The four-piece band have an undeniably dedicated fanbase, clearly responding to lyrics lamenting youth and everything else that comes along with it.
The group is comprised of Fitzgerald, Matthew Murtagh on guitar, Stephen Murtagh playing bass and Dean Gavin on the drumkit, and they are all in their early twenties.
Tales From The Backseat is a hugely impressive debut, and features some of the catchiest songs around right now.
Choosing tracks for the anticipated first album appears to have been a careful affair, the boys recorded most of it in North Hollywood with music veteran Tim Pagnotta.
It's no surprise that the musical offering flew to the top of the charts on home soil.
WE ARE NUMBER ONE!
We just got the news that our debut album 'Tales From The Backseat' is NUMBER ONE in the official album charts!!! Thank you to every single person who picked up a copy. It's an absolute dream come true for us.
Craig, Matt, Stephen and Dean pic.twitter.com/jS3oQHAD94
The boys make music with big pop choruses and indie lyrics, and if you're hearing their songs for the first time, you'll know every word by the time the track concludes.
The lead vocalist and his bandmates have a clear talent for writing music which garner a youthful audience, but does he feel the fans will grow alongside the group?
"I definitely think so. In the first album, there were songs from when we were young, so it made sense. The songs seemed to resonate with younger people. We would like to mature our sound, and that would hopefully intertwine with the fans getting older."
They've clearly figured out how to find comfort on stage, effortlessly show-casing their extensive touring experience.
Craig describes the special ability of their fans to relate their own adolescence with that of the boys' through his lyrics;
"When we go on tour, we do a lot of meeting the fans, we like to go to the merch table and we like to hear what they thought and we get to say hello," he says.
"A lot of the time what amazes me is that the songs are just stories that were specific to me as a teenager, but it’s amazing how someone can adapt the story to something that they’re going through."
From tales of fake ID's on nights out, to the turbulent relationships and friendships which parallel adolescence, The Academic paint a relatable picture of the unique energy of that time in a person's life.
It's immediately obvious when you see the band play live that they value their fans' enjoyment of music, and nerves are a thing of the past.
The band met while still in school, and began gigging once they secured their drummer Dean.
Roughly five years later, the lads are essentially pros at what they do, but touring outside of Ireland can be a game-changer for any group or musician.
"When we started and we were playing shows, you begin shy and just want to make sure that you get up and play well," the 24-year-old cites about their initial shows.
"We’ve been given so many great opportunities to go on long tours, like month long tours in the States and Europe and the UK, and I think particularly when you support so many bands over the last couple of years we’ve become so comfortable as musicians together," he added.
"Even more so than when we were just in a shed playing together. I definitely think you lose that scared feeling that you had, because you just have to get up in front of people and play."
The band have learned some valuable lessons on the road, from song-writing to making friends in high musical places, to general tips on how to command a stage. They keep one important thing in mind in particular;
"That’s one thing I think we’ve learned in the past year, is that if we’re not afraid, people won’t be afraid, and they’ll have a good time with us. When we toured with The Kooks, we just kind of watched them and loved how they were just having fun on stage and it wasn’t too serious."
"One thing that I always try to do when I go on stage, is to break down the wall and say let’s not be afraid to make a fool of ourselves."
"The whole thing is crazy, like the fact that people are staring at you playing music. They drop their barrier when they see you having fun."
Confirmed; we stared, we dropped our barrier, we had fun. Then we bought the t-shirt…
The lads give a lot of time to their fans, and are both aware and respectful of how powerful a fan's love of music can be;
"We appreciate everyone for all their weird and wacky stuff. Music makes them feel a certain way and we appreciate that no matter what it is or whatever song it was that made them attached to us."
Despite their youthful tracklist, high-energy set and the fact that they've only released their debut album this year, the lads have been penning tunes since they were in their mid-teens.
Craig reminisces on the tricks and tips of the trade which his years of the music industry has taught him;
"I’ve been writings since the age of about 15/16, and a lot of those songs are actually on the first album.I think in the beginning, so it’s five years now of song-writing experience, there’s a naivety and you’re not afraid to do anything. Then you start picking up tricks," he muses.
"The one thing I have learned now that we’ve been a band for so long, is that I always want the music to be catchy. One thing I’ve learned is that if it’s catchy, don’t be afraid of it."
