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Hush War Cry

They met back in college, studying, of all things, architecture – which may or may not have helped the deft structuring of their indie pop songs.

The music they listened to back then was “a lot of ’80s pop music,” according to the band’s Richie Fenton, “music like The Smiths and Talk Talk,” he says.

And, with a common interest in that music, Fenton, along with pals Eoin French, James O’Donnell, and Eoin O’Dwyer, would soon decide to form a band. Their last year in uni would find them writing an EP together – this would further solidify their partnership in the Cork, Ireland-based indie-pop outfit Hush War Cry.

Don’t think that their evocative band name arrived easily, though.

“We were searching for a name for a long time,” explains Eoin O’Dwyer. “There were a few different names bouncing around, but none really settled with us until Hush War Cry. It came from a Rimbaud poem called “Parisian Warcry” – we loved the name of the poem, and thought about using the exact title, but we wanted to put our own stamp on it.”

Adding “Hush,” O’Dwyer says, also added an apparent contradiction with the original name, which the band felt reflected their sonic ambitions.

“Simple, really,” O’Dwyer grins.

Less simplistic is Hush War Cry’s sound, which blends that aforementioned indie pop sound with shoegaze moments, jagged guitar riffs, electronica elements, and dramatic turns of lyric, translated through Eoin French’s expressive vocal work. Hints of other musical peers such as White Lies, Maccabees, and Bombay Bicycle Club are also present, even though the end sonic result remains firmly Hush War Cry’s very own.

“It’s always strange territory when you try to describe your own sound,” O’Dwyer says. “We are certainly interested in textures and atmospheres, and our time in studio really opened our eyes to certain sounds. We would always try to develop a sense of brooding, or some sort of undercurrent in our music, while still maintaining a pop element. Maybe you could say it is ‘Brood-Pop’…”

Their current EP, Voices, was written in a farmhouse outside Cork City over a couple of months, explains James O’Donnell.

“We recorded it in Noel Hogan’s (The Cranberries) studio, with Owen Lewis as producer,” he says. “To be honest, we were very new to the whole recording environment; our demos were really quite raw, looking back on it now.”

Hush War Cry caught on quickly, though, embracing the whole studio process and seeing it as just another step in their band progress, working with collaborators that already believed in the quartet’s talent.

“Owen was a great guy for bouncing ideas off of,” O’Donnell enthuses. “He has a great intuition for song arrangement, adding colour to certain parts with a new instrument that might just last for a moment. He also introduced us to vintage synths. A typical day included melody tinkering, any excuse to play one of those vintage synths, and lots of hummus,” he continues, “it was just great fun, really.”

Even more fun for the band was watching the sketches and concepts for their original songs develop into full tracks in the studio, a process that only served to reveal this quartet’s impressive range of musical talent. It’s no wonder they’re been hailed by both their homeland and indie-pop fans worldwide as a definite band to watch.

“(Developing song ideas into recorded tracks) is one of the most rewarding things, we feel,” says Eoin French. “When it goes well, the process begins to take on a life of its own, which is what you search for.”
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For more info on Hush War Cry, find them on Facebook. Their Voices EP is currently available on iTunes, as well as at independent record shops across Dublin and Cork, Ireland; a U.S. single release of the track “Lily” is planned for this year.