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|Hannah In The Wars
Hannah in The Wars
25 May 2015
|“The amazing performances and arrangements somehow pull you in and take you somewhere else. Somewhere Hannah has been but you haven’t, she shares her secrets and tells her stories…Its been a pleasure and a privilege to work with her.”
Roger O’Donnell, The Cure
Songwriter Hannah Curwood originates from the stark, remote region of Central Otago in New Zealand. Now based in London, Hannah in the Wars is a new project, the result of working alongside Roger O’Donnell of The Cure and a handpicked group of musicians.
This eponymous debut album showcases a collection of lyrically robust emotional narratives. Curwood’s distinctive and powerful vocals are accompanied by Telecaster, piano, synth, delicate string arrangements and the brooding pulse of an orchestral percussionist.
O’Donnell has supported the band by providing his country home studio as a recording base, and lending guidance with vocal performance, arrangements and his expertise in synth programming.
The resulting ten songs evoke the likes of P J Harvey, Anna Calvi, Sharon Van Etten, Laura Marling and Smog – delicacy entangled with intensity.
Explaining how the songs came to be, Hannah says “This album was written amidst a complex tapestry of events. A profound existential, spiritual and psychological crisis of a family member, terrifying, brutal and bewildering in intensity was accompanied by the agonising death knells and eventual shattering of a romantic relationship that had spanned many years, the deconstruction of a home.
This as the rumbling, groaning earth broke up under one of our cities. I remember hearing about the first big earthquake on a grey, humid Auckland day and feeling as if time suddenly stopped and was stretching, creaking, tearing at the edges. I went home that evening to a desolate, empty house and wept for the people of Christchurch, for my own grief, chastising myself for having the audacity to cry over an insignificant personal miasma when people a few 100 km away were lying dead, dying, searching for loved ones amongst the wreckage of multiple lives.
But this is how we work, in infinite ways, against infinite backgrounds we function. We grieve, we process, we grow and we continue on in our inexorable march, sometimes dragged kicking and screaming, sometimes passive travellers dreamily coasting with the current.”
The album was mixed by Paul Corkett (The Cure, Nick Cave, Bjork) and will be released via O’Donnell’s 99X/10 label on May 25th 2015.
Hannah’s previous releases, Sky Above, Horse Below (2007) and The Blind Love EP (2009) both received resounding critical acclaim, with tracks such as the murder ballad ‘It’s Been Snowing All Winter’showcasing Hannah’s use of dark lyrics, twisted imagery and ethereal melody, earning her a place as one of New Zealand’s celebrated alternative folk writers.
May 16th: Sebright Arms, London
|Postcards From Jeff
Louder Than War
13 April 2015
From the windswept valleys of a very British countryside to pastel hued dreams of Hollywood darlings, Suburban Girl – the brand new track taken from the forthcoming debut album of Yorkshire producer, songwriter and multi-instrumentalist Postcards from Jeff – further explores a love of Lynchian style, in particular, Twin Peaks’ tragic heroine Laura Palmer.
“It’s about the projection of fantasy; getting lost in the worlds of people we watch on the silver screen, obsession, glamour, and desire,” reveals Postcards From Jeff alter ego Joss Worthington. “It references being mesmerised by someone and the ideas you project onto them.”
Equally reflecting a penchant for the skilled soundtracks of Angelo Badalamenti, David Torn, and Alexandre Desplat, and the relationship between Alfred Hitchcock and Tippi Hedren whilst filming The Birds, Suburban Girl’s influences are as broad as they are wide. With a sparkling melody that paves the way for Worthington’s deadpan baritone, each melodic twist and turn is like a one-way window onto someone’s multifaceted life. “I always like to invent a world for the songs to live in so I’m often creating visual images in my mind to accompany the lyrics,” Worthington explains. “I like to see the lyrics as little movies although they are always more abstract than that.”
Helping to realise his vision, Worthington has once again turned to his blossoming friendship with Brighton-based filmmaker-photographer Steve Glashier (whose showreel credits include videos for Primal Scream, Prodigy, Fatboy Slim, and Julliette Lewis). Having created the videos for previous Postcards tracks ‘A House’ and the Wim Wenders inspired ‘Awake’, what originally began as a simple musical project has now evolved into a fully-fledged tragic-romantic narrative, with ‘Suburban Girl’ akin to a sequel in Postcards From Jeff’s ever-evolving trajectory.
