The Exact Same Kid is the moniker of Dublin born songwriter Alex Conroy. Early musical memories with his parents’ record collection introduced him to a wide variety of artists such as Meatloaf, Queen, Steely Dan, Glen Campbell and many more. Initially trying his hand as a folk musician, Alex has performed alongside acts such as The Ghandis, Clara Byrne, Apella, The Blizzards, I Have A Tribe, Cathy Davey and Neil Hannon. Ultimately growing uncomfortable with the stillness and isolation that comes from being a solo artist, the desire for a bigger sound and more collaboration led to some years of experimentation. The Exact Same Kid is the result, a heavier indie rock sound that still retained the lyrical focus of folk music.
Amateur Hour is the upcoming EP from The Exact Same Kid. Featuring 3 tracks recorded in the summer of 2021 with producer and sound engineer Aidan Cunningam. Taking influence from genres as wide ranging as classic rock to country to jazz, each song is centered around a different theme and musical style but maintaining the same narrative voice throughout.
Taking inspiration from his own life, Don’t Cry, Butano and Blue China deal with ideas of love, loss and self-discovery. Amateur Hour is about confronting your own emotions, finding out who you are and finding the strength in that knowledge.
The name itself is partly self-deprecating – falling well short of 60 minutes it’s a literal amateur hour. However, it also reflects Alex’s acceptance that music should primarily be about having fun and expressing yourself, and that owning your status as an ‘amateur’ actually just means that you are free to take risks without the added worries of success or failure.
Inspired by events in his own life, the songs deal with personal struggles and universal themes. Whether it’s the lost love of Don’t Cry, finding strength in Butano, or finding yourself in Blue China, each song should strike a different chord with everyone who listens.
“I don’t think I’m alone in having turned to music for answers at some stage in my life,” says Alex, “Amateur Hour is definitely not for that. It’s about saying I might not have the answers, but I have the same questions as you do so you’re not alone. I think there’s comfort there, in being united in our confusion.”
Butano is the first single and focus track from The Exact Same Kid’s upcoming EP Amateur Hour.
Written during a winter spent in Barcelona with nothing but a butane heater for warmth and company, Butano is about everything falling apart, about the connections we make between people and places, about facing your memories, and about telling yourself that everything will be ok.
The song itself takes its influences from classic songwriters like Tom Petty, Neil Young and Lou Reed as well as contemporary artists such as Bonny Doon, War on Drugs, Phoebe Bridgers and Kurt Vile. It was recorded in the Nutshed Studios in Clara, Co Offaly with producer and sound engineer Aidan Cunningam (Wheatus, The Blizzards, Apella, The Scratch), drummer Ronan Nolan (Ryan Sheridan,Gavin James, Apella,Murdock,Bressie,Hozier) and Dara Quilty (Apella, Fox Avenue).
In order to echo the theme of the song, the recording process used barely functioning handmade instruments, old cassette tape and audio tricks like Shepard Tones to give a sense of a song that is barely held together before ultimately completely falling apart.
“With Butano I want people to feel like I could be sitting across from them having a chat. I wanted to write something that was lyrically unambiguous – there are no clever metaphors for me to hide behind, so from that perspective it’s one of the most honest songs I’ve ever written.”
“Musically, myself and Aidan and Ronan threw everything we could at it for no better reason than we were having fun with it. We had planned to record together for years before Covid ruined our plans, so listening to Butano is listening to a bunch of guys just letting loose and really enjoying the process”
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