“It’s about deconstructing the systems that have created all this poverty, sectarianism, hatred and murder”: Belfast rap trio Kneecap announce debut album Fine Art, share mosh pit video for Sick In The Head

Kneecap in NYC
(Image credit: Sacha Lecca/Rolling Stone via Getty Images)

Kneecap, the Irish language rap trio from the North of Ireland, have unveiled the details of their forthcoming debut album Fine Art, and shared the energetic mosh pit-set video for new single Sick In The Head

The West Belfast trio, who recently made headlines after accusing the British government of attempting to "silence" them following a political decision to block previously-approved arts funding, will release Fine Art via via Heavenly Recordings on June 14. 

Speaking about new single Sick In The Head, which features a portrait of former British Prime Minister Margaret Thatcher as its artwork, Kneecap say, "When working on the album we had periods of great productivity but also periods with a total lack of anything creatively. Towards the end of recording we hit a proper wall and this is the result. Our mental health was being tested and we said fuck it, if we're doomed to mental torture we want to have some money to get through it. We’ve had enough of it while being broke round Belfast."

Referencing the song's video, the trio explain, "We're in the centre of a sweaty mosh pit mid-gig in a dark warehouse room. This pit represents emotional state, from fucked up and chaotic to moments of clarity and calmness. The warehouse offers escape - from the mundane... for the marginalised."

Watch the video below:

While their songs, artwork and presentation have drawn criticism from various politicians in the North of Ireland, the band are adamant that they are seeking to inspire solidarity rather than sectarian division.

“It’s about deconstructing the systems that have created all this poverty, sectarianism, hatred and murder,” DJ Próvaí tells Rolling Stone in a new interview.

The band's debut album is set in a fictional Belfast pub, called The Rutz.  "The record was conceived as the listener stepping into Kneecap’s world," explains rapper Mo Chara. "That’s where the idea came to set whole thing in a pub.You walk into a pub at the start, there’s someone offering you a drink, there’s a singsong… really, it’s us taking you by the hand and leading you into our world."

The trio have also announced their biggest UK tour to date, to take place in November.

Kneecap UK tour 2024

Nov 14: Sheffield Foundry
Nov 15: Manchester New Century Hall
Nov 16: Glasgow Barrowlands
Nov 19: Nottingham Rock City
Nov 20: Bristol SWX
Nov 22: London O2 Forum Kentish Town

Paul Brannigan
Contributing Editor, Louder

A music writer since 1993, formerly Editor of Kerrang! and Planet Rock magazine (RIP), Paul Brannigan is a Contributing Editor to Louder. Having previously written books on Lemmy, Dave Grohl (the Sunday Times best-seller This Is A Call) and Metallica (Birth School Metallica Death, co-authored with Ian Winwood), his Eddie Van Halen biography (Eruption in the UK, Unchained in the US) emerged in 2021. He has written for Rolling Stone, Mojo and Q, hung out with Fugazi at Dischord House, flown on Ozzy Osbourne's private jet, played Angus Young's Gibson SG, and interviewed everyone from Aerosmith and Beastie Boys to Young Gods and ZZ Top. Born in the North of Ireland, Brannigan lives in North London and supports The Arsenal.