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Sign Crushes Motorist: The Irish slowcore artist with over 4 million monthly listeners

Sign Crushes Motorist: The Irish slowcore artist with over 4 million monthly listeners


The nature of our fractured music landscape these days means that we’re regularly hearing about artists that have found a massive audience through online platforms without engaging with the music press or the established routes for new artist first.

We’ve seen it with bedroom beat producers and electronic pop maestros, The latest artist to come across our radar who fits this description is…

Sign Crushes Motorist

Sign Crushes Motorist is a slowcore-influenced project of the Donegal artist Liam McCay, who is 19 years-old and fresh out of secondary school.

The music inspired by slacker and lo-fi alt-rock music with a particular nod to Duster, the San Jose, California band who released three main albums in the slowcore genre in the 90s before taking a near 20 year hiatus that they ended in 2019 to release once more. The project name, Sign Crushes Motorist, is the title of a Duster song. McCay has also cited the late Apistat Commander as an influence.

Sign Crushes Motorist is just one of McCay’s pseudonyms which also includes Take Care, Birth Day, Make His Ribs Show, Manta, Hold, Miserable Teens Club, Roaming, busty latinas, Death Trap, Moon Water to name some.

Sign Crushes Motorist is the McCay’s main project that has garnered over 4 million monthly listeners on Spotify, though his other aliases like Birth Day and Take Care are also doing good listening numbers on various platforms.

His music has been placed on Spotify editorial playlists like side effects (the sad indie rock songs playlist), All New IndieA Breath of Fresh Éire, The Other List, undercurrent, Spooky and Alternative Ireland.

Sign Crushes Motorist has two albums to date – 2022’s I’ll Be Ok and the most recently album releases last month – Hurting.

Much of the lyrics features sentiments of teenage angst or desolate feelings of inadequacy, or unrequited love.

What is Slowcore?

The music is lo-fi guitar downtempo music often, with subdued vocals, and is often a bedroom project. It is sometimes called sadcore, and it is often used on TikTok over videos to portray a particular downbeat aesthetic. TikTok which is where Sign Crushes Motorist has gained a lot of listeners in the last year or so.


Of Hurting, McCay says:

“This album was made while I was going through possibly the worst time of my life mentally, and it took a lot of self motivation to even get out of bed, let alone write and record stuff. I hope you enjoy these ten songs, and if you’re feeling as bad as I was while recording them, just know that it can’t last forever. Every one of you have a lot left to give, and if you’re feeling suicidal, please just hang in there for a little while longer. As they say, the darkest hour comes just before the dawn. I thank all of you for listening to my music and for supporting me, and I hope you like the album.”

See Also
Joe Goddard. Photo: Louise Mason.

Sign Crushes Motorist first ever gig?

As it happens, Sign Crushes Motorist has been announced for his first gig ever, supporting Horse Jumper Of love this September 23rd in the Workman’s Club.

Hurting has a release on vinyl and cassette from Gizzmoix (DE), Semi Collective Records (US), Hunkofplastic Records (UK) and Dying Dutchman (NL).

For more on Sign Crushes Motorist..

Instagram | Bandcamp | Soundcloud | Apple Music | Spotify | Linktree | Youtube

There’s also a Reddit page for the various projects.

Guest Mix on “Mended Dreams with Claire Rousay” on NTS Radio

More music from Liam McCay

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