The Academic

The Academic

Creature Canyon, Stray Monroe

Wednesday, March 7, 2018

8:30 pm

Soda Bar

$12.00

Tickets at the Door

This event is 21 and over

The Academic
The Academic
Nothing will ever feel as free as the first time you hit the recording studio to lay down your own music, a rush that Irish foursome The Academic channeled perfectly on their 2015 debut EP ‘Loose Friends’. The joyful intensity of those early songs was all ripped jeans and carefree nights, as the band sang about youthful passion with optimistic fervor and a cheeky wink.

That irresistible charm, undeniable wit, and infectious personality shines through again on their highly anticipated debut full-length ‘Tales From The Backseat,’ proof-positive of the band’s embodiment of a refreshing tonic and barrage of fireworks rolled into one. Leaping from mellow, artfully constructed melodic thoughtfulness into wild, explosive moments of raucous brilliance, there’s a surprise around every corner within The Academic’s music and songwriting, all executed with an undeniable measure of passion and grit.

Now in their early twenties, The Academic are one of the most exciting new acts coming out of Ireland. Growing up in the rural town of Mullingar, about an hour west of Dublin and set in the very heart of Ireland’s agricultural midlands the four met in high school, becoming firm friends through their shared of love of toasted sandwiches, Nicholas Cage movies, and of course, music, with each having their own unique influence. Brothers Stephen and Matt Murtagh favored Britpop, Craig Fitzgerald rap, while ‘dark-side’ Dean Gavin was into metal. Those differences soon blended into a shared enthusiasm for the early 2k NYC rock revival lead by the likes of The Strokes, Interpol and Yeah, Yeah, Yeahs and that post-punk sound made an indelible ‘watermark’ on The Academic’s music.

For the four members of The Academic, one thing was clear: they were always going to make music. From their very first gig - an underage school disco where they performed a shoddy MGMT cover with a nerve-wracked Craig on lead-guitar - to their appearance on Battle of the Bands when they came a resounding last, these four Irish Midlanders were resolute in their determination to share their music.

They started shredding through their local live scene. “We played a lot of parties, pubs, clubs, with our friends in the crowd,” says Matt. “It was hot, sweaty and full of energy. We didn’t know what we were doing but those shows were a lot of fun to play, especially the ones where the crowd was on the same level as the band.”

“We realized pretty quickly that this is all we wanted to do” chips in Craig. A live show styled at supporting local bands and playing half-filled pubs on bingo night, now takes to much larger stages across the globe. The Academic have gone on to play Ireland’s premier indoor venue, the 3Arena, sold out tours across Ireland, the UK and Europe and have shared stage space with international headliners such as Twenty One Pilots and Catfish & The Bottlemen. One quite serendipitous twist saw them break festival bread with tier-1 rock-revivalists, The Strokes.

Over time, they became more comfortable in the studio, refining their sound and the youthful perspective in their songwriting. Released in 2015, the ‘Loose Friends EP’ earned them domestic acclaim, while 2016’s “Mixtape 2003” single broke them on the international stage - particularly thanks to the support of UK’s biggest radio station BBC1 who have continued to heavily support. Why Can’t We Be Friends, the latest track to be unveiled from their forthcoming debut album entitled ‘Tales From The Backseat’, was recently made ‘Hottest Record in The World’ by BBC Radio 1’s Annie Mac, one of UK’s most influential tastemakers.


The Academic write indie rock stories from a personal perspective; experiences that are pertinent to their personal geography, but remain universally relatable. Their stories hinge on the central theme of growing up in a small Irish town; seeing life from the side where the grass isn’t always so green, but at the end of the day, it’s still your turf. On songs like “Mixtape 2003” and “Bear Claws,” The Academic commune with the teen selves they’ve left behind as they embark on their 20s. “Bear Claws” in particular nails their onstage spirit, and shows a band fast approaching their zenith.

“Our songs are stories about everything from relationships, to nightlife, to a dissatisfaction with the ‘what’ and ‘where’, and a longing for bigger and better things,” explains Matt. “I think what is interesting about our songs is that they give the world a glimpse of what adolescent life is like in small town Ireland.”

Their songs chronicle the relief of pitch-black teenage winters finally giving way to the adult bright lights beyond their native Mullingar flatlands. But as their lyrics hint, with freedom comes newfound anxieties. In their words: “It’s about recognizing that life can’t be all fun and games forever, but that it’s still okay to have a good time.”
Creature Canyon
Formed in the latter half of 2015, Creature Canyon consists of singer-songwriter Austin Steele, guitarist Ryan Amyot, bassist Elliot Ramsey, and drummer Kyle Victoria. They can be described as a high energy 4 piece with melodic guitar riffs, vivid bass lines, boisterous rhythms, and in-your-face vocals. Their debut full length album "Life I Know,” released in May of 2016, was recorded at Studio West, Pacific Beat, and Steele Studios. Most of the album was recorded at Studio West in a ten hour marathon session with the help of recording engineer Bryan Zullo. Recording all in the same room together allowed the band to capture the electrifying old school approach to modern recording.

The band's debut single “Life I Know” was mixed and mastered by Grammy award winning engineer and producer Alan Sanderson. In the Summer of 2016 Creature Canyon teamed up with director and friend Mitchell Harris to create the "Life I Know" music video. The video was released in September 2016 and premiered on the esteemed west coast music blog, Free Bike Valet. Creature Canyon is currently at work in the studio writing and recording their forthcoming EP.
Stray Monroe
Drawing influences from bands like The Strokes, Oasis, and Twin Peaks, San Diego indie rockers, Stray Monroe, are a high energy outfit blending the boldness of Marilyn Monroe with a desire to push the boundaries of popular music.

Formed in August 2015, originally under the name “The Hype”, the group consists of Blake Imperl (frontman, guitar), Brett Kelly (bass), Adam Hakes (guitar), and Colin Croft (drums).

Stray Monroe has been described as, “Strokes meets Television” by 94/9 FMs Timothy Joseph and, “A punk band on one of their cheerier days”, by Michael Brummet of Impose Magazine. After over a year of writing and gigging, the group changed their name to Stray Monroe at the recommendation of San Diego radio legend, Michael Halloran. In December 2016, the group released their first single, “Broken Records”, followed by the debut EP, “The Stray Monroe Show” in March 2017. This was a period of firsts for the band, scoring their first TV appearance as well as their first radio play with their songs, “Muddy Soles” and “Take It Fake It”.

The band did not hesitate to follow up on the success of “The Stray Monroe Show” and began writing and recording new material in July 2017, in addition to signing with RockToc Management.

They released the single, “Happy Accidents”, in September 2017 which introduced a more mature sound and demonstrated their growth as musicians. This is set to be the first of a series of singles to be released in the following months.
Venue Information:
Soda Bar
3615 El Cajon Blvd
San Diego, CA, 92104
http://www.sodabarmusic.com/