Fontaines D.C. grapple with the dilution and disruption of Irish culture abroad on their new song “Skinty Fia,” the title track from the outfit’s upcoming album, out April 22 via Partisan Records.
“Skinty Fia” moves at a quick but menacing pace, the clang in the percussion echoing over an ominous churn of guitars and synths. Lyrically, the song uses a metaphor of a doomed relationship to explore some of the ideas the term “Skinty Fia” — an old Irish swear meaning “the damnation of the deer” — conjured for Fontaines D.C. singer Gian Chatten.
As Chatten recently explained to Rolling Stone, “[I]t sounds like mutation and doom and inevitability and all these things that I felt were congruous to my idea of Irishness abroad. Like if you go to Boston, that expression of Irishness. That’s skinty fia to me. That’s that mutation. That’s a new thing. It’s not unlicensed and it’s not impure. Just because it’s diaspora, it’s still pure. It’s just a completely new beast.”
“Skinty Fia” also arrives with an appropriately eerie music video, directed by Hugh Mulhern. In the clip, Chatten makes his way through a packed party crowd that grows increasingly surreal, with strange figures and rituals popping up amidst the revelry.
Skinty Fia will mark Fontaines D.C.’s third album and first since 2020’s A Hero’s Death. The title track is the third song the band has shared from the LP so far, following “Jackie Down the Line” and “I Love You.” Fontaines D.C. will hit the road in support of the album later this month, starting with a European run, before kicking off a North American leg April 21 in Washington, D.C.