Irish-Australian band Four in the Morning have released their new single, Keep It Together, the first track from their upcoming EP, Stress Dreams. We asked front man Kevin Dolan the BIG questions . . .

Led by Irish singer-songwriter Dolan, who is also an Irish history podcaster, the band also feature Kiran Srinivasan, Dan Walwyn and Alex Lees and they say they "write sad songs for insomniacs".

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As Dolan says, "I've always been bad at sleeping and I find late at night a great time to write. Whether it’s a dream or a song, there’s something beautiful in the subconscious taking all the stuff from a day and making sense of it. I guess that’s what these songs try to do."

Filled with references to Nixon, press conferences, and broken fire alarms, Keep it Together gives the sense of a slightly surreal and unhinged world. Which is probably apt for 2021.

Dolan explains that it’s about trying to fix a record player - sort of. "Early last year as wages were cut, gigs finished, flights cancelled, and people died on the radio my problem was a broken record player.

"I spent an inordinate amount of time trying to make it sing me something. Eventually I realised that fixing a record player wasn’t going to fix the world, and this song kind of stemmed from that. It’s about putting on a good face for ones you love and how that never really works."

Tell us three things about yourself?

I’m an Irishman who set up a band to make friends in Melbourne.

I have an Irish history podcast and once made a Bob Dylan documentary for RTÉ Radio 1.

My left thumb doesn’t bend - it just doesn’t have a knuckle.

How would you describe your music?

Therapy? We usually say that we write sad songs for insomniacs. Quiet songs to play loudly. Stressful songs to sit and drink along with, songs to walk the dog to, songs that ask you to fall into the speakers and songs that might help you feel a little more human. Sometimes we joke that our music is "sitting room rock."

Who are your musical inspirations?

The band has a pretty wide variety of inspirations and this list could go on for days. I’m obsessed with the likes of Mick Flannery, Leonard Cohen, The National, Big Thief or This Is The Kit. Kiran (our keys player/drummer) loves Alfa Mist, Noname, Herbie Hancock, and Bonobo. Alex (our guitarist) is a Radiohead and Phoebe Bridgers nut. Dan (bass) loves Tool, Karnivool, and Paul Simon. All of it gets swallowed up and spat out in our music.

What are you most looking forward to post-lockdown?

I’m looking forward to getting back home to Ireland. I’ve turned into a right old cliché, not realising what I was missing until I was gone. It’s been four years since I’ve seen my family, so I can’t wait for a big noisy dinner and a walk along Lahinch beach while shivering with the dog. Oh, that and getting way too drunk at a gig in Whelan’s. Any gig will do at this point.

What’s your favourite song right now?

White Woman’s Instagram from Bo Burnham’s Inside. I didn’t expect to like this but it’s funny, sad, and surreal. Just genius.

Favourite lyric of all time?

Ooof, big question. I could pick from a lot of really beautiful, well-crafted, thoughtful lyrics but if you’re talking about all time it’s got to be a lyric you can live to. I shortlisted to three options and now I don’t have the heart to remove one, so here’s all three!

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"Those not busy being born are busy dying" - Bob Dylan - It’s Alright Ma (I’m Only Bleeding). I take a different meaning from it every time I hear this one, but it always reminds me to just do stuff, make things, enjoy life. Otherwise, you’re waiting to die.

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"I’m singing for the love of it. Have mercy on the man who sings to be adored" Josh Ritter - Snow is Gone. It’s a simple reminder to do what you love for no other reason than that’s what you love doing.

And these lines from The National made me totally rethink how I write. "I was a white girl in a crowd of white girls in the park, I was a television version of a person with a broken heart". The National - Pink Rabbits.

If you could only listen to one song for the rest of your life, what would it be?

OK, this song would have to be a workhorse that could stand up to repeat listens. A song you could drive to, bang to, dance to and never get sick of. Really there’s only one option - the live version of Rosalita (Come Out Tonight) by Bruce Springsteen & The E Street Band.

Where can people find your music/more information?

In Melbourne, we can sit down for a chat. Failing that they can find us on all the socials and streaming platforms by searching for Four in the Morning or by checking out our website.