Premiere: The Academic’s ‘Bear Claws’ Shows An Anthemic Wisdom Well Beyond Their Years

While rising indie rock bands are a dime a several dozen, it’s easier to stand out when, like Irish four-piece The Academic, you have chemistry that’s more potent than you’d expect from a group of young guys. The band members — Craig Fitzgerald, Dean Gavin, and brothers Matt and Stephen Murtagh — are all in their early twenties, but they’ve been playing and writing music together since they were 13. That experience shines through on their new single “Bear Claws,” which boasts an anthemic sing-along chorus with the indie edge of groups like The Strokes, for whom the group has previously opened.

The band said the track is about being young while being real and having foresight:

“‘Bear Claws’ is a song about when you are coming of age, that period of your life when you’re just starting to socialize, getting out there and doing it. We all do stupid things at that time of our lives, not thinking about the longer term implications. It’s also about asking people to be honest and open rather than holding back, which in adolescence is easier said than done.”

The Academic has yet to follow up their 2015 EP Loose Friends, so hopefully the new song means their debut LP is on its way sooner rather than later. What we can confirm is that they’re currently getting ready to hit the road with Judah & The Lion for their first significant U.S. tour this fall, so find those dates below and listen to “Bear Claws” above.

9/28 — Columbia, MO @ The Blue Note
9/29 — Minneapolis, MN @ First Avenue
10/01 — Grand Rapids, MI @ The Intersection
10/02 — Milwaukee, WI @ The Rave II
10/05 — Columbus, OH @ Newport Music Hall
10/07 — Memphis, TN @ Minglewood Hall
10/10 — Jacksonville, FL @ Maverick’s
10/14 — Charleston, SC @ Music Farm
10/15 — Raleigh, NC @ The Ritz
10/16 — Charlottesville, VA @ Jefferson Theatre
10/19 — Buffalo, NY @ Town Ballroom
10/22 — Washington, DC @ 9:30 Club
10/25 — Little Rock, AR @ Metroplex
10/26 — Tulsa, OK @ Cain’s Ballroom