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New single


out now


© 2024 echopilot music, distributed by Virgin

“Drugs”, the jaw-dropping new single from Belfast-native Dave McKendry, goes straight for the “did-he-just-say-that?” button. First release from the upcoming “Elephant EP” it dives unapologetically into the controversial, calling on everyone with the mantra, “let’s do drugs, let’s fall in love.”

Known for his depth of feeling and relatively safe music, it begs the question, “what was he thinking?” “I know what everyone will think this song is about. It’s not about that,” says McKendry.

What on the surface may appear to be an extremely irresponsible and antisocial message actually goes a lot deeper. “After years of writing intense, deep songs, I’ve finally found a way to keep the intensity and the depth, without having to dive into sadness. With this whole EP I’m finally diving into the joy of life.”

Comparing the highs and lows of life with drugs, McKendry takes a look in the mirror and says, “I love you.”

“I’ve spent long enough beating myself up for things, even though I’ve so much to be happy and grateful for. I’m done with that for now. I’m finally looking in the mirror and loving myself. I’m turning up for myself, knowing I’ll be better at turning up for everyone else. And I think it’d be an amazing world if everyone else did it too.”

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"semaphore" EP


© 2024 echopilot music, distributed by Virgin

Following the 2022 release of his debut album, “HumanBeingKind”, Dave McKendry retreated into the studio for 2023 to craft a series of EPs.

“Semaphore” - the first in the series - is a dive into the depths of life and love, below the surface and between the sheets. Waves of strings and synths, vocal swells and an ocean of emotion wash over you, while you drift on a raft of acoustic guitars lashed together with piano strings. Those brave enough to take the plunge, or careless enough to be lured into the depths, will be swept away on musical currents, carried deeper and farther into the mysteries and wonders of this submerged world McKendry has exposed.

Thankfully though there’s no risk to life: a cover of HAIM’s “Gasoline” floods the tanks, lifting listeners back to the surface on a pillow of gorgeously crafted indie pop. Described by McKendry as “the process of waking from a dream, only to have to come to terms with the fact you’ve been dreaming,” Semaphore mixes the reality of life with the romance of it, the fairy tale with the fact, the unconscious with the clarity of being absolutely present, aware and awake.





Release Date: 07 | 10 | 22 

© 2022 echopilot music, distributed by Virgin

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Dave McKendry about his album “HumanBeingKind”

If I’d have known how long it would all take, how difficult it would all be and just how much I’d have to learn, I’m pretty sure I’d never have started. But I didn’t know that, because I didn’t know anything.

After leaving music behind completely, only to have it track me down again months and countries later, it was still a few years before I trusted myself and anyone else to actually record an album. I write songs because something deep inside me gives me no other choice. I play them, I suppose, for the same reason, but my bedroom and the street gave me ample opportunity to do both for years. The transition to being a recording artist, working (and even living) in a studio day after day, for years on end, was a long, painstakingly slow process of disbelief becoming belief.

It was also a learning process. Learning to open up, to explore and ruthlessly improve every corner of my songs, to trust people who knew better than I did, to actually make a record, to stand in front of a microphone in a little vocal booth and ultimately face the music. Even after we’d finished arranging and producing the songs I still had so much to learn about my voice. When we started I thought I knew all there was to know about Dave McKendry and his music. If I’d have known how long it would all take, how difficult it would all be and just how much I’d have to learn, I’m pretty sure I’d never have started. But I didn’t know that, because I didn’t know anything.


I met my producer, Martin Kromar of Echopilot, while playing a small gig in Vienna. He invited me to his studio to get to know one another, talk music and to hear the songs I’d been working on. Another year would pass before we finally began working together. By this time we’d already decided to work in Immersive Audio, creating the record in a 3D space which brings the listener into a whole new universe of experience. I write from the depths of my soul. I wanted the record to reach into the depths of my listeners' souls and sing to them there. Immersive Audio was, I was sure, the best possible way to do this.


The songs themselves were born of experience. I’d left everything I’d known behind to travel around Europe. Days of cycling across open country and walking the Camino De Santiago gave me ample headspace to dig into the life I’d lead up until that point, while providing me a sharp contrast to view it all against. 


All those things I’d taken for granted were suddenly presented to me as the minor miracles they were: that I had lived and loved, lost and left it all behind, suffered and thrived, that I was privileged enough to be where I was, living from day to day; these things overwhelmed me in their simplicity and their beauty. And then a particularly brutal relationship, begun in Spain and ended in France, spurred me to reflect on all the relationships I’d been through and the lessons I’d learned. I dove into my past, letting go of painful experiences, through the catharsis of songwriting. I was growing as a person. Slowly for the most part, but now and then, particularly toward the end of the record, in bigger leaps.


I was also, over the 900+km of the Camino De Santiago, facing my demons in the Catholic Church. Growing up in Northern Ireland I’d experienced no small amount of suffering in my childhood. While I was beaten for the religion I was raised in, I warred inside with what it all meant to me. There was a lot of anger there. This perhaps came to a head when, in 2019, I flew to Colorado for a songwriting camp. On my first day I met an incredible woman who shared her story with me, knowing full well I’d have to write a song about it. ‘Mercy’ was the result. 

Somehow in the midst of all that pain I was able to find a little healing and perhaps the strength to let go of a lot of my anger toward the church. I think it was her strength which inspired me. And ‘Mercy’ is also a core example of what this whole album is ultimately about: People. Humans. And in the best case, humans being kind.


Since I was young I’ve been lucky enough to have had some incredible people in my life. I met so many more - from all over the world - on my travels and I met and began to work with truly great people more or less immediately after arriving in Vienna. I've learned so much from all of these people: how to be a better person, songwriter, musician, artist… And I’ve learned that no matter where you go, incredible people are waiting to be discovered, befriended and celebrated. As deeply personal as HumanBeingKind may be, it’s a celebration of people coming together, creating something bigger than all of us as individuals.



© 2022 echopilot music, distributed by Virgin


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© 2020 GRS MUSIC / Global Rockstar GmbH

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© 2022 suitrecords, under exclusive license to echopilot music, distributed by Virgin Music Label & Artist Services


Eden Single (2020)

© 2020 GRS MUSIC / Global Rockstar GmbH

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