The Academic

The Academic are an Irish indie rock band, formed in Rochfortbridge, County Westmeath in 2013. The band consists of Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, and brothers Matthew and Stephen Murtagh.

The Academic
The Academic twitter banner.jpg
Background information
OriginRochfortbridge, Westmeath, Ireland
GenresAlternative rock, indie rock
Years active2013 (2013)–present
  • Dean Gavin
  • Craig Fitzgerald
  • Matthew Murtagh
  • Stephen Murtagh

Their début studio album, Tales from the Backseat, was released in January 2018, entering the Irish Albums Chart at number one. The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the Choice Music Prize in January 2019.


Formation and early years (2013-2016)Edit

The Academic were formed in 2013, when Fitzgerald, Gavin and the Murtagh brothers were attending St Joseph's Secondary School, Rochfortbridge.[1]

Such was the reaction to the release of their début EP, Loose Friends, in October 2015, that the band sold out their first show at Dublin venue Vicar Street.

In January 2016, the band were selected by RTÉ 2FM to represent Ireland at Eurosonic Noorderslag in Groningen, which resulted in numerous festival bookings and extensive radio airplay across Europe that year.

Tales from the Backseat (2017-2019)Edit

The band garnered further media interest in July 2017 with the release of "Bear Claws", an anthemic track which was likened in style to The Strokes.[2][3][4] The track received further attention after the premiere of their first-of-a-kind live looper music video. The video, which was performed live on a Facebook video stream, utilized the delay in the stream to create a musical loop, to which they gradually added vocals and instruments. It was a viral hit and reached over 1 million views on YouTube in 48 hours.[5]

The band announced on 26 October 2017 that their début LP, Tales from the Backseat, would be released on 12 January 2018.[6] The album was released to critical acclaim, entering the Irish Albums Chart at number one.[7][8]

Their biggest headline show to date took place at the Iveagh Gardens, Dublin, on 20 July 2018, before they embarked upon a US, European, UK and Ireland tour for the autumn of 2018.[9]

The album was nominated for Album of the Year at the Choice Music Prize in January 2019.[10]

Present day (2020)Edit

The band signed to Capitol Records in May 2020.[1]


The Academic currently consists of:

  • Dean Gavin (drums)
  • Craig Fitzgerald (lead vocals and guitar)
  • Matthew Murtagh (guitar)
  • Stephen Murtagh (bass)



Title Album details
Tales from the Backseat
  • Released: 12 January 2018
  • Label: Room 6, Downtown

Extended playsEdit

Title Album details
Loose Friends
  • Released: 12 January 2018
Acting My Age
  • Released: 10 July 2020


Title Year Album
"Girlfriends" 2013 non-album single
"Different" 2015 Loose Friends
"Northern Boy"
"Mixtape 2003" 2016 non-album single
"Bear Claws" 2017 Tales from the Backseat
"Permanent Vacation"
"Why Can't We Be Friends?"
"Bite My Tongue"
"Fake ID"
"Superlike" 2019 non-album single
"Anything Could Happen" 2020


  1. ^ a b "The Academic sign with Capitol Records". Westmeath Examiner. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  2. ^ O'Connor, Roisin (6 September 2017). "New music to listen to this week: The Academic". The Independent. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  3. ^ Rossignol, Derrick (6 July 2017). "Premiere: The Academic's 'Bear Claws' Is Anthemic With An Indie Edge". Uproxx. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  4. ^ Murray, Robin (7 July 2017). "Premiere: The Academic - 'Bear Claws'". Clash. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  5. ^ Koerber, Brian (10 October 2017). "Here's how a band used Facebook Live's delay to create a one-of-a-kind song". Mashable. Retrieved 8 November 2017.
  6. ^ The Academic [@TheAcademic] (26 October 2017). "ALBUM ANNOUNCEMENT" (Tweet). Retrieved 8 November 2017 – via Twitter.
  7. ^ "Top 100 Artist Album, Week Ending 19 January 2018". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  8. ^ "IRMA – Irish Charts". Irish Recorded Music Association. Retrieved 20 January 2018.
  9. ^ Dolan, Tim (18 December 2017). "The Academic announce 2018 US tour". AXS. Retrieved 4 June 2020.
  10. ^ "2018 Shortlist – Choice Music Prize". Retrieved 31 March 2020.

External linksEdit