“We wanted to take the people from ‘A House’ and explore their world a bit more,” reveals Worthington. “There were a lot of considerations to getting it right though.”
Shot on location in Brighton using Glashier’s heavyweight Medium Format camera, the video’s timeless look appears to be the point at which the glitz of LA’s Hollywood Hills and European Cinematic influences meet. Adding to its fly on the wall voyeuristic style, the film’s concentric circles focus in on the glamour puss meets girl-next-door character who recalls the femme fatale of Edie ‘Factory Girl’ Sedgwick and leaves you with more questions than it does answers.
“There’s a glamorous element to the characters but darker undercurrents make things a lot weirder,” Worthington explains. “I was quite adamant about exploring that in a balanced way, I didn’t want it to be judgemental nor did I want the characters to seem too aspirational.”
Written, played, recorded, mixed and mastered by Postcards From Jeff in his ‘Distant City’ studio located in the midst of Yorkshire’s rolling landscape, Suburban Girl marks the point at which the world outside has become a new sonic playground for Worthington’s vast melodic exploration. Be one of the first to experience it when Postcards From Jeff broadens his horizons even further and plays some special shows this spring ahead of the eagerly anticipated debut album.
“A dreamy ride that gets inside of you in a good way. This is a new type of dreampop, folks. Get on board, take a journey.”
“Taking vast almost cinematic synth beds and layering them with indie melodies and a gentle and somewhat understated vocal, this is dreampop with expansiveness.”
“A Brooding Indie Pop masterclass.”
“Somewhere poetry meets pop, electronica and folk dosado, film and reality collide and Postcards From Jeff takes all these inspirations and weaves them into new stories, new songs, new roads.”
9 March 2015
|Taking inspiration from its iconic eighties namesake, the Channel Four Television programme, The Tube, Liverpool based music showcase; The 2Ube offers an unrivalled opportunity to see discover the most exciting emerging artists active on the north west’s vibrant music scene right now.
Each week we’ll introduce you to some of the acts you can look forward to seeing at the weekly Lipa cafe events as well as The 2Ube Extra Festival which happens in April
Cellist-singer songwriter Satin Beige will be injecting a hit of soulful magic into Spring 2015 with her first single, Addicted.
Last year Satin started making name for herself, singing backing vocals for Nikki Belle (Trippin’ On You) and playing cello and singing with Stephen Langstaff on his UK tour. She now focuses on stepping into the spotlight with her unique blend of sultry cello-led R’n’B/soul.
The Essex born, Liverpool based musician is currently on a solo tour of the UK, accompanying herself on cello. She recently supported Tommy Scott of Space in Liverpool and will also be supporting him at his upcoming London date, before emabrking on a tour with her band later this year.
Satin Beige has recently been in the studio with producers including Lloyd Massett (who has worked with the likes of OMD and Wyclef Jean) and Alex Campbell (P-Theory) and is currently working on refining her signature cello-infused sound.
ABOUT THE 2UBE:
“There is still a shortage of live music on our terrestrial screens so something like The 2Ube live from LIPA is a fabulous idea, not only does it give the students real industry skills in producing live Television but also offers a platform for emerging music to get seen by a wider audience.”
Based in LIPA Cafe, Liverpool Insititute for the Performing Arts, Mount Street, Liverpool, 2ube’s weekly showcase takes place each Friday from5-7pm. The event features a diverse range of bands from across the north west of England.
Keith Mullin of Liverpool band The Farm is a music lecturer at Liverpool Institute for the Performing Arts and the driving force behing 2ube. He describes the event as “a bastion of cultural diversity, a great breeding ground for new acts. In many ways it adopts a John Peel approach to music, not specialist or genre specific, in that you never know what you’re going to get.”
On March 20th, the weekly showcase will be live streamed on a designated YouTube channel, attracting viewers from all over the world as we gear up for the main event, the annual 2ube Xtra Festival which is set to attract viewers from all over the world.
