“As time wore on, we increasingly felt the need to make something that shook us out of the fog. Something rattly, loose and defiant that blew the cobwebs away. Music that we could imagine playing at a 2am festival slot.”
So say HousePlants, the exciting creative vision of two of Ireland’s most respected artists – Bell X1 frontman Paul Noonan and innovative atmospheric producer Daithí.
“Having made ‘Take The Wheel’ together for Daithí’s most recent record, I sent him a song last summer by way of a ‘Howaya?’, really, but also for his banger sensibilities!” says Noonan. “We began trading ideas with the idea that whatever we were doing was not ‘Take The Wheel’, that we go the other way and make music that was visceral and a release of sorts.”
Daithí picks up the thread. “It doesn’t feel like one of us featuring on the other’s music – it’s greater than the sum of its parts,” he says. “I’ve always worked as a solo producer so forming a band has been a lovely experience. There’s magic in seeing one of your ideas being worked on from a different point of view, sending music to someone you trust and having it return as a brand new piece of art. The more you work together on an idea, the further it goes until eventually you can’t see the seams. It’s something completely unique.”
Debut single ‘What’s With All The Pine?’ is peppered with playful observations courtesy of Noonan’s wandering mind, forever etching little mental notes during his many virtual appointments across the past year. Noonan considers the track “an attempt to speak to one of the phenomena of this time; the sometimes soul-crushing Zoom calls, the efforts to convey a certain taste or togetherness with our backgrounds – while all around us is going to shit! – having a snoop, an interest in others’ private spaces and a certain judgy-ness around it all.”
For both artists, the project represents reclamation amidst a significantly difficult era for creative souls across Ireland and beyond. “There’s a community of music makers who mainly see each other at gigs and nights like the Choice Music Prize that feels somewhat atomised in the void of lockdown,” he says. “One of the nicer things about this time is that artists have been checking in on each other. It feels like lots of people are doing what we did.”
That sense of camaraderie and community is hard-wired into the music of HousePlants. A new tribe for modern times. All welcome.