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New Single From Stoat

  • Published in News

Stoat's newest single and video ‘Don't Play No Game That I Can Win’ is out now, ahead of their new album, Try Not To Think About It, which is slated for release (finally) on Feb 3. ‘Don't Play No Game That I Can Win’ is probably the poppiest tune on the album, with a disco groove, handclaps and MOAR COWBELL! It even has a dance video.

It's indie pop/-tronica rather than actual “pop”, naturally. There's no guest appearance from Pitbull, and the lyrics are about embracing the futility of striving (though in a fun way) but still, Stoat like to think of it as a song where you dance in the verse and sing along in the chorus, in the vein of Metronomy or Hot Chip.

‘Don't Play No Game That I Can Win’ is the fourth single from the album. The previous three picked up airplay all over Ireland (2FM, WLR, Cork 96FM, 8Radio, FlirtFM, and many more), and had kind things said about them on a variety of music blogs, including here on Musos’ Guide






HeartSongs - 20170529

  • Published in Columns

Welcome to HeartSongs, our new, regularly (probably) scheduled look at songs and the people who write them. We spoke to Cormac from Irish mathpunks Stoat about their latest single ‘Try Not To Think About It’.

“Like most Stoat songs, ‘Try Not To Think About It’ evolved over an extended period of time - we are not, alas, able to knock out finished songs in 10 minutes (or even, often, 10 months). John arrived in to a practice with the bassline from the verse and the "ching! ching-a-ching-a!" guitar part from the intro. It was faster than it is now, with a kind of Chumbawumba "I get knocked down, then I get up again" vocal rhythm, and no words. We all liked it straight away, and kicked it around for a few weeks, and Stephen came up with the rattling drum groove.”

“The first words were the "Try Not To Think About It" catchphrase. I was going through a kind of miserable period - my kids were young and I wasn't getting much sleep, the place I was working in was struggling to make ends meet, and the house we'd been living in for a few years still wasn't really finished. The band are scattered around the country, and on my two-hour-each-way drives to practice in Athlone I'd find it very hard not to dwell on what a disappointment being a grown-up had turned out to be. To "Try Not To Think About It" was the only remedy I could think of, and the line fit neatly into the song.”

“It stayed "on the slab" for ages - that's the Stoat word for when a song is in a state of being taken apart, fiddled with, and put back together. The chorus melody was originally a guitar line, and I did everyone's head in by insisting we try to put in an extra half-bar between the verse and the chorus, then when we eventually managed to pull it off realised that it sounded crap.”

“Visiting my parents around then I came across an article in a Sunday newspaper where some famous person talks you through a day in their enviable life, and was inspired to write my own, less enviable, version. It began with "I'm Awoken In The Dark", and I even sent it in to the newspaper in question. Never got a reply, of course, but that became the basis of the lyrics - I made it rhyme and there we were.”

“There were so many words that we had to slow the song down in order for me to get them all in, and then all of a sudden we had a song that was almost funky, something that had never really happened to us before, and that led us down a new road - the chorus got a cowbell and a shout-along bit, the guitar in the verses got more rhythmic, and eventually during the mixing we added in that honking baritone sax.”

“If you listen closely you can hear my two daughters, the younger of whose sleeping habits I'm whining about in the first verse, chiming in on one of the "Try Not To Think About It"s.”

I'm awoken in the dark

By someone who likes an early start.

She wants to play, and I know I should join her

But all I can do it sit, dazed, on the floor.

I'm still there when her sister arrives

And I'm suddenly too late to get to work on time

So it's out the door shouting "Bye!" to my wife

Who's in bed

Having been awake half the night.


Stephen! John! This isn't good.

Things haven't turned out the way I hoped they would.

I never get to see my wife naked anymore.

We're just partners in chores.


Try not to think about it.


It's nice of you to offer sympathy

When I'm feeling sorry for myself -

But frankly I was hoping for advice

That might be a bit more practical.


Outside my job I sit in my van

Delaying entry for as long as I can.

Later you'll find me frozen at my desk

Deciding what emergency to deal with next.

In a panic I blunder on. Oh!

Making mistakes I'll have to fix tomorrow.

I never meant this to be a career,

But now it looks like I'm stuck here


Til pension day. My life slips past

As I try to cross items off a vast

To-do list that never seems to get any smaller

Just taller


Try not to think about it


It's nice of you to offer sympathy

When I'm feeling sorry for myself -

But frankly I was hoping for advice

That might be a bit more practical.


At home in the evening I try to defend

My re-heated dinner from my offspring. And then

There's games to be played, stories to be read,

Tantrums and escape attempts on the way to bed.

Callbacks for lullabies, blankets and drinks,

And meanwhile the dishes are still in the sink.

Then when the washing-up's done, and the laundry's put away

I can do as I please for the rest of the day ...


Just as soon as the dishwasher's mended,

Which takes longer than I intended

So when finally into bed beside my wife I creep

She is asleep.


Try not to think about it


It's nice of you to offer sympathy

When I'm feeling sorry for myself -

But frankly I was hoping for advice


That might be a bit more practical.

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