The Academic exceed expectations on new EP 'Community Spirit'

Credit: Rich Gilligan

The Academic come into their own with the release of charming new EP ‘Community Spirit’. The foursome have already amassed a loyal body of fans, an Irish #1 debut album and some truly incredible support slots (Catfish and The Bottlemen, The Rolling Stones) and as such, their reputation is befitting. Hailing from a small town in County Westmeath, Ireland, The Academic continue to exceed all expectations for a young indie outfit.

Opening with Dean Gavin’s bold percussion on lead single ‘Not Your Summer’, we’re thrown into a buoyant and immediately catchy track with a driving guitar riff. Frontman Craig Fitzgerald’s vocals have a natural charisma and are complete by his effervescent delivery. Speaking of the single’s inspiration, he explains “Enjoying your own company can be a great thing, but it can also take its toll and that’s how I was feeling at the time, needing time away from myself”.

‘Smart Mouth’ continues the summery coming-of-age tone we know The Academic well for, with a funky bassline and 80s-synth-fused take on classic indie. It’s loaded with attitude and self assurance — flaunting that same jaunt from the previous track. ‘I Don’t See Good’ adopts a darker, sentimental flair at the opportune moment. As the middle track of the EP, the group stylishly remind us of their range, but Fitzgerald’s iconic vocals are humble and vulnerable despite a calculatedly chaotic bridge drenched in distortion.

Turning back to more 80s influence, ‘For The Camera’ is a feast of harmony, witty lyrics and a memorable melody. Then, we have ‘Kids (Don’t End Up Like Me)’ which was pulled from Fitzgerald’s teenage musings. He explained, “I started looking through all my old notebooks and found this song fully written… I had a gut feeling that it might come to life now with a few more years of living behind me”. Written back when he feared he’d never leave his hometown, it feels poignant to return to the track as The Academic continue to rise through the ranks. ‘Community Spirit’ ends as it begins; sunny, thoughtful and bursting with nostalgia.

The Academic need never rely on gimmick or over-production. Put simply, they’re an extremely talented group of lads with drive and a knack for excellent songwriting. With a UK Spring tour scheduled for 2022, the only way is up.