Home / News / Villagers Announce fourth album The Art Of Pretending To Swim out September 21
Photo credit: Rich Gilligan

Villagers Announce fourth album The Art Of Pretending To Swim out September 21

Restless and inventive, while always true to the power of songwriting and melody, Conor O’Brien has made another great leap forward with Villagers’ fourth studio album, The Art Of Pretending To Swim, out via Domino on September 21, 2018.

Following the sparse, intimate aura of 2015’s Darling Arithmetic, O’Brien’s new record reconnects with the multi-faceted approach of Villagers’ 2010 album debut Becoming A Jackal and 2013’s {Awayland} while adding a new-found soulfulness, rhythmic nous and sonic detail. The 9 songs on The Art Of Pretending To Swim balance a direct accessibility with lyrical themes embracing existential fears and hopes in this desperate, technologically-centered dystopian age.

The album was written, produced, mixed and primarily performed by Conor O’Brien in his Dublin studio.

The video for ‘A Trick of the Light’, the first single from the album, was directed by Bob Gallagher. Conor says of the collaboration: “Myself and Bob got together and discussed the song thematically and came to the conclusion that there was no other option but to make a short film in which we follow a disheveled shamanistic protagonist who mysteriously triggers an altered state of consciousness in everyone he meets, or at least believes that he does. We also wanted lots of dancing and to inspire a general feeling of “what the hell did I just watch?” in the viewer.”

Watch the video for ‘A Trick Of The Light’ here.

O’Brien has a string of accolades under his belt including two Ivor Novello Awards (the most recent being 2016’s Album Award for Darling Arithmetic), two Mercury Music Prize nominations and is also a previous winner of Ireland’s Choice Music Prize.

Villagers’ song ‘Nothing Arrived’ was recently featured in the HBO drama Big ‘Little Lies’ and Conor’s cover of Elvis Presley’s ‘Wonder Of You’ in the season finale. Also recently, Conor collaborated with the composer Nico Muhly for a song featuring in the forthcoming Paulo Sorrentino Berlusconi biopic ‘Loro 2’. In the digital world, Villagers’ Spotify session version of {Awayland} track ‘Nothing Arrived’ has hit over 100 million streams. Since the release of 2016’s Darling Arithmetic, Villagers have supported John Grant, Paul Weller, and Calexico on their US & Canadian tours and appeared at 2016’s Newport Folk Festival.


  1. Again

  2. A Trick Of The Light

  3. Sweet Saviour

  4. Long Time Waiting

  5. Fool

  6. Love Came With All That It Brings

  7. Real Go-Getter

  8. Hold Me Down

  9. Ada

The Art Of Pretending To Swim is available to pre-order on Domino Mart-exclusive deluxe LP (includes 10” of a 12-minute version of ‘Ada’ and B-side ‘This Is The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ plus signed lyric booklet), Deluxe LP (includes ‘Ada’/’ This Is The Art Of Pretending To Swim’ 10”), Standard LP, CD and Digitally. Pre-order: Dom Mart | Digital.

About RJ Frometa

Head Honcho, Editor in Chief and writer here on VENTS. I don't like walking on the beach, but I love playing the guitar and geeking out about music. I am also a movie maniac and 6 hours sleeper.

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