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Meet Drying Weather

Formed in late 2019, Drying Weather is a four-piece band from Dublin. Frank plays electric guitar, Conor plays drums, and Barry and Dónal both sing and swap between acoustic guitar and bass.

Papaya Whip

Papaya Whip came out of the first lockdown in Spring 2020 when everyone was stuck inside. Barry had written most of a song to the point of recording a demo, but while he was waiting for his phone to load up Garageband he started noodling around with another set of chords and realised he liked those even better. The original song had all the same lyrical themes as Papaya Whip, so it was scrapped and has never seen the light of day. It’s about that feeling of total freedom you get when you are completely and utterly lost – maybe there are things you need to get back to in the real world, but for now all you can do is appreciate the big wide unknown.

Studio time with Drying Weather

Before we brought Papaya Whip to the studio, we road tested it outdoors down by the sea near Dún Laoghaire. It was a glorious May day with a lot of people outside enjoying the socially-distranced sunshine, and we picked out a patch overlooking the water and started busking all the songs we had written to date. Papaya Whip got the biggest round of applause and one of the onlookers even offered to film the track on his drone, so we have an early live version of the song on our YouTube channel with all this spectacular aerial footage of the sea, the town, and us in between.

By the time we got around to recording Papaya Whip in July 2020 we had actually already finished two songs at The Hive in Kilcoole with Eoin Whitfield. That first pair of tracks, Boots and Is This the Place?, we ended up releasing as singles later in 2021 and early 2022. So we had ironed out a lot of the kinks and brushed off the pandemic dust – we were ready to bash the song out.

Drying Weather

Papaya Whip Music Video

The lowdown

The first thing that hits you when the song starts is the bass part, and it makes Papaya Whip a good introduction to Drying Weather as fuzz bass has turned out to be such a core component of our sound. We swear by the Electro-Harmonix Bass Big Muff Pi pedal to get that teeth-rattling tone. After getting flattened by the colossal wallop of Dublin band Fangclub’s live sound at a show up in Belfast, Dónal had to ask bassist Kev Keane what his secret was. The Big Muff. We haven’t looked back since.

At that time we had an amazing keyboard player in the band, Aoife. She had to move down the country for college before live music got back to normal, but you can hear her fantastic playing on this track which lends it a little bit of an old-school house vibe in contrast to the funk rock feel of the drums and guitar. Another ex band member features on this track: Rory. He was part of Drying Weather just as COVID was starting to let up, and you can hear him on most of our currently released singles. It was his idea to use the “popcorn” snare on this track which really stands out against everything else. He moved to Berlin in 2020 and is continuing to kill it on the drums with other bands out there. Our drummer Conor puts his own spin on Papaya Whip when we play it live, and between him and our lead guitarist Frank we more than fill out the sound even with one person less on stage.

The Drying Weather Sound

Papaya Whip also has another Drying Weather staple in its big singalong outro: distorted acoustic guitars. Most four-piece bands have two electric guitars, but we’ve made life hard for ourselves by insisting on having the rhythm guitar be acoustic. The downside is having to buy tons of gadgets and gizmos to make an acoustic sound full and rich out of an amp, and stopping it from feeding back like a foghorn when we hit the distortion pedal. But we love the blend of sweet and spicy you can only get from a folk instrument encased in battle armour. Another Dublin band we love who take this approach is The Scratch, and they were a huge help in pointing us towards the right gear for the job. Frank sticks to his trusty Fender for his parts and always delivers crystal clear, twinkling lead lines reminiscent of midwest emo bands like American Football and Sunny Day Real Estate.

Barry sings lead on this song (which he did entirely parched, as it was still peak COVID and he had forgotten his water bottle) with Dónal providing harmonies. We’re obsessed with The Beatles who used really complex harmonies, and grew up playing the same local shows as Soda Blonde née Little Green Cars whose harmonies always blew us away. Even if it’s not immediately obvious, a great harmony can add a huge amount of depth to a song so we try to spend a little extra time to get them right.

Our producer Eoin was a member of one of our all-time favourite Irish bands, Enemies, who played challenging but seductive instrumental rock. His current project EHCO is electronica, so he’s a man of eclectic taste and right from the start we felt super comfortable in the studio with Eoin. Between takes we’ll be discussing everything from early 2000s hardcore to ambient music and 90s club bangers. With Papaya Whip, he was able to strike a balance between the hefty fuzz bass, wispy acoustic guitars and heavy groove of the drums.

Behind the Video

The music video for Papaya Whip was also directed by Rory and was such great craic to make. We basically gathered up every stupid bit of fancy dress we could get our hands on and created a hallucinatory nightmare for our lead character played by Robin Maxwell. Poor Barry almost didn’t make it to the shoot. He found out that morning that he was a COVID close contact, but after testing negative on an antigen we were able to press ahead. It was one of the first fun, collaborative projects any of us had been involved in since the world shut down and you can tell how much we’re enjoying ourselves in the final video. Our other “big production” music video (2) is similarly goofy and we’re definitely inspired by bands who don’t take themselves too seriously in their promos like Foo Fighters and Beastie Boys.

It took a while to get the music video edited and put the finishing touches on the mix, plus we had to secure the gorgeous single artwork (by paintmeister Aengus Boyle), but we finally released Papaya Whip on 7 May 2021 – coincidentally, a day with fine weather for the drying. It was the song that introduced Drying Weather to the world and it remains our most-played song on Spotify. It’s one that always goes down well live, and we can’t express how happy we are to get to play live to a room full of smiling faces after years of being stuck inside dreaming about it!

Papaya Whip

Drying Weather

You should check out the socials and keep up to date with all latest work and new releases coming your way! 

@Dryingweather Instagram

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