The Thrills

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The Thrills
The Thrills at Cardiff University.jpg
Background information
OriginDublin, Ireland
Years active2001–2008 (on hiatus)
WebsiteOfficial website
MembersConor Deasy
Daniel Ryan
Padraic McMahon
Kevin Horan
Ben Carrigan

The Thrills are an Irish pop band, formed in 2001 in Dublin, Ireland. The band was founded by lead vocalist Conor Deasy and guitarist Daniel Ryan, guitarist and bass player Padraic McMahon, pianist Kevin Horan and drummer Ben Carrigan. Their break came with their debut album, So Much for the City, which became an Irish number one and charted at number 3 on the UK. The band's sound has been described as "inspired by classic American pop of the late '60s and early '70s" by Rovi[1] and "an ocean-soaked, harmony-heavy homage to California's dreamy dreams, shaking ground, and unrelenting sunshine" by Pitchfork Media.[2]

Early history and So Much for the City[edit]

The Thrills were formed in the Dublin suburb of Blackrock in the mid-1990s, when neighbours Conor Deasy and Daniel Ryan formed the Cheating Housewives with friends Kevin Horan, Padraic McMahon and Ben Carrigan. Several of the members attended primary school together at Hollypark Boys School in Foxrock. In 1999, the band spent four months living in San Diego,[3] during which time they wrote several of the tracks that would eventually appear on their debut album So Much for the City (such as "One Horse Town"). Upon returning to Dublin, they began writing and demoing more material, hoping to secure a record deal – which they soon did with local label Supremo Records, home of fellow Irish band Chicks.[4][5] The relationship with Supremo produced no releases and was short-lived; when they were dropped by the label several months later, the band members pointedly chose not to inform their parents.[6][7]

During a trip to San Francisco in 2001, the band decided to change their name to The Thrills.[1] Later that year they recorded six songs over the span of two demos. The second demo made a favourable impression on Johnny Davis of Bright Star Recordings and BMG Publishing. Through Davis, indie label Rough Trade Records became aware of the band and was impressed, offering the Thrills the money to record another demo.[7] The Rough Trade demo was recorded, but by then label interest in the band had grown rapidly, with up to thirty A&R men and record personnel attending the band's next musical showcase gig.[7] In September 2002, The Thrills signed with Virgin Records, attracted by the promise of artistic freedom and the label's decision to allow them to record their debut record in Hollywood with producer Tony Hoffer (Beck, Air).[1]

After releasing their debut EP in November 2002, the band flew to Los Angeles in December 2002 to record their debut album So Much for the City.[1] So Much for the City was released in 2003, debuting at No. 1 in Ireland, No. 3 in the UK and going platinum in both the UK and Irish Album Charts.[8] The album was nominated for the 2003 Mercury Prize but lost to Dizzee Rascal's 'Boy in da Corner'.[9] The album also won the 2003 Q Award for Best New Act, and Best New Act at the 2003 Irish Meteor Awards.

In 2004 The Thrills won an EBBA Award. Every year the European Border Breakers Awards (EBBA)[10] recognize the success of ten emerging artists or groups who reached audiences outside their own countries with their first internationally released album in the past year.

Let's Bottle Bohemia[edit]

The Thrills' second album Let's Bottle Bohemia was released in September 2004. It was recorded in L.A. (where their first album had also been recorded)[1] – this time with Dave Sardy as producer, featuring orchestration by Van Dyke Parks and a guest mandolin performance by R.E.M.'s Peter Buck.[1] The album enjoyed similar success to the band's debut, entering the charts at number one in Ireland and number nine in the U.K. – largely on the back of the single "Whatever Happened To Corey Haim?".

That same year, the band took part in the Band Aid 20 charity assemble, and performed the song "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)" at the Live 8 Edinburgh 50,000 - The Final Push charity concert, which is also featured on the DVD release of the event. The band also performed a medley[11] with Ronnie Wood of their single "The Irish Keep Gatecrashing" and the Rod Stewart song "Maggie May" at the Irish Meteor Awards 2005.

