“I like lyrics. I also love arrangements, but I love twisting the two and making them work together. That’s my favourite thing in the world”
What about now? Do you find where you are is where you intended to be? “I can’t say I intended to be anywhere, I just wanted to get better, to learn every day. Besides, I don’t have any feeling that I’ve gotten somewhere.”
In a sense, O’Brien is correct. To date, Villagers have released one four-track EP, Hollow Kind, signed to Domino Records, and recorded the album Becoming a Jackal. Aside from live shows – at which O’Brien and his band twinkle like stars at night and rock like granite – there is little to judge him on. Certainly, the signing to Domino, one of the most judicious record labels around, is a pointer.
“Villagers’ second-ever show was supporting (Domino signing) Cass McCombs, and one of the Domino people was at the show. I think he saw the last two songs, so he had us in his head. And then I guess they just continued asking. They came to a couple of shows – we were supporting Bell X1 in the UK, and we played a London show at the Scala. A bunch of guys from Domino came to that gig, and that one seemed to be the clincher for them.”
It’s a good fit for you? “It’s slightly oldschool in that it helps bands to develop rather than wanting quick-fire hit after hit,” says O’Brien. “We recorded the album and they haven’t come near us, so it seems they have quite a bit of faith in us. You wouldn’t get that