For their first album as Gilla Band, the foursome from Ireland have redrawn their own paradigm. Most Normal is like little you’ve heard before, a kaleidoscopic spectrum of noise put in service of broken pop songs, FX-strafed Avant-punk rollercoaster rides and passages of futurist dancefloor nihilism.
Covid lockdown robbed Gilla Band of any opportunity to try the new material out live, but the pandemic also incinerated any idea of a deadline for the new album. They were free to tinker at leisure, to rewrite and restructure and reinvent tracks they’d cut – to, as drummer Adam Faulkner puts it, “pull things apart and be like, ‘Let’s try this. We could try out every wild idea.”
The group also fell under the spell of modern hip-hop, “where there’s really heavy-handed production and they’re messing with the track the whole time,” says bassist Daniel Fox. “That felt like a fun route to go down, it was a definite influence.”
The common thread holding Most Normal’s ambitious avant-pop shapes together is frontman Dara Kiely. Throughout, he’s an antic, antagonistic presence, barking wild, hilarious, unsettling spiels, babbling about smearing fish with lubricant or dressing up in bin-liners or having to wear hand-me-down boot-cut jeans.