The Academic are an Irish indie rock band, formed in Rochfortbridge, County Westmeath in 2013. The band consists of Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, and brothers Matthew and Stephen Murtagh.
Their début studio album, Tales from the Backseat, was released in January 2018, entering the Irish Albums Chart at number one. The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the Choice Music Prize in January 2019.
Formation and early years (2013-2016)
The Academic were formed in 2013, when Fitzgerald, Gavin and the Murtagh brothers were attending St Joseph’s Secondary School, Rochfortbridge.
Such was the reaction to the release of their début EP, Loose Friends, in October 2015, that the band sold out their first show at Dublin venue Vicar Street.
In January 2016, the band were selected by RTÉ 2FM to represent Ireland at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, which resulted in numerous festival bookings and extensive radio airplay across Europe that year.
Tales from the Backseat (2017-2019)
The band garnered further media interest in July 2017 with the release of “Bear Claws”, an anthemic track which was likened in style to The Strokes. The track received further attention after the premiere of their first-of-a-kind live looper music video. The video, which was performed live on a Facebook video stream, utilized the delay in the stream to create a musical loop, to which they gradually added vocals and instruments. It was a viral hit and reached over 1 million views on YouTube in 48 hours.
The band announced on 26 October 2017 that their début LP, Tales from the Backseat, would be released on 12 January 2018. The album was released to critical acclaim, entering the Irish Albums Chart at number one.
Their biggest headline show to date took place at the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, on 20 July 2018, before they embarked upon a US, European, UK and Ireland tour for the autumn of 2018.
The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the Choice Music Prize in January 2019.
The band signed to Capitol Records in May 2020.