For a band who are considered new to mainstream audiences, they have a level of maturity worth noting, especially when it comes to songwriting;
"That’s what people want to come and see, they want to sing along. You shouldn’t lose your innocence about song-writing, you can still think of crazy things and put them in," the vocalist says.
"The beauty is in the imagination, use it, and don’t be afraid to think outside the box. It’s very important."
When we asked Craig where he would be if The Academic was never formed, his answer remains musical, unsurprisingly.
"Maybe I would have finished college. I went to BIMM, so I would probably work in a musician’s field. Probably in the studio, that was nearly just as strong as songwriting for me. I enjoyed playing with bands too much, so I made that decision." Thank God he did, for our sakes at least.
After catching their big break after releasing Different from their first EP, radio stations took notice, and it all took off from there. The rest was indie-pop history, but do the lads ever disagree with each other?
You know us, we live for some drama…
"We’re not on the same page all the time (laughs). We usually are in sync when we know a song is good. If a song is obviously screaming out ‘Hey, I’m a good song’, we’re all on board. If there’s a more moody song or more emotional song, that’s when you can have arguments."
"We’ve always written songs together and made sure that everyone’s happy. We’d never really go ahead with a song if one member wasn’t fully happy." Creating absolute bangers and remaining diplomatic? Fair play boys.
We also wanted to know if there's a band out there that Craig would join, you know, if The Academic didn't exist of course. Which would be tragic.
"That’s a really good question, I’ve never been asked that before. We have a band on tour with us as support called Inhaler."
"The reason I enjoyed that band is that it’s so nice watching them because they’re like us four years ago. I’d love to step back to where they are now, getting support slots, heading out and being brand new again. That would be fun. Or else Fleetwood Mac would be great."
If you're wondering what 2019 will bring for the boys, it's some exciting new shows and a return to the studio to nail down some of the material written on the road.
The band will be making a big return to Iveagh Gardens in July, one year on from their concert at the famous outdoor venue, with some brand new (as yet unrecorded) music.
"What I would say we’re really excited about at the moment, is that we haven’t had any studio time in about a year. We’ve been writing songs on the road but we haven’t gotten to play them at all."
In terms of their landmark moments, their most recent gigs remain their favourites;
"I’d have to say, I think we’re all pretty blown away by the weekend we’ve just had. Two Vicar Street gigs and a headliner in Limerick, it was three in a row and every night was brilliant. It got better every time. We’re all still on a high."
The Academic have made some incredible memories in 2018, but they're just getting started.
It's official: the Jonas Brothers are BACK with their single Sucker, and it's 2008 again. We're sporting frizzy hair, kissing their posters on our walls goodnight and blaring Burnin' Up on repeat.
Their six-year-long hiatus really did break our hearts, but all is now rejuvenated. Joe, Kevin and Nick have reunited and it's clear by their new video that they're taken men. They've put rings on it, so to speak.
The partners of all three brothers feature in the track's new vid; Priyanka Chopra, Sophie Turner and Danielle Jonas, all looking flawless as they parade around a fancy mansion while their men serenade them..
The three brothers sing the lyrics to Sucker while gazing at their respective lovers, and it's intense; “I’m a sucker for all the subliminal things no one knows about you."
It's a quirky video filled with glamour and colour, and PDA of course. Priyanka and Nick literally can't keep their hands away from each other, and they're eye-f*cking WAY too much for us to feel comfortable.
Priyanka shared the video to her Instagram with the caption; “
"#SuckerVideo OUT NOW. This is the first time we’ve worked together but not for a moment did it feel like work. Such a fun family affair…#JonasBrothers and the #JSisters cheering each other on! Proud of you husband.”
The memes of Sophie Turner licking her lips of course have done the rounds, and it's pretty gas.
The song is already racing up the iTunes charts, and the video is getting the attention it deserves. We're so glad the brothers are returning to fix 2019, we needed some serious nostalgia and the lads have delivered.
*Seeps into bubble bath holding a glass of champagne*
Kevin, Joe and Nick are back as JONAS, after Joe became the frontman of DNCE and Nick began a solo career; but it's all changing now.
The news comes after they reactivated their accounts and set the images to black, which ALWAYS means that something major is about to drop:
Their social media has made their return imminent, after reactivating their Instagram and deleting every post on all channels, and uploading a black square for their profile picture. Very "It's 2017 and I'm going to cause a furore".
