You’d do worse than look to current indie luminaries Fontaines D.C. for a tip on where the best new music is coming from, so when the group’s frontman Grian Chatten declares Cork rising stars Cardinals as one of his new favourite bands then we wanna know more. Enter Cardinals debut single proper, ‘Roseland’, their first release on So Young records.
Though the song takes it’s title from a ballroom in NYC, the record’s world doesn’t leave Ireland’s second largest city, unwinding a brooding plot from MacCurtain Street police station to the harsh end of young love, soundtracked by a sparse bassline, later joined by the icy and disparate sounds of accordion, wall of sound guitars and the ecclesiastical imagery of “a tired religious vocation and a cross at the end of it all.”
The 20 year olds shun the calculable trappings of modern alt-rock to create their own cold and austere universe, immersing their songwriting in Irish trad-folk with more than a streak of a punkish intensity, like The Pogues before them, frontman Euan Manning owning the downbeat, haughty charm of Echo & The Bunnymen’s Ian McCulloch. Heck, there’s even a bit of Gang of Youths about them.
‘Roseland’ was produced by Richie Kennedy (U2, Interpol) and was released on 7th November 2023 through So Young records. You can view the video below now: