Starlings: Indie four-piece band release debut ep ‘out at sea’

By Aideen O'Flaherty

Indie four-piece Starlings recently released their debut EP ‘Out at Sea’, blending punk and pop influences across the record’s three tracks.

The band, consisting of Tallaght native Paul Blake and Kimmage man Sean Costelloe as co-lead singers and guitarists, Dan Rigney on bass and James Cooney on drums, formed in late 2018 after meeting each other while working at a call centre.

Starlings 2 1

Paul Blake, Sean Costelloe, Dan Rigney and James Cooney

While the four-piece have varied music tastes, this inspiration is channelled cohesively through their catchy indie pop sound.

Paul, a past pupil of Old Bawn Community School, took some time out to tell The Echo about how it feels for Starlings to release their debut EP, the opportunity that lockdown offered for creative endeavours, and the response he hopes listeners will have to the band’s music.

When was Starlings formed?

In late 2018 myself, Sean and Dan all worked together in a call centre. Dan was our team manager.

We decided to meet up midweek after work to jam some cover songs, but we quickly started to come up with original material. We made the decision to recruit James and began working towards our first release in May 2019, ‘Tobacco’.

How does releasing your first EP compare to when you released your debut single ‘Tobacco’?

I suppose there was an element of the unknown when we released our first single last year. There’s a huge difference with playing in the rehearsal room, to going into the studio where the pressure is on – everything is scrutinised and tracked separately.

We hadn’t even played a gig at that stage! Now, we have a wealth of experience playing live. We recorded two more songs after ‘Tobacco’, so I think we’ve developed a groove – the three days we took to record the EP were very fast-paced.

We’re a lot more comfortable with the process now.

Starlings 1 1

Dan, Sean, Paul and James

How would you describe your music?

We all take inspiration from different places. Oasis, John Mayer and the Eagles would be my main influences, while Dan and Sean love their punk music, both British and American.

That comes out in our playing, as our songs have elements of all the above. Myself and Sean share the main vocals on different songs so that’s something we emphasise. The short answer is indie groove rock!

What was the inspiration for 'Out at Sea'?

The funny thing is, we had no plans for an EP this year.

The plan was to maybe release singles, as we’ve done before with ‘Tobacco’, ‘Sweet Thing’ and ‘Alright’, which are all available on Spotify. Obviously with the lockdown there was a lot of downtime, and there were no gigs, no practice.

I wrote four songs, while the lads wrote a couple between them. We whittled it down to the three on the EP and got in touch with our good friend Gavin Doyle from Cabin Space Studios.

We saw it as an opportunity to put something out during these uncertain times, and we touch on the effects of lockdown, love, friendship and everything in between.

Why was it important for you to have a creative outlet – which resulted in ‘Out at Sea’ – during lockdown?

We 100 per cent needed a creative outlet. With myself, it was writing and exercising. Dan decided to buy a keyboard and banjo to learn, while Sean is an amazing artist – he actually drew the EP cover, as we couldn’t meet up for photos due to the lockdown. James just finished his law exams, so I think we all had different outlets. For me, it was crucial or else I’d pull my hair out!

What do you hope people will take away from the EP?

We want to make music that people will remember – songs that mean something and can relate to the average person. We live for the day we can play these songs live for the first time, and hopefully hear people sing the words back!

‘Out at Sea’ is available to stream now on Spotify.

For further information follow Starlings Official on Facebook.

By subscribing to The Echo you are supporting your local newspaper Click Here: Echo Online.

Prev Captain Cutie Pie: Mother creates fun educational book series
Next Nature on our doorsteps: Fascinating ferns
  • Fire in Cookstown Industrial Estate
  • Looking to #ShopLocal?
  • Take a virtual tour around Greenhills Community College with some of its students!
  • #ThinkShopSupportLocal
  • The Square celebrates 30 years in Tallaght

We use cookies to improve your experience on our site, personalise content, provide social media features, analyse our traffic, show you relevant advertising and to target and report on ads. By using the site, you consent to the use of cookies that may process personal data for these purposes.