The band performed a medley[12] of songs from the album on the U.S. television series The OC in the episode entitled "The Ex-Factor".

Extended break and Teenager[edit]

The band took an extended break after their second album, in an effort to evolve their sound. New material was written, and recording sessions took place in New York during 2006.[1] Failing to meet the band's standards, many of these new songs were ultimately discarded, and remain unreleased.

"We were definitely striving for a new standard," Deasy said in 2007. "We were willing to scrap months of work on songs, which is one of the reasons it took so long. We recorded maybe 30 songs."[13] During an interview with indie music magazine Under The Radar in October 2007, Deasy stated: "We wrote about 30 songs for this album, and a lot of the songs we discarded. They weren’t poor songs. They were perfectly good songs, but they were songs that could have fit on the first or the second album a little too easily."[14]

More new material was written, including "Midnight Choir" which became the opening track for Teenager and was also released as a single. At the suggestion of R.E.M., the five relocated to a renovated morgue (owned by Canadian musician Bryan Adams) in inner-city Vancouver to record their third album with Tony Hoffer, who had previously produced their debut album.[1][15][16]

Teenager was released in Ireland on 22 July 2007 and Central Europe on 25 July 2007. It failed to light up the British and Irish charts, but received mixed reviews, getting a Metacritic score of 71%,[17] positive reviews from the BBC,[18] 7/10 from the NME,[19] a 6.9/10 from Pitchfork[2] and a 2/5 review from The Guardian.[20] A special CD/DVD edition of Teenager – which contained a film-length documentary about the band entitled The Thrills: The End of Innocence – was given limited release in the UK only.[15][21]


The band was dropped by EMI in 2008 after the poor performance of their Teenager album, which only charted at No. 48 in the UK.[22][23]

In an August 2010 interview with the Irish Times, Ben Carrigan confirmed that the Thrills remain on indefinite hiatus.[23] At the time, Carrigan was working on his debut solo record entitled The Greatest Narrators, which was released on 23 September 2011.[24] The first single from this album ("You Knew It All Along") was released on 19 August 2011.

While promoting his album in September 2011, Carrigan said of the Thrills: "We’re just on a hiatus. We haven’t done anything since 2008, when we toured Australia. We never split up, but we're all working on other projects. In time, I'm sure we'll get back together. It just got a bit crazy for a while because we were away from home, so we needed to take a break."[25] During an interview with Hot Press in late October 2011 Carrigan stated: "It's like a past life now, the whole Thrills thing, to be honest. Which is kind of nice because it’s good to always feel like you’re moving forward as opposed to looking back and wondering what might have been."[26]

On 22 August 2011, Virgin Records (the Thrills' former label) released a 'best of' compilation entitled 2002–2007. The compilation contained no previously unreleased or bonus material; all the tracks had been previously released in the Thrills' first three studio albums. To date, 2002–2007 has not been released in stores; the disc is only available through Amazon's UK site.[27] A digital-only edition is available on Amazon's US site.[28]


Studio albums[edit]

List of studio albums, with selected chart positions, sales figures and certifications
Title Album details Peak chart positions Certifications

So Much for the City
  • Released: 27 May 2003
  • Label: Virgin
1 100 47 75 28 23 3 14
Let's Bottle Bohemia
  • Released: 13 September 2004
  • Label: Virgin
1 79 183 85 9 152 6
  • Released: 22 July 2007
  • Label: Virgin
24 48
"—" denotes a recording that did not chart or was not released in that territory.


