NewDad’s ‘Angel’ is a flare of maximum-volume shoegaze, delivered with more confidence than the band has ever displayed before. The second single from their forthcoming debut album ‘Madra’ (due January 26) melds a gust of distortion with enigmatic lyrics, which balance on the precipice between destruction and ecstasy. “You’re an angel / I’m just trying to be like you,” sings vocalist and guitarist Julie Dawson. “Even if it’s painful.”
It’s the non-traditional elements of NewDad’s sound that truly set them apart. The Galway four-piece return on a wave of hype that has been following them for the past few years; at the start of 2023, they signed with Atlantic Records [Paramore, Fred Again..] after 2021’s ‘Waves’ EP and its follow-up ‘Banshee’, which was released in 2022. They craft heady, echoing melodies akin to their peers Ezra Williams or She’s In Parties, but there’s an experimental flair laying underneath the surface of their music – as evidenced by a recent, rock-edged cover of Charli XCX’s ‘ILY2’.
In a previous interview with NME, Dawson cited fellow Irish noise-rockers Just Mustard as a key contemporary influence, as much for their outsider spirit as their expansive sound. On ‘Angel’ you can see where the similarities between the two bands lie: much of the track’s careening beauty comes from Dawson’s vocal, which can make a haunted, repeated incantation of “Want you to drown inside me / It’s not fair to be your responsibility” take on multiple meanings. It’s unnervingly catchy.
Here, NewDad sound keen to move away from the melodic indie and pop influences that dominated their earlier work, and instead shift into moodier and darker territory. With ‘Angel’, they have laid out their bold, new mission statement – now let’s see what’s next.
For fans of: Just Mustard, She’s In Parties
Where to see them: On tour in early 2024, starting at Leeds’ Belgrave Music Hall on February 24. Head here for further information and tickets.