“NewDad’s first full-length shows them expanding on their indie-pop roots, adding extra gnarly post-punk bite and more sophisticated textures to their updated mix of The Cure, Slowdive and Curve” – Uncut

“NewDad find a winning immediacy and existential angst that’s reminiscent of the Cure, Wolf Alice or New Order” – The Observer

“A compelling mix of alt-pop, folk balladry and all manner of fuzzball spookiness” – Record Collector

“NewDad are the Irish shoegazers trying to set out their own generational path” – Rolling Stone UK

“The way in which NewDad’s music untangles the minutiae of major life changes has won them the hearts of a young, devoted following to whom they are somewhere between friends and emergent rock heroes – awe-inspiring and aspirational, but also accessible” – NME

“A debut album of formidable heights” – Dork

Entering 2024 as one of Ireland’s brightest new bands following a slew of hype from the likes of NME (check out their recent cover feature), Rolling Stone UK, The Observer, Uncut and 6 Music, today, NewDad release their acclaimed debut album ‘Madra’ on Fair Youth/Atlantic (listen here). Spending the bulk of last year advancing their status as one of Ireland’s most anticipated alt/rock bands, NewDad released a series of track drops in the run-up to their debut – ‘In My Head’, ‘Angel’, ‘Let Go’, ‘Nightmares‘ and ‘White Ribbons: a demonstration of the Galway outfit’s fuzzy shoegaze sound and melanonic lyricism, which has seen them become lauded as heroes of existential turmoil.

The band’s debut album, Madra (meaning “dog” in Irish), is an 11-song, guitar-stacked visceral outing, as singer/guitarist Julie Dawson embarks on a journey of self-exploration, self-sabotage, and reflection. Soaked in dysfunction, Madra searches for solace in pain, tackling themes of bullying (‘Where I Go’), self-medication/depression (‘Madra’, ‘Let Go’), destruction (‘Change My Mind’, ‘White Ribbons’), codependency (‘Nosebleed’) and resistance (‘Nightmares’). The album artwork, photographed by Irish creative, Joshua Gordon, shows a broken doll that serves as a metaphor for the album’s themes of fragility and vulnerability.

The album finds NewDad reconnect with their musical roots, digging deep into the shoegaze/rock sonics that soundtracked their formative years (the band cite Pixies, The Cure and Slowdive as some of their biggest early influences), together with glimmers of indie/pop that harks back to their earlier material: ‘Waves EP’ (2021) and ‘Banshee EP’ (2022). Written in their home city of Galway, Ireland, before the band moved to London this year, and recorded at the legendary Rockfield Studios (Black Sabbath, Queen), the album has been produced by NewDad’s long-time collaborator Chris W Ryan (Just Mustard) and mixed by Alan Moulder (The Smashing Pumpkins, Nine Inch Nails, Wet Leg). Bound together by Julie’s ghostly vocal – a vessel for her weighty, introspective songwriting – Madra firmly marks NewDad as one of Ireland’s most promising debut guitar bands.

Speaking upon the album’s announcement, Julie said – “Madra meaning dog in Irish explores various difficult parts of the human condition and the idea of the title is that these feelings that come up are sometimes ones you can’t escape, feelings that follow you around like a dog. We had an amazing team around us who helped bring these songs to life and we’re so excited for this album to be out in the world. We hope that people connect with the songs and that Madra can be a comfort to everyone who listens.”

Most recently, Julie sat down with 6 Music’s Huw Stephens for a round table 2023 round-up (listen here). The band will tour IRELAND & UK in Feb/March, taking in London’s KOKO on 5 March.


Madra tracklisting
1) Angel
2) Sickly Sweet
3) Where I Go
4) Change My Mind
5) In My Head
6) Nosebleed
7) Let Go
8) Dream Of Me
9) Nightmares
10) White Ribbons
11) Madra

UK & Ireland Tour
24 Feb 2024 Leeds Belgrave Music Hall *SOLD OUT*
25 Feb 2024 Manchester Band On The Wall *SOLD OUT*
26 Feb 2024 Glasgow St Luke’s
28 Feb 2024 Dublin Button Factory *SOLD OUT*
29 Feb 2024 Dublin Button Factory *SOLD OUT*
2 March 2024 Birmingham O2 Institute
3 March 2024 Bristol Trinity
5 March 2024 London Koko