In the summer of 2016, an indie pop rock band hailing from Dublin called the Coronas burrowed themselves in the quaint County of Dingle on the southwestern coast of Ireland. The work they created would eventually evolve into their fifth studio album, Trust the Wire, which made waves in both Irish and international markets upon its June 2017 release. Like much of their repertoire, the record explores introspective themes concerning love and fraternity, and, more specifically, touches on subjects like the band members’ experiences and uncertainty in the music industry.
“[When making the album, we asked ourselves] ‘What are we going to write about that we haven’t written about before?’” Danny O’Reilly, the band’s lead singer, said in an interview with The McGill Tribune. “You have to write about what you’re going through and hope that people relate to it [….] I find that the more honest I am, the more that people relate to [my music].”
While Trust the Wire adds some zest to the Coronas’ typical easy-strumming guitar style with some folksy riffs like those in “Not What You Know,” the collection largely sticks to what has made the band so successful in its 10 years in the Irish spotlight: Gentle, harmonic chords that slowly crescendo into the crux of the songs. “Real Feel” features an electric guitar solo to finish up the song, and “We Couldn’t Fake It” culminates in a climatic fortissimo.
“These songs are about moments,” O’Reilly said. “Oftentimes we write a song and really it’s just about that climatic moment, and we try to build and create moments that create a special impact on people [….] Maybe it’s because we know it’s our strength. It just happens naturally.”
The album creation process began with the Coronas breaking away from Island Records, feeling like the label was not supporting the band enough as artists. The London-based production company that has managed talents including U2, Drake, and Ariana Grande, and worked with the group on their 2014 album The Long Way.
“We were at a crossroads,” O’Reilly said. “ [We] did some soul searching and made the decision to leave and release our content independently.”
Breaking away from Island Records eventually led to the formation of the Coronas’ independent production company, So Far So Good Records. With this newfound freedom, the band determined to experiment a new way of writing music. They traveled to the Irish countryside and the rest is history.
“With the last album we had it back in our mind that we signed with a major so let’s write singles, let’s write hits,” O’Reilly said. “[With] this album we didn’t go over the top, we tried creating something a little more atmospheric, a little more chill.”
The result came to be the most successful album the band has created to date. Topping at number one on the Irish music chart and just coming off a world tour last fall, the Coronas’ future looks promising. With British singer-songwriter Bobby Long opening, they begin their North American tour on Feb. 8 at Petit Campus in Montreal, to be followed by shows across Canada and the United States.
O’Reilly cites the band members’ close friendships with each other as a prime driver of their sustained success over the years and how that fuses itself in with their music.
“Obviously [while our music in Trust the Wire is] still about relationships and friendships, really it’s about the band and our desire and our ambition, you know, songs about writing songs,” O’Reilly said. “Trying not to get too caught up in the music industry.”
The Coronas are set to be on tour for much of 2018, after which O’Reilly hopes to work on a new album.
The Coronas are set to perform at Petit Campus this Thursday, Feb. 8 at 8pm. Tickets are available online.