2014 was a strange time for two of the more respected bands in Ireland.
Wexford three piece, Adebisi Shank were quietly planning their farewell tour as they began to wind down after the release of their critically acclaimed third album, This Is The Third Album of a Band Called Adebisi Shank. The end of Adebisi Shank was mourned by music fans across the country as another Irish band who were trying to create music to stand out from the crowd had decided to call it quits.
Meanwhile, Dublin four piece, math rock band, The Cast of Cheers, one of the most exciting bands in the alternative rock scene at the time were taking a break. Having released two acclaimed albums, Chariot (2010) and Family (2012), their unofficial hiatus was greeted with a similar dismay to that which came with the end of Adebisi Shank.
However, 2014 would also be the year that long time friends, Lar Kaye (guitarist in Adebisi Shank) and Conor Adams (guitarist and vocalist in The Cast of Cheers) would begin jamming togetherin light of their other projects taking a break, these sessions would eventually blossom into their new musical project, Tvvins (later to become known as All Tvvins). Adams and Kaye would talk about the fact that their early sounds were too similar to those of Adebisi Shank and The Cast of Cheers, which lead to the two men attempting to move towards a more pop sound than fans of their previous projects would have been used to.
February 2015 would eventually bring about the first official single from the band, the infectious, Thank You – a song that remains a fan favourite at an All Tvvins live show.
A string of singles would follow across 2015 and the first half of 2016, with tracks such as Too Young To Die and Unbelievable getting the band proper mainstream radio airplay for the first time. The band would also play their biggest headline show to date in The Academy, Dublin in November 2015, a show that demonstrated the following that was starting to grow around the band, and also justified the hype that was starting to develop around them. It was a show that this writer was lucky enough to attend, and what unfolded was a truly great live show with an energy and confidence shown by Kaye, Adams, and Lewis Hedigan (who joins the drummer for live shows) that defied the early stages that this band was at in its development.
The band would eventually release their eagerly anticipated debut album, IIVV, in August 2016. The album, a collection of ten vibrant and energetic tracks, was met with critical acclaim and would feature for many when lists of the top albums of the year were being put together. Two of the tracks off the album, Thank You and Darkest Ocean, would go on to feature on the sound tracks of video games FIFA 16 and Pro Evolution Soccer 2017, respectively.
Back in 2014, Lar Kaye and Conor Adams decided to turn a period of uncertainty in their musical journeys into the birth of one of the most exciting bands in Irish music at the moment. All Tvvins never seem to not be writing or experimenting with music, as examplified by the recently released collaboration single with James Vincent McMorrow, Alone Together. It is hard to predict what the duo are going to come up with next, but regardless, it will always be interesting and fun to listen to.