49TH & MAIN SIGN TO NINJA TUNE AND SHARE NEW SINGLE “STREETLIGHTS”
April 8, 2022
Irish born indie pop duo 49th & Main (consisting of Ben O’Sullivan and Paddy King) announce their signing to Counter Records (a Ninja Tune imprint) by sharing new single “Streetlights”. Although the 23-year-olds only started releasing music in 2020, their self-released projects –‘Neon Palm Trees’ and breakout single ‘Catching Eyes’–have seen the duo gain 20 million streams across streaming platforms in less than two years. Their first ever headline shows at Whelan’s, Dublin and Set Theatre, Kilkenny on St Patrick’s Day both sold out in less than 24 hours, selling nearly a thousand tickets between the two shows with Whelan’s selling out 6 months in advance.
Their first single with Counter Records, “Streetlights”, is an uptempo account of ‘wasted’ youth for our times. Mixed by Nate Burgess (Denzel Curry, A$AP Rocky, Brandy), twinkly guitars and a catchy beat, paired with King’s dulcet vocals, evoke both solace and joy in carefree measures.
“‘Streetlights’ is a song about the eternal journey to find ‘peace of mind’, 49th & Main say of their new single. “Whether that be through getting down ‘six pints’ or ‘getting high alone in the moonlight’ we all have our own way of going about it. Everyone deserves a fair shot at their own piece of paradise. And during times of darkness, hopefully the streetlights can be a guide and let a little brightness in.
The song is written through internalised conversations with the voice deep inside your head. The type of conversations that nobody will ever hear and even if they did hear, they probably wouldn’t understand. In ‘Streetlights’ similarities are drawn between a troubled mind and a city fraught with strife and the resolution that can be found upon reconnecting with your ‘true self’.”
Hailing from the Irish town of Kilkenny, 49th & Main are an indie-pop duo consisting of producer Ben O’Sullivan and vocalist/multi-instrumentalist Paddy King. The pair first met in school and after growing close, they began working on music, with O’Sullivan dabbling with acoustics and unsuccessfully recording King’s guitar. “It felt very ‘I don’t know how to do this’” O’Sullivan admits, “it turned out so bad we didn’t revisit it again for a few years”. As time passed, having cut their teeth in video editing, learning production techniques via YouTube tutorials and busking, the pair and friends moved to Vancouver (just off 49th & Main Street) for the summer in 2019, and took some recording equipment to further experiment with their sound. Whilst King worked at multiple spots across the city, O’Sullivan spent his days producing and writing music for King to jump on when he returned. “We were just having good craic, we weren’t thinking about releasing it” Paddy laughs, “but then all of sudden we had two songs we really liked and decided we wanted people to hear them”.
Around this time, O’Sullivan was diagnosed with aplastic anaemia–a rare blood disease making him chronically fatigued and immunocompromised. He admits it was a significant factor in releasing music as a new artist. “I didn’t know what was happening;” he explains, “If I hadn’t gotten sick, we probably would have waited, wouldn’t have put those songs out when we did and who knows where we would be.”
On the eve of a worldwide lockdown, 49th & Main introduced themselves with the trap-infused “Party Alone”. Less than a month later, they released their debut project ‘Neon Palm Trees’; which jumped between genres effortlessly as the pair blended dual influences without fear of insult. What followed, however, was beyond even the wildest of expectations. In April 2020, 49th & Main released ”Catching Eyes”, a lo-fi banger which has gone on to generate over 10 million streams on Spotify and propel the duo to new heights.
Since then, 49th & Main have been on a roll, releasing collaborations with artists such as Sarah Carton, Khakikid, Landis and Chameleon (the latter of whom appeared on the band’s latest mixtape rodeo doors (COVID TAPES) which consists of 5 songs written in 5 days while the pair were in isolation with COVID) and offered remixes for the likes of Landis, Chany and Tom Ferry. Both of their first headlining shows sold out in under 24 hours, making for an undeniable testament to their allure as live performers. The duo have also built a strong grassroots press following in Ireland (including support from Nialler9, Irish Examiner, GoldenPlec, and Hot Press), with Nialler9 suggesting “No other Irish act has had quite a quick rise to popularity in the past year”. 49th & Main continue their transnational and genre-defying reach on streaming platforms, including adds in top tier Spotify playlists such as Chill Tracks (3.3 million followers), Feel Good Indie Rock (1.5 m), Young & Free (1.4 m), Fresh Finds (888k), New Music Friday UK (801k), Metropolis (786k), UK House Music (708k) and Altar (392k) among others.
With Counter Records, Red Light Management, and Paradigm now backing their journey, the duo show no sign of slowing down. “It’s surreal, it hasn’t really hit yet, that this is like a career” the pair laugh at the recent announcement, “but it’s really exciting. It’s really cool and we can’t wait to get started.”
“Streetlights” is out now on Counter Records, with more new music from 49th & Main to come soon.
2022 Live Dates:
April 16 – Workmans, Dublin charity event (UNICEF, Ukraine fundraiser)
April 22 – Trinity Ball, Dublin
June 5 – Forbidden Fruit Festival
June 17 – Sea Sessions, Festival
July 31 – Indiependence Festival