Sometimes you love a band, and then they simply disappear. When you’re inclined to an affection towards a local act who even founded their own little scene through a label (Trout Records), and stoked it with their own boisterous, guitar-mashing live shows, these kind of ‘fade aways’ seems to happen all too often. Sometimes, likes with Spies in 2018, they band later returns in a blaze of glory.
The return of this particular fiery band whose early EPs set tongues wagging could hardly be more well-timed. Dublin’s rock scene is on quite a high, recently prompting a feature in NME which waxed lyrical about the strength of the city’s output, hyping the likes of Girl Band, Fontaines D.C., The Murder Capital and Silverbacks.
With the return of Spies accompanied by a long overdue debut album in ‘Constancy’ (the band formed way back in 2011), there’s a marked change in style and substance. There are still plenty of those guitars, but gone are their overpowering domination, with elements of synth work and even a mellow album-closing ballad adding depth to Spies’ palette.
“We wanted to work on an album properly, so we took a step back from gigging. When the album was complete, we couldn’t see the wood for the trees,” vocalist Michael Broderick explains. “We weren’t really sure how good it was, so we decided to let it rest.” When the band finally returned to the stage with a new single in April of this year, it had been nearly two years since their last show.
“We started thinking about the keyboards and stuff when we finished producing our last EP, at The Meadow,” Broderick says of the stylistic change prevalent on the release, which follows three earlier short-form records. “We saw what we could do with all the equipment they had down there.”
“The new album is about coping with change. It’s about the inevitability of it in life, about how you can’t control your environment, so you have a really limited amount of control about how things change around you.”