Year Title
2007 The Thrills Bite Size


Year Single IRE

2002 "Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)" 107 So Much for the City
2003 "One Horse Town" 7 27 18 4
"Big Sur" 9 44 55 12 17
"Santa Cruz (You're Not That Far)" (reissue) 17 32 33
"Don't Steal Our Sun" 38 48 45
2004 "Whatever Happened to Corey Haim?" 17 20 22 Let's Bottle Bohemia
"Not for All the Love in the World" 38 43 39 15
2005 "The Irish Keep Gate-crashing" 44 51 48
2007 "Nothing Changes Around Here" 13 40 Teenager
"The Midnight Choir"

Other contributions[edit]


  1. ^ a b c d e f g h "The Thrills | Music Videos, Songs, News, Photos, and Lyrics". MTV. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  2. ^ a b "Album Reviews: The Thrills: Teenager". Pitchfork. 26 November 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  3. ^ "The Thrills:: Music:: Features:: Paste". 1 December 2003. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  4. ^ "The Thrills Biography – ARTISTdirect Music". Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  5. ^ "The Thrills tour dates, concert photos, music news, show cancellations and concert ticket info". 16 September 2004. Archived from the original on 5 February 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  6. ^ "1 Thrill Communication". 2003. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  7. ^ a b c "The Secret History of the Thrills". 2003. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  8. ^ a b c "The Thrills". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  9. ^ " Music Prize Nominations And Winners". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  10. ^ "EBBA – EBBA, European Border Breakers Awards, the awards for best European new music".
  11. ^ "The Thrills and Ronnie Wood Live @ The Meteors". YouTube. Google. 15 June 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  12. ^ "The Thrills on the OC". YouTube. Google. 28 December 2009. Retrieved 28 December 2009.
  13. ^ "More info About THE THRILLS". 20 July 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  14. ^ "The Thrills – Under The Radar". 1 October 2007. Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  15. ^ a b "Featured article – /The Thrills". Retrieved 6 March 2012.[permanent dead link]
  16. ^ Balderston, Adele. "The Thrills Awaken Inner Adolescence with 'The Midnight Choir'". SPIN. Retrieved 21 January 2009.
  17. ^ "Teenager Reviews, Ratings, Credits, and More at Metacritic". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  18. ^ "Music – Review of The Thrills – Teenager". BBC. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  19. ^ "NME Album Reviews – The Thrills; Teenager". Nme. 30 July 2007. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  20. ^ Maddy Costa (19 July 2007). "CD: The Thrills, Teenager | Music". The Guardian. London. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  21. ^ "Teenager [CD + DVD Special Edition]". Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  22. ^ "The Thrills – Teenager". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  23. ^ a b "Mon, 9 August 2010 – The Thrills now pursuing 'other personal goals'". The Irish Times. 8 August 2010. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  24. ^ "Welcome to Ben". 28 July 2011. Archived from the original on 19 August 2011. Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  25. ^ "Ben Carrigan, drummer of the Thrills, releases his first solo album -". 26 September 2011. Archived from the original on 4 March 2016. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  26. ^ "A Thriller in Our Midst". 28 October 2011. Retrieved 30 March 2012.
  27. ^ "2002–2007: The Thrills: Music". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  28. ^ " 2002–2007: The Thrills: MP3 Downloads". Retrieved 6 March 2012.
  29. ^ Roberts, David (2006). British Hit Singles & Albums (19th ed.). London: Guinness World Records Limited. p. 558. ISBN 1-904994-10-5.
  30. ^ "The Thrills – Teenager – Music Charts". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  31. ^ a b c d e Steffen Hung (26 October 2010). "The Thrills – Let's Bottle Bohemia". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  32. ^ "The Thrills – So Much for the City – Music Charts". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  33. ^ a b "The Thrills Chart History: Billboard 200". Billboard. Retrieved 9 September 2020.
  34. ^ "The Thrills So Much For The City". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  35. ^ . Irish Recorded Music Association Retrieved 6 June 2020. Missing or empty |title= (help)
  36. ^ "The Thrills Let's Bottle Bohemia". British Phonographic Industry. Retrieved 6 June 2020.
  37. ^ "The Thrills – Big Sur – Music Charts". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  38. ^ "The Thrills – Italian Music Charts". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  39. ^ Steffen Hung. "Dutch charts portal". Retrieved 17 August 2011.
  40. ^ Peaks in Scotland:
  41. ^ "The Thrills – Chart History: Triple A". Billboard. Retrieved 27 August 2019.

External links[edit]