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Dublin-born Conor O’Brien signed to Domino in time for the release of his first album under the Villagers moniker, 2010’s Becoming A Jackal. Nominated for a Mercury Prize, Becoming A Jackal shot to the top of the Irish Albums Chart and stayed at the top of the Irish Indie Chart for some time after its release.

Despite being renowned for his subtle, complex compositions as Villagers, O’Brien’s first musical steps actually came with The Immediate, a melodic, euphoric guitar group who were widely considered to have released the finest Irish debut album since U2’s Boy in 1980. After The Immediate surprisingly split one night, O’Brien soothed his hangover the next morning by writing what eventually became the first Villagers song. Following an EP that drew comparisons to Sparklehorse, Villagers were signed to Domino and the first album was recorded, on which O’Brien played almost every instrument. Despite this, he often performed live with a full group, leading to a support slot with Neil Young and a European tour with Tracy Chapman.

2013’s {Awayland} continued where its predecessor left off, winning Ireland’s Choice Prize. However, his third album, 2015’s Darling Arithmetic, saw O’Brien pare down his sound in favour of something beautifully sparse, spacious and intimate. Highly-acclaimed once more, O’Brien followed this with 2016’s Where Have You Been All My Life, an album containing live recordings of old songs. In 2017, O’Brien found one of his tracks, ‘The Wonder Of You’, featured in HBO’s highly popular Big Little Lies.

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