Akrobat is not your typical band.
Avant-garde and experimental, they move between overlapping genres and sounds with agility, from left-field to mainstream to somewhere in between.
A collective of musicians, vocalists and songwriters from across the globe creating alt/indie music with a jazz infusion, each artist brings their own rich musical experiences and cultural perspectives, drawing on an established career built on the alt/indie and jazz scene.
Cleverly blending elements of indie, garage, electronica, new-wave punk, funk and jazz, Akrobat’s defining sound is contemporary and multi-layered, but harmonious — each track is interwoven and of a piece with distinctive vocals and guitar lines. Resisting the compressed sound of some modern music, the band gives their words and music the room to spread out and breathe.
With echoes of their key influences, including Television, PJ Harvey, The Velvet Underground, Radiohead, Bowie, Sonic Youth, and Kurt Vile they offer their own fresh take with clever, dreamlike lyrics, art-pop sensibilities and great musicianship.
The band thrives on authenticity and versatility; music that soothes and enchants one minute, and beckons you to dance the next. Gliding from Leonard Cohen-cool, infectious pop, then kinetic, peppy tracks to rock out to.
Akrobat is redefining the interface between music and art with their unique exploration of new styles and genres. Unafraid to push boundaries or challenge musical norms, they are an exciting addition to the thriving alt-music scene, joining the likes of Fontaines D.C., Silverbacks, Kevin Morby, Wet Leg and Gilla Band in blazing a trail.
Weird is cool — and Akrobat are here to spread the word, celebrating the good times as they do.
Frontman and singer-songwriter Shane Regan (Dublin) is at the helm, his compelling vocals and narrative prose synergised by Paddy Lyons (Kilkenny) on lead guitar and his expressive, cascading guitar threads. Selen Korku (Istanbul) on vox has a sublime vocal range, bringing life and mood to each track. Eoin McCarthy (Dublin) on keys/synths provides extra texture, and Joan Pelaez (Barcelona) on bass and Peter Cahill (Bray) on drums add rhythm and body to the music.
Combined, it’s a mighty, abundant soundscape that bursts with raw energy.
AKROBAT – THE STORY SO FAR
Akrobat’s story is informed by friendships built on a love of great music, creative perseverance and the pursuit of dreams.
During the mid to late 2000s, Shane cut his teeth as a singer-songwriter in Dublin where artists such as Damien Rice had been thriving. Despite being influenced by classic songwriters like Bob Dylan, Tom Waits, Leonard Cohen and The Beatles where his roots were grounded, he couldn’t shake the feeling that he didn’t fit the mould, or want to. Driven by an appetite for something different in terms of musicality, sound and spirit, he began to seek out other musicians who felt like he did.
Shane met Paddy at university and they became good friends, bonding over a love of alt-music bands like Radiohead, Pavement, Deus and Talking Heads. A strong musical collaboration soon formed, as they honed their guitar skills and songwriting ability and quickly began to create material. In 2011 they recorded an album followed by a spate of gigs, but the duo realised they needed more.
Shane then met Eoin and they quickly became fast friends, joined again by a mutual appreciation of alternative music. With Paddy exploring different projects for the time being, Shane and Eoin began to play together, this time with keys instead of a guitar. Buoyed by the new wave bands of the ‘00s such as Strokes, Interpol, Yeah Yeah Yeahs and LCD Soundsystem, this brought a new dimension to Shane’s tracks that had been previously unexplored.
When Paddy rejoined the mix in 2015 they were edging closer to their vision, but there was something missing — a female vocalist who could hit the high notes that Shane could hear clearly in his head, but couldn’t reach through his baritone, simmering vocal style.
A friend recommended Dublin’s popular Jazz Jam and it was there Shane met Pauline who, like Paddy, was trained by the prolific guitarist, composer and educator, Mike Nielsen. Only a few weeks later, Pauline was singing Shane’s songs in his flat and the empty void was filled.
Music without bass is an empty wall, but it was a challenge to find a rhythm section that could fit with Akrobat’s unique, alternative sound — one they were in no rush to change.
In 2016 Shane and Ales sat next to each other at a friend’s birthday party. Turns out, Ales loved to talk, to play bass, and mainly jazz. The hand of fate had intervened again.
Soon after, Shane, Eoin and Ales were jamming together in Ales’s front room and the band became known as Crow Airport. They played a few gigs, recorded an EP at The Meadow studios and, in the absence of a regular drummer, were supported by percussionists and session musicians. Things were starting to happen.
Then in 2020, COVID-19 hit.
Lockdown gave Shane a natural pause for re-evaluation and reflection on his song-writing style and desired sound. He stripped everything back, wiped the slate clean, and immersed himself in contemporary music, dance, electronics, and new songwriting techniques — and Akrobat was born. It was a pivotal moment.
Shane penned 10 new songs and between August and November 2021, the band recorded them back at The Meadow with acclaimed producer Rian Trench. He instinctively knew how to work the band to their full potential and Akrobat’s debut album, JAMMED SPACE MOVEMENT was finished in rapid time. Finally, drummer Sebastian jumped on board, the remaining piece of the puzzle.
Akrobat were fully formed — and ready to set the alt-music scene ablaze.
Akrobat’s debut album, Jammed Space Movement, is due for release in the summer of 2022, and has already garnered positive reviews and word-of-mouth praise.
The ten-track record deftly expresses their observations on love, rejection and finding life back in the city again after the repressive isolation of the pandemic through poetic lyrics.
The title track is about finding creativity and movement in confinement, mentally and physically; and still chasing that desire or dream — an endless, beautiful pursuit that forms part of Akrobat’s own story.
Recorded between August and November 2021 at The Meadow studios, the recording of the album was played predominantly live for maximum effect.
Akrobat is due to play several gigs in 2022 and will feature on festival bills over the summer, with an album launch gig scheduled for November 2022.
Preview/review from Stephen Kennedy (Nighthawks @ The Cobalt):
“Listening to Akrobat’s new album is like walking through a brilliantly curated music festival. In one tent you have the infectious pop of a song like ‘Eskimo’ — and in the next you have the jazz-funk of ‘Music Ain’t No Crime’ — or the Leonard Cohen cool of a song like ‘Sappho’. It’s all there. And as you move through the fields, chewing on your tofu nachos, each new track confirms that you are where you should be, and that you’ll definitely be coming back again for more.”
Preview/review from Joe Donnelly (former Phantom FM and TX FM):
“Akrobat’s new album is superb, and follows in the path of rising Dublin band Silverbacks, best exemplified in tracks like ‘Air Station’ and ‘Zamalour’. These are two really great tunes, and the band are brilliant at changing tempo, such as in songs like ‘Sappho’. They would fit a bill with acts like Bodega or Dry Cleaning and there is a lineage going back through to bands like Pavement and even back to Talking Heads. A band to keep an eye on.”