Dublin electro pop quartet Dark Room Notes follow in the footsteps of genre luminaries New Order and Depeche Mode, as well as contemporary Irish synth pop acts the Flaws and Dry County, using dark, slightly sinister tones to add a unique color to their radio-ready indie pop. While Ronan Gaughan handles the bulk of the lead vocal work, call-and-response routines and harmonies form an important part of the group's diverse palette, a feature that is emphasized by the immaculate production and shrewd attention to detail exhibited on their recorded output.
Dark Room Notes began life as a three-piece, inspired by Nirvana and the grunge explosion in the early '90s, under the moniker Obskure. Gradually, synthesizers and electronics crept into their sound and, by 2004, Dark Room Notes had adopted their distinctive sound, with Ronan Gaughan handling lead vocals and guitars and Ruairí Ferrie on keyboards and backing vocals. With the departure of original drummer Ruairí Cavanagh in 2006, they moved to Dublin, where they recruited local photography student Camera Shanahan (born Darragh Shanahan) in his place. Also added to the group's ranks was keyboard and vocalist Arran Murphy, adding a female dimension to their expanding palette. A shared interest in the photographic arts led to the adoption of Dark Room Notes as a band name, and it stuck.
They played their first live date as a four-piece in Galway in December of 2006. In April of 2007, they released their debut single, "Love Like Nicotine," complete with a bizarre music video that saw the group members synchronizing their dance and paying homage to classic French cinema. It became the first release on fledgling independent label Gonzo Records, which Shanahan had helped set up prior to joining the band. In October of 2007, Dark Room Notes released their first EP, entitled Dead Start Program. As of December 2008, the group had finished recording its debut album, scheduled for a March 2009 release. ~ Dave Donnelly