This year 2ube Xtra begins on April 15th and runs until April 23rd, featuring four bands each night, together with exclusive interviews and performances with some of the most respected figures in the music industry.
Media outlets are welcome to attend 2ube Xtra in order to review and interview any of the artists appearing. You are also welcome to embed the show’s live stream on your website on March 20th and for the duration of the festival.
View/Embed February’s 2Ube Livestream show here:
Timed Running Order:
2.40 Ian Janco
16 March 2015
|‘A kind of charming sadness’
Yeah Buddy, Liverpool
‘Emilio Pinchi shows the depth of solo-performing talent we have in this city, possessing some fine tunes’
Influenced by the likes of Elliott Smith and The Antlers, Liverpool based Emilio Pinchi carves his own perspective on folk-punk, offering a stark, honest outlook on everyday life.
Hug Records Absolute/Universal
23 March 2015
Stephen Langstaff releases soul-inspired pop ballad ‘Sirens’ today. Describing the track as “a song about a girl with a bad reputation and a big heart”, the release follows Stephen’s recent appearances alongside iconic Liverpool bands Space, China Crisis, The Lightning Seeds and Ian McCulloch of Echo and the Bunnymen.
With support from BBC Merseyside, BBC Radio 2 and 6 Music and with his songwriting skills in demand form other artists such as Blue Miller and Artful, this debut release gives us the first glimpse of an incredibly talented and exciting musician.
“One of Merseyside’s most consistent lone troubadours, Langstaff blends emotive soulful pop with a natural stage presence”
“There’s something very special about Stephen Langstaff’s writing and music spirit”
“Spellbinding vocal work and laid back guitar that recalls the more credible side of Damien Rice”
Gone Too Far
27 April 2015
“Kosoti play the kind of folk/pop which is underpinned by the kind of song-writing nous that is really going to get people sitting up and taking notice.”
“If you like your music creative and atmospheric with strong vocal harmonies this is the band for you.”
After a near death experience in 2013, lead singer and songwriter Allan Hyslop realised he needed to treasure every moment of his life by doing what he loved most, writing and performing music.
Allan explains “Kosoti is the result of a few musicians and friends getting together to write songs and enjoy each other’s company. It started about eighteen months ago when a change in personnel gave us the impetus to try something different from what we’d previously been doing. The sound emerged and we knew there was something special being born…”
The new single ‘Gone Too Far’ was produced by Adrian Hall and follows the success of 2014’s ‘Bark and Sticks’ which saw widespread airplay for the band. ‘Gone Too Far’ is a laid back track with sensitive yet powerful overtones and a rousing chorus mourning a relationship that has gone awry.
Having already performed sessions for BBC Introducing, Amazing Radio and Metro Radio in their short career, ‘Gone Too Far’ is set to take the band to an even larger fanbase who are drawn to Kosoti’s beautiful vocal harmonies which are very much their trademark.
All tracks written by:
Any Last Words
16 March 2015
Deliah was born after Michelle and Alex first met at their auditions for the Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts.
Taking influence from contrasting artists such Amy Winehouse and Kendrick Lamar, the duo have a self confessed eclectic taste in music. This, paired with their organic and collaborative writing style, are the ingredients for their unique sound, which Michelle describes as ‘Both of our personalities personified’. The combination of Michelle’s soulful voice and Alex’s intricate guitar playing, bring a certain class and retro vibe to an undeniable contemporary groove.
Since their creation in 2013, the band has played countless shows, becoming regulars at local events as well as appearing at Fiesta Bombarda and Liverpool International Music Festival. More recently, they have travelled further afield to perform in venues up and down the country, recently supporting Anthony David at London’s Jazz Cafe and appearing on numerous radio stations including the BBC.
“Sophisticated, jazzy and smooth. The vocals are feisty but not too overpowering.”
“It’s effortlessly cool, and has a kind of seductive sophistication about it…it’s a track you would be crazy to miss.”
Spying On Life Vimeo: https://vimeo.com/118487353
Gig listing 2015:
20/03 – Camp & Furnace /Liverpool / Neighborhood BBQ