Treefort 2023 Profile: Ireland’s Modernlove

One of the hallmarks of Boise’s Treefort Music Fest is that it doesn’t waste time rolling out many of the most promising acts on the bill. Set for the first night of the five-day event are Surf Curse, Covet, Rogê, Caitlin Rose and Orions Belte — and that’s just from 8 to 10 p.m.

But Treefort-ers would do themselves a disservice to miss, or at least not look into, another Wednesday night act: Modernlove. The bracing indie-pop quartet is coming all the way from Ireland to infuse the fest with its special blend of succinct, succulent melodies and hooks. If that’s not enough of a selling point, Modernlove’s Treefort set will mark their first at a Stateside festival.

Seven years after their formation, Modernlove have mastered the art of cutting to the chase. Their no-frills, no-nonsense approach manifests in instantly memorable tunes that burrow into the brain.

The Bad Penny recently caught up with Modernlove for our ongoing series on international artists playing Treefort this year. Like their songs, the band’s answers were direct and a little bit cheeky. We chatted up the musicians/jokesters about the Idaho/Ireland potato connection, what other acts they’re most excited to see at the festival — and their love of a certain film that’s familiar to all residents of the Gem State.

[Go here for a primer on this series of Treefort Music Fest previews. Check back for new profiles of international artists playing the festival every day leading up to the fest’s kickoff on Wednesday, March 22.]

Artist: Modernlove
From: Drogheda, Ireland
Genre: indie pop
Treefort info: Playing Wednesday, March 22, at Boise Brewing at 9:10 p.m.

Why did you decide to play Treefort Fest this year?

MODERNLOVE: We always wanted to see Boise. One of our favorite movies is My Own Private Idaho, so we’re looking forward to going there.

What excites you the most about participating in it?

MODERNLOVE: Treefort is our first-ever U.S. music festival, which is awesome. It’ll be a special experience. Sharing a bill with Unknown Mortal Orchestra, Pinback and Dinosaur Jr. is pretty cool.

Is this your first time playing Treefort? If so, how did your booking come about? If not, why did you choose to return?

MODERNLOVE: Yes, it’s our first time. Our U.S. agents [Mint Talent Group] hooked us up! 

Have you visited Boise/Idaho before? If yes, do you have any fun stories to share? If not, what have you heard about Boise/Idaho?

MODERNLOVE: No, we’ve never been. We’ve heard Idaho is known for its potatoes. Us being Irish means we’ll feel right at home!

Did you face any challenges or headaches in securing a visa to come here?

MODERNLOVE: The visa process was grueling for our management. But we got [it done] in the end, and we’re so excited to be touring in the USA. Especially since they’ve hiked the [visa] prices for international artists, which is a real shame, as it limits artists who’d love to come here.

What expectations do you have for your experience here and at Treefort?

MODERNLOVE: We’re excited to get to check out some other bands at Treefort. We love discovering new music.

How would you describe your state of mind going into Treefort?

MODERNLOVE: New York State of Mind.

What can Treefort attendees expect from your performance?

MODERNLOVE: If we told you what to expect, it would ruin the surprise.

For more coverage of international artists playing Treefort, check out our recent conversations with:

• Montréal’s Thanya Iyer
• Vancouver’s Mauvey
• Italy’s Dumbo Gets Mad
• Brazil’s BIKE
• Chile’s Sistemas Inestables
• British Columbia’s Mother Sun
• Norway’s Orions Belte
• Treefort Co-Founder and Festival Director Eric Gilbert

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