Just when you thought Dublin couldn’t possibly produce any more incredible bands, you suddenly discover the music of Inhaler. This four-piece rock band, fronted by son of U2’s Bono, have a more unusual beginning than most. They met and first began playing together in 2012 while still at school in Ireland. Their first ever gig together was the school’s talent contest, where they performed a cover of Nirvana’s ‘Smells Like Teen Spirit.’
In 2015, they became Inhaler after being given the nickname by their school friends due to lead singer Elijah Hewson’s struggles with Asthma. Three years later, the band released their debut single ‘I Want You’ and the boys quickly gained popularity, becoming known for their dirty bass lines, heavy rhythms and psychedelic melodies which are highly reminiscent of early 2000s bands like The Killers. Despite this relation in sound, the boys dress sense and album artwork actually bare a strong resemblance to an early version of The Smiths.
Hailing from a regular Irish college rather than one that specialises in music, the band have said their ‘weird’ style and music taste was ‘poles apart’ from their fellow peers, which naturally meant the boys had to stick together.
After recording a demo of their single ‘Ice Cream Sundae,’ they quickly gained the attention of none other than Antony Genn, producer and former member of Pulp, who nurtured the band, giving them the studio space they needed and forcing them to practice harder. This school talent show band soon began playing sold-out venues in and around Dublin, and after releasing six more singles, have become the fully-fledged band-on-tour they are today.
Inspired by their parents vinyl collections, which included bands such as The Stone Roses, Depeche Mode and New Order, they’ve managed to produce a sound of their very own including the best bits of all these inspirations. They possess a psychedelic structure similar to Interpol, a drop of New Order’s synthesizer experimentation and a splash of Sonic Youth’s kick.
Robert Keating (Bass), Ryan McMahon (Drums), Josh Jenkinson (Guitar) and Elijah Hewson (Vocals) together have gained industry-wide attention, being featured in The NME 100 and finishing 5th in The BBC’s Sound of 2020 vote, incredible achievements for such a young band.
As the son on music legend and U2 frontman Bono, lead singer Elijah Hewson has clearly learnt from the best. For the sons and daughters of established musicians, there always comes a certain amount of pressure, but it seems Elijah and his band have managed to pioneer something new and blow those expectations out the water.
Inhaler have now gigged with the likes of Noel Gallagher on their first American tour. They began this year with the release of their single ‘We Have To Move On’ a song I haven’t stopped listening to since it’s release. Later, they released the double-sided single ‘Falling In’ in the build-up to the launch of their debut album which is yet to be announced. The band released this awesome video filmed during isolation of 2020, a time where they should have been gigging:
This is a band we can’t stop listening to, a true must-have on the playlists of fans of The Killers, The Smiths, Oasis, Pulp or any of the other bands mentioned above.
We look forward to the release of their album, but until then, indulge yourself in one of their fantastic singles.