Autre Monde are Paddy Hanna (vocals, keyboards), Padraig Cooney (bass, synth, vocals), Mark Chester (guitar) and Eoghan O’Brien (drums, keyboards, backing vocals). Three of them are from Dublin and Mark is from Cumbria. They met through their involvement together in a network of bands that at one stage or another were central to the Popical Island collective (Skelocrats, Grand Pocket Orchestra, Ginnels, No Monster Club, Land Lovers, the Paddy Hanna band).
They quickly gained attention for their early singles and stirring live performances, with The Thin Air insisting they were “one of the very best bands in the country” and listing Village of Loomers at 6th on their Best Irish Tracks of 2017 list. The Irish Times noted that Autre Monde were at that time “mining Television, ESG, Suicide and the The Slits”, and that’s about right. A murky, exploratory self-titled EP followed before the band set out to make The Imaginary Museum in summer 2018. They signed to Strange Brew in 2019 in time to release the first fruits of those sessions, Fever in May (“impossible to resist” - redbull.com Best Irish Songs of 2019) and On the Record (“a bright delight of a song” - Nialler9.com Best Irish Songs of 2019). Fever in May, was used in an Audi ad in late 2019 before the album was released to rave reviews in the spring of 2020:
"Sophisticated, slick and thrillingly weird pop" - The Irish Times
"exhilarating debut... a textured, joyful record" - The Sunday Times
"menacing groove and sinister synths" - FLOOD
"Subtle guitar solos, sleazy late-night synths and hushed vocals" - Nialler9
"dark and menacing, but also delightfully groovy" - Hot Press
"It's pop, but not as we know it" - The Last Mixed Tape
They were invited to play at the 2020 SXSW festival in Austin, Texas as part of the Music from Ireland showcase alongside the likes of Pillow Queens and the Murder Capital, but days before the event, global events took their course and it was cancelled, along with the rest of the band’s touring plans in support of The Imaginary Museum. It was the ordinary flow of life (3 of the 4 members became first-time fathers in 2021/22) that subsequently delayed Autre Monde’s return to full-time activity, but they did accompany the mighty Melts on a couple of late-2022 shows. Now here they are in 2023, ready to go and hoping that the people who took so much enjoyment from their early music agree that it was worth the wait for more.
To that end, Don't Have Brain was released on 1st March as their first single in 3 years. Nialler9 called it "a weird little song - a delight" while Kieran McGuinness on Nova Guestlist deemed it "quirky and very soulful". A second album will be released in September, accompanied by a full nationwide tour.