Today we’re introducing you to Æ MAK, a three piece alt-pop band based in Dublin who recently joined Spinnup. The band is made of Aoife McCann on vocals, Daniel McIntyre on production and Peter Kelly on drums and percussion. Blending sounds that are full of pop synths and tribal rhythms, their vision of music is very artistic with tracks that convey a sense of freedom and bold energy.
The art-pop band has caught the attention of fans from the pop music and art worlds, which has paid off during the last few years with the band playing numerous festivals as well as their own shows.
They have been selected as part of Festival Republic’s gender equality program aiming to improve diversity among festival line ups, and got the chance to play at Latitude Festival in Suffolk. Aoife is particularly keen on seeing a greater gender balance and women having easier access to headlines, but also believes the selection should remain based on merit and talent.
Æ MAK’s latest single, Love Flush, was released on 19th July. The track is a vivid and resonating piece, with ambient notes to go along with Aoife’s silvery voice. It’s a track all about choosing your own ambitions over a true love.
With each release, the band affirms the importance of visuals in their artwork and music videos, managing to have a very strong consistency in their visuals, opting for a white background and bold colours with a focus on faces.
Check out the flamboyant music video for ‘Love Flush’
We were curious to learn more about AE MAK so we reached out to ask a few questions..
How’s been 2018 for you so far?
It’s been really exciting. We’ve played some really cool shows and created a lot of music we’re proud of. Getting to support two of our all time favourite bands; Tune-Yards and Django Django, was madness. Definite highlights so far!
How did you guys start playing music and how did you come up with your concept?
Æ MAK was formed after we finished music college in Dublin in 2015. Myself, Daniel McIntyre (producer) and Peter Kelly (drums) all met there. The concept came naturally, I don’t view it as a concept though, it’s the creative expression of this brain of mine, luckily there’s some coherency in it. I started writing songs so I could perform the way I wanted to so it all started off from the viewpoint of an aspiring performance artist.
How would you describe your music?
I would describe it as art-pop as I think the style will always be in flux, which is important as we move and change ourselves. Visual and performance art will always be at the heart of it. I love a good, strong, arching pop chorus melody against primitive, rhythmic verses. Our sound has become a lot more electronic this year which is fun. Over the past year myself and Dan have been collaborating. We are both in love with the likes of The Knife and Little Dragon. So we’ve drawn a lot of sonic influences from Scandinavian electronic music.
What inspires you to write music? Is there any topics that you particularly like to write about?
The need to create, dream, escape. The need to perform and connect with myself and others. I get a kick out of becoming more self aware and discovering what makes other people tick. Song-writing enables me to do this. Guess I’m inspired by myself and the people around me. The love of a great pop song. There’s no specific topic. Love, heartbreak, anxiety, loneliness, a yearning for more are all infused in each song. Conditions of being human.
What is it like touring Ireland/the UK and supporting artists such as Tune Yards?
It’s a buzz. We can’t wait to tour around Europe next year. Supporting Tune-Yards; Surreal. Dream/Life – affirming. It was amazing gigging with Merrill and Nate. She’s an absolute hero of ours and massively influenced me as a songwriter when first starting out. So I don’t know, the world is full of possibilities.
They will be continuing their tour with a few more dates in Ireland before the end of the summer. Catch them at Knockanstockan, All Together Now and Electric Picnic Festival. Head to Æ MAK’s website for more info.