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Fontaines D.C. Set a Panic Attack to Disco-Rock on ‘Starburster’

Track comes off quintet’s upcoming Romance album

The gasps in Fontaines D.C.‘s new song, “Starburster,” tell its whole story: Frontman Grian Chatten suffered a panic attack in a London tube station and decided to chronicle that feeling on a funky, disco-rock track. After refrains of “It may feel bad,” he unleashes an onslaught of stream-of-consciousness worries, including “I wanna bite the phone, I wanna bleed the tone/I wanna see you alone, alone, alone.” The drums keep things going on the song, which will appear on their upcoming fourth album, Romance (out Aug. 23), until he comes to the realization, “How I feel? I wanna keel.” The video is even more anxiety-inducing.

The quintet spent a month writing the album and nearly another month in a North London studio doing preproduction. The Fontaines recorded it with producer James Ford in a Paris chateau over another month.

Guitarist Conor Deegan says they decided on the title because of their penchant for romanticization. “We’ve always had this sense of idealism and romance,” he said in a statement. “Each album gets further away from observing that through the lens of Ireland, as directly as Dogrel. The second album [A Hero’s Death] is about that detachment, and the third [Skinty Fia] is about Irishness dislocated in the diaspora. Now we look to where and what else there is to be romantic about.”


“We say things on this record we’ve wanted to say for a long time,” Chatten said. “I never feel like it’s over, but it’s nice to feel lighter.” He can breathe … for now.

Romance track list: 
1. “Romance”
2. “Starburster”
3. “Here’s the Thing”
4. “Desire”
5. “In the Modern World”
6. “Bug”
7. “Motorcycle Boy”
8. “Sundowner”
9. “Horseness Is the Whatness”
10. “Death Kink”
11. “Favourite”

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