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Cardinals start as a joke between two sixteen-year-olds in a sleepy fishing town on the southern coast of Ireland. A whole joke-taken-to-heart later and their difference is marked by an early immersion in Cork’s live music scene, ‘we wanted to juxtapose ourselves,’ says frontman Euan Manning,‘we have pop-leaning influences and didn’t want to shy away from that.’ Now barely twenty, the six-piece are next in an Irish line changing the sound of alternative music.

Blending Ireland’s musical beating heart with a swell of contemporary frisson, the six-piece are tied to making music they enjoy whilst being perpetually kept outside of their comfort zone. The result is an eclectic gothic amalgam of shoegaze, Irish trad folk, and rock which incorporates 60s Wall of Sound elements for a punk-inflected noise that ‘wants to be warm pop.’ Underpinning this trademark friction is a soft narrative arc which chases a stark vulnerability, ‘I’ve heard music and seen films and somehow felt less alone,’ says Euan, ‘if we can do that for someone else, then that’s cool in my books.’

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