Four in the Morning have just released their Debut EP ‘Stress Dreams’ today, with their brand new single ‘Keep It Together’ out now across all digital platforms.
Speaking about the EP Kevin Dolan of Four in the Morning said: “I didn’t really notice until the record was finished how many references to sleep and dreams there were across it. The songs are obsessed with family, longing, stress, depression, love, and how we make sense of all of it. They’re fragments, feelings, and a means of coping.”
The pandemic did wonders for Four in the Morning. As the music industry (and let’s face it, the world) faced one the toughest years ever, Four in the Morning bunkered down to write and record some of the most exciting music they’ve ever made. The new single ‘Keep It Together’ is the first track off of the resulting EP.
Led by Irish singer-songwriter Kevin Dolan and surrounded by an eclectic group of genre defying musicians – Kiran Srinivasan, Dan Walwyn and Alex Lees – Four in the Morning write sad songs for insomniacs. As Kevin Dolan puts it: “I’ve always been bad at sleeping and I find late at night a great time to write. Whether it’s a dream or a song, there’s something beautiful in the subconscious taking all the stuff from a day and making sense of it. I guess that’s what these songs try to do.”
The band are a strange mix of musicians and joke that really they shouldn’t be friends. Kevin Dolan is an Irish history podcaster obsessed with lyrics, Kiran Srinivasan an Alfa Mist loving funk nut, Alex Lees grew up playing jazz, and Dan Walwyn — well he might actually be the glue that holds it all together — is a bass player who loves Tool and Paul Simon equally.
Throughout lockdown they began writing a series of songs that would become their new EP, ‘Stress Dreams’. They worked with Ainslie Wills over Zoom, bounced files back and forth between each other, and had recording dates repeatedly knocked back. Another band may have given up, but they just used the delays and unwanted time to push the songs further and further.
As the band tells it, ‘Keep It Together’ started as not much more than a simple piano riff and some words. They then pushed it and twisted it and changed it until it broke repeatedly. It’s been everything from a boring indie banger, to a slow piano ballad, to an electronic glitch fest. But, once the band landed on the song’s signature drum loop, the whole thing clicked.
Filled with references to Nixon, press conferences, and broken fire alarms, the song gives the sense of a slightly surreal and unhinged world. Which is probably apt for 2021. Kevin Dolan explains that it’s about trying to fix a record player — sort of. “Early last year — as wages were cut, gigs finished, flights cancelled and people died on the radio — my problem was a broken record player. I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make it sing me something. Eventually I realised that fixing a record player wasn’t going to fix the world, and this song kind of stemmed from that. It’s about putting on a good face for ones you love and how that never really works.”
After multiple delays and with only a week before a government grant ran out, ‘Stress Dreams’ was produced, recorded and mixed by Jono Steer (Angie McMahon, Ainslie Wills, Leif Vollebekk, Julia Wallace) at The Perch Recording Studio in Castlemaine in rural Australia. The band describe the time saying: “When we were able to come together to record in Castlemaine with Jono, it was like a year’s worth of creative energy was allowed to run wild. In four days we transformed the songs all over again and it was nothing short of exhilarating.”
For fans of The National, Mick Flannery, Phoebe Bridgers, Elbow and Lisa Hannigan, ‘Keep It Together’ the brand new single from Four in the Morning is out now across all streaming platforms, with debut EP ‘Stress Dreams’ released today.