Freya Darbyshire

The Academic @ Hangar 34

On the Sunday of Sound City, Irish Band The Academic came down to Liverpool to light up the darkly lit Hangar 34 with their electrifying stage presence. They may not have been one of the biggest acts over the weekend but their effervescence was nothing short of impressive. Playing songs fresh from their debut album from January of this year, their upbeat gig featured their most popular including Fake ID as well as earlier releases such as Permanent Vacation. The young age of the band members, who are all in their early 20s, was reflected in their lyrics to these songs which make light of “relatable struggles” of looking twelve years old when you’re actually in your late teens, as in Fake ID, and the familiar nervous excitement particularly felt among uni students when leaving home behind for a new place with new opportunities, as explored in Permanent Vacation. It was therefore no surprise that the lively indie band were particularly a big hit with the younger audience members.

Each of The Academic’s songs certainly pack in a lot of lyrics but along with their good ear for rhythm they have produced some really catchy songs. Their indie style is especially revealed through their memorable hooks, making each song instantly likeable. The repetition of the ‘ahahaa’ melody and choppy interchanges between high and low intonations on the lyrics ‘while I hold onto you’ , as well as various pronunciations of the word ‘different’ in the track of the same name, gave this particular song a fresh, original feel to it as if it was being performed for the first time. Interspersed between lively songs such as this were the slower, nostalgic Northern Boy and Girlfriends. They hyped up the crowd even more when they returned to the faster tempo songs again, but it nevertheless gave a change from all the singing and dancing.

The Academic ended their 30 minute set with Bear Claws, one of the most popular songs from their album. With them playing the guitars in sync in anticipation of the bridge, this song offered a perfect finish to a successful night.

If you’re a fan of Blossoms, Circa Waves and The Hunna, you should definitely add The Academic to your playlist too. Check out their latest album here.

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