So Barry and I have been friends since we were 12. Graham we met in school, started jamming out, and decided we should start a band. There wasn’t much else to do in our small town in Ireland! Danny joined a little later on.
What was the first concert you performed?
Cian: We played in a kids Youth Club called The Boomerang in Drogheda our hometown when we like 15 or 16. Danny played the same gig with a different band…20 foot drop was their name…RIP
What is the origin of the name modernlove.?
Cian: Me and Barry were watching ‘How I Met Your Mother,’ and at the end of the scene, there was a song playing by Block Party, (who we love) and it was called ‘This Modernlove.’ We thought it was cool and adopted modernlove.
How would you describe your music – either by genre or general vibe?
Danny: At the root of every song is pop music–catchy and dancy–taking inspiration from a lot of different genres…but at the root of it, we wrote songs with the idea of playing them live in mind.
Cian: Like country hip hop
Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
Graham: When we were starting the band, we were influenced by Kings Of Leon and Prince, but each of our musical tastes is so different. They’re the initial influences, and now they change every week.
Do you have anything you want people to take away from your music?
Danny: It’s open to interpretation, we don’t really feel like there’s anything specific to take from it.
Cian: We want people to take from it what they need.
What’s your dream venue to perform at?
Cian: Madison Square Garden
Danny: 3arena in Ireland! Our biggest arena back home
What’s next for you?
We plan on writing more music, we’re gonna release another EP real soon. We wanna play loads more and will be hitting the festival scene this summer. But for now, we’ve got three more weeks of a U.S. tour, including SXSW, and we can’t wait to get some sun in Austin!
📸: shot by Jill Boyatsis