a dark horse

“A sound that is compelling, dense, and dreamy.”

Seattle Weekly


“One of the most accomplished and exciting debuts this year.”

Hot Press


“A rich, cinematic and substantial sound.”



“Pur sang pop”

Les Inrockuptibles


The most melodic & enchanting EP

The Sunday Times

a dark horse are an alt. folk band from Dublin, Ireland, formed by James Parker, Hugh Rodgers and Niall Woods in the tail end of 2010. Between the summer and winter of 2011 they recorded & produced their debut EP in Porchlight Studios, enlisting several of their musician friends, including Adrian Mullan, Luke Slott and Vyvienne Long. The EP was mixed by Stephen Shannon, and in May 2012 they released their first single, “Take Me Home”, along with a music video set during Italia ‘90, directed by Aoife Kelleher. They followed that up in June with “These Butterflies Are Here”, accompanied by a dream narrative stop-motion music video. That August, they released their self titled EP - it received glowing reviews internationally - from The Sunday Times, to Seattle Weekly, Nialler9 to Les Inrock.

“Take Me Home” was named Track of the Fortnight in Hot Press, while ‘The Heart Won’t Lie” reached #6 in the Amazing Radio chart in the UK. The band played Hard Working Class Heroes festival in 2012, followed by an intimate acoustic session for Sofar Sounds. They recorded a live session and interview with RTÉ Radio 1’s arts and culture programme, Arena and were named ‘One To Watch’ in 2013 by State Magazine. After a few gigs around Dublin, they filmed a live recording of their EP in March 2013. Shortly thereafter, James moved to London and the band parted ways.

In 2017, after several years hiatus, Hugh and James began working on new material. They rejoined forces with Niall and once again started recording. In October 2018, James released his debut solo single “The Weight” as James Galvo Parker, recorded and produced with Niall and Hugh at Porchlight Studios.