For a little while, Come On Live Long were quite a big deal in Irish indie circles. A quirky, disparate band, their output was mellow and effortlessly charming, and won them a coveted Choice Music Prize nomination and the chance to expand outside Ireland.
That’s all on hold for now, however, and several of the members have gone on to form a new act, ‘Dirty Dreamer‘, a light electronic act with hints of ambient music in their style, and an overall buzz that recalls the likes of Zero 7, or the lesser-known corners of Moby’s quieter moments.
I caught up with Daithi O’Connor to talk about their new venture…
This is quite a departure from Come On Live Long. How are you finding the change?
We are loving it. Although Ken, Louise and myself have been playing together for years and years, the Dirty Dreamer project feels very fresh and each of us is bringing something new to the table.
Can you give me a quick outline of the evolution from Come On Live Long? Who’s still involved, and does this mean that COLL are finished?
The Dirty Dreamer project consists mainly of myself, Ken and Louise and also our good friend Paul Kenny who plays drums with a host of acts such as James Vincent McMorrow and Jape. We had almost 10 amazing years in Come On Live Long, released two albums independently, toured Canada and got a Choice nomination.
We did all of that completely independently. We haven’t drawn a line under the band but at the moment we are happy out with our respective projects. Rob is doing amazingly well on his own at the moment and he works extremely hard so we are delighted to see him doing so well.
We haven’t heard the second single ‘Electric Sleep’ yet – tell me a bit about that.
‘Electric Sleep’ is a song that has been kicking around for quite a while. It started out with just Louise and a piano but has had many iterations over the last few years and we think we finally nailed it this time. The full version has an ambient outro that Ken and I recorded out on Achill Island a few years ago. We recorded an old harmonium in a tiny church on a very stormy night and built it from there.
Is there much more on the way? Are you set up for live performances yet?
Yes, we have another 4 track E.P almost finished. We have been writing and recording for quite a while now so we constantly have new material ready to go. As regards gigging, we had hoped to put on our own show in May but that now looks unlikely with ye old virus.
Your press release makes the songwriting process sound a little arduous. Can you describe how it works?
At one stage in Come On Live Long we were all living in different countries and therefore we wrote songs via the internet. However, Dirty Dreamer is a completely different experience in that all the songs are written in our rehearsal room and most songs are shaped through hours of improvising and just seeing where the mood takes us.
How long have Dirty Dreamer been a thing behind closed doors, and what made this the time to emerge?
We have been working on Dirty Dreamer stuff since autumn of 2018 and we just decided that it was high time we shared what we have been working on.
This seems like the kind of project that’s ripe for collaboration. Have you considered that, and who would you like to work with locally?
Yes, we are very keen to collaborate on music with other musicians. We rehearse at the yellow door rehearsal studios which is run by our friend Paul Kenny. There are so many bands, musicians and producers working out of there that collaboration is bound to happen at some stage.
‘Air To Breathe’ is a bit of an ironic song title given a lot of us are feeling cramped at the moment – almost aspirational. How are you dealing with the coronavirus so far? Is it a writing opportunity?
We are grand. Unfortunately, we aren’t able to rehearse at the moment but there are others a lot worse off than us so we can’t complain. We record every note we play so we have hours and hours of rehearsals and jams to listen back to which might turn into songs so that will keep us busy for now.