Floor Staff to Release Debut Album “Attention”
When he played Floor Staff’s single ‘Empathize’ recently, Today FM DJ Ed Smith told his listeners that the song was taken from the album ‘Attention’ and commented that Dubliner Anthony Donnelly’s upcoming debut, “will be getting a lot of attention if that song is anything to go by.”
Floor Staff has been releasing music since 2014 and although he has been highly regarded by music fans and media in that time for making “sophisticated, alternative pop” (The Irish Times) and “a deeply personal and delightful pop sound” (Wonderland), he recently took a four year hiatus to work on his sound. Donnelly had obviously spent his time well while outside the studio, because this summer he has returned in a prolific way – treating us to singles in June (‘Aspiration’), July (‘Empathize’) and August (‘The Occupants Rotate’).
The singles are all taken from Floor Staff’s debut album ‘Attention’, which is being self-released on Friday, 27th August 2021.
Anthony Donnelly says: “Since I last released music I moved out of Dublin and was living on a farm in Kilkenny for a while. It was really beautiful; a really wonderful place. I had a lot of space and time there to process some things that had happened in my life. Over the last few years I’ve been doing some teaching in the area of music which has been nice because I have gotten to be involved in music without pressuring myself, especially during those times when I wasn’t feeling so creatively charged or artistically free. The act of explaining to students that the songwriting process can be really simple, that it’s subjective, that they are totally entitled to express themselves and that everything they create has genuine value… These have been things I feel I have been coming to understand for myself again it’s re ignited my passion for the creative process.”
Never one to shy away from the personal, with his 2017 EP ‘Convictions’, Donnelly showed just how introspective good pop music can be, confronting bereavement, fidelity and self-esteem, cathartically transforming these concerns into joyous and catchy expressions of dark pop. Thematically, this album, ‘Attention’, reflects on the turmoil of loss and regret but sets it against a broad horizon of possibility, playing on the freedom of uncertainty and the urgency of hope that accompanies a personal reckoning.
Anthony says: “This album is certainly more direct then the other releases and It does feel very strange to speak more directly but it’s also pretty liberating. Maybe I’m settling into myself a little more, so I’m a bit more concerned with going with whatever comes out and accepting it as it is without considering how it could be perceived.”
Floor Staff’s first release ‘The Good Luck EP’ received critical acclaim, leading to touring of Ireland and the UK, substantial radio play and festival appearances including Other Voices, Electric Picnic, and twice at the prestigious Ireland Music Week. The video for lead single ‘The Guest’, directed by Bob Gallagher, won the Nikon Music Video Award.
This new album from Floor Staff retains all of the shimmering production quality and intricate vocal stylings we’ve come to expect.
He says: “I think, production-wise, I like to try to land on something that feels honest and reflects correctly the song’s original intent. Production is definitely important to me, whether that’s polished in style or something more messy, abrasive or low-fi. At one point on this album, there is a low quality phone recording of a squeaky gate that I passed once in Tipperary for example. It sounds pretty hellish and abrasive on the track but I feel it reflects the feeling of an all conquering, overpowering anxiety pretty well. In production terms, I’d say the low quality of the recording actually adds something and makes it even more ominous. I do have time for things sounding quite polished if the moment is right and if the song calls for it. I think sometimes the word pop can bring to mind a struggle for perfection or consistent painstaking over production. So I find myself pushing back against that at times… and that can be really satisfying.”