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  • Years Active

    2012 – present (7 years)

There are at least two acts using the name Ain :

1. Operating under the stage name Ain, Irish singer/songwriter Aindriú Conroy has based himself in London since the dissolution of the Opiates, his Dublin noise rock project, in 2005. The Kildare native's subsequent emergence as a solo performer could scarcely have provided a greater contrast. He stripped his music of all excessive ornamentation and complexity and instead embraced the simple structures of prewar Delta blues and sparse, nuanced arrangements consisting of little more than acoustic guitar and the singer's own haunted vocals. On the other hand, there's a clear kinship between Ain's blues, as informed by the post-punk indie stylings of the Smiths and alt-folk luminary Bonnie "Prince" Billy, and the lulling repetitiveness of Sonic Youth.

Ain's immersion in London's vibrant folk scene earned him a deal with local record label Tanuki Tanuki, home of Cast's John Power. His debut EP, Close to Cotton, released in January of 2008, was a surprisingly forthright statement for the upstart artist. The title makes obvious allusions to the great Delta bluesmen who had inspired him, as does the morbid subject matter contained therein. The songwriter's decision to compose and perform each of the six tracks in the key of D was a remarkably brave one for an unproven artist, but one that appears to have been justified by the acclaim given the release.

In May of 2008, Ain released a double A-sided single combining "Wanna Die Like Jesus" and "Buying Stars," the latter featuring the supporting vocals of California actress turned folk-rocker Sarabeth Tucek. The pair met when in the summer of 2007 when Tucek asked Ain to open the London leg of her U.K. tour. Ain refused, claiming he needed to study for exams the next day, but attended the gig nonetheless and subsequently failed his exams. His indiscipline proved to be a blessing, however. The pair hit it off and Ain performed with Tucek on her subsequent return to London.

2. Ain is a joint project of Egyptian producer 1127 and Djynxx, who released their first outing ع through the mysterious netlabel Quantum Natives.

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