"It was a real honour to walk the Oxfam #fashionfightingpoverty fashion show as part of London fashion week this evening", showing herself in a black svelte outfit with a plunging neckline. She's looking FIERCE.
The mum-of-two sported gorgeous black boots and loose black trousers, with her hair styled simply and tucked behind her ears. Very Parisian chic, we feel.
She flashed a smile at the end of the catwalk, showing her excitement at representing the iconic charity in their fashion foray.
The glamorous Irish star could easily pursue a modelling career, she looks like she was born on the runway. We're glad she didn't let her ex-husband's confession dampen her moment.
In a recent interview, Ben admitted that he cheated on Una, but also claimed his infidelity wasn’t the only reason for the end of the relationship.
"At the moment anything that’s published about me is never very good and pretty rightly so because I was the one who committed adultery. But at the same time, it wasn’t the only reason for our divorce to go through."
"It’s not ideal, but we’re very amicable, we’re getting through it, we’re not the first people in the world to get divorced. We’ve got two little kids we adore," he concluded.
Una is since loved up with her new boyfriend, Tipperary hurler David Breen, and appears unfazed by her ex.
She's absolutely slaying the fashion runway anyway, and for an unreal cause. Herself and fellow singer Emeli Sande walked alongside supermodels as they took to the catwalk for Oxfam’s show to highlight sustainable fashion.
The musicians joined top models Stella Tennant and Laura Bailey at the Fashion Fighting Poverty event, showcasing Oxfam clothes specially picked by stylist Bay Garnett from the organisation’s online and high street shops.
GAA tickets for their stadium dates at Croke Park on Friday July 5 and Saturday 6 will go onsale this Tuesday February 12 at 9an from Ticketmaster nationwide.
When tickets for The Twenty Tour were first released, they were snapped up ridiculously quick in October, so the announcement comes as unreal news for any fans who missed out.
The lads are expected to be performing their absolute BOP of a new single Hello My Love, alongside their greatest hits and their 14 number one hits; Swear it Again, World of Our Own, Uptown Girl and When You're Looking Like That being among them.
Kelsy directed and produced the video for the One Direction hero for only $300, but didn't have the cash to promote the song;
"But how were we going to cut through the noise to get noticed? What would the rock legends that inspired me have done in 2019?" Celebrity tattooist Romeo Lacoste was enlisted for the sake of the tattoo, which was based on Harry's Rolling Stones cover.
The 25-year-old said Romeo traced the image and applied it to her face, and then used a special FX makeup artist.
She added; "‘BTW we know it looked ridiculous. That was the point.I had your attention." We were thinking that Romeo's talented skills needed to be brushed up…
Of course, the absurd inking went totally viral. Websites and news sites globally covered the tatt, and everyone was talking about it. TMZ wanted to chat to her, and she even considered reapplying the tattoo.
Because it's Harry's special birthday, Kelsy has made the choice to confess her fib.
"This has always been about rock ‘n’ roll. Harry is an anthem for the fans. The tattoo is gone. All that’s left is the music. Which is what my rockstar team and I had planned all along."
We have to respect her commitment, and the plan is pretty ingenious. The song is also a complete TUNE. We'd love to hear a comment from Harry on the matter though…
Danish band Lukas Graham have landed in hot water after covering the late rapper XXXTenacion's song SAD!, claiming to have no knowledge of his violent past.
The track was covered as a stripped-down version for the Spotify Singles series, and now the lead singer Lukas Forchammer has stated that the song will be removed from streaming services.
He posted a now-deleted statement to Instagram, writing; “Our cover of ‘SAD!’ will be taken down ASAP. I had no knowledge of his violent history. I’m very sorry for the pain I’ve caused. Again, I’m very sorry.”
The band allegedly had no clue about the deceased rap artist's controversial history with the law.
At the time of his death back in 2016, he was facing trial for a number of charges including false imprisonment and aggravated battery of a pregnant woman.
The band's apology referenced XXX's domestic abuse charges from October 2016, after he was shot and killed in June of that year.
XXXtenacion was charged with false imprisonment, witness tampering, and aggravated battery of a pregnant victim in OCTOBER 2016. Even after all of this he dropped his album on August 25th 2017 and his album still fucking debuted number 2 on the Billboard 200.
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