NEW MUSIC BLAG 2019 SPOTLIGHT

Usually in our New Music Blag Q&A we give you the stats of one artist at a time so you can blag about them to your mates whenever the awkward silence descends. However as we’re about to jump head-first into a brand new year, we decided to up our game and bring you who – in our humble opinion – absolutely smashed 2018  and are guaranteed to keep our ears glued to our speakers this year.

Who? Hannah Peel is a Northern Irish artist who makes her love for the cosmos the inspiration for her other-worldly, synth-heavy sounds. In addition to her own musical projects, Peel also has an impressive portfolio of compositions created for film, TV and Theatre.

Our 2019 crystal ball prediction:  The International Space Station will reveal it’s Hannah Peel-heavy ‘Outer Space Playlist’ which you will be able to subscribe to on Spotify.

The Q&A: 

What did you get up to last year?
It’s been quite a full on year. Many were firsts too which was exciting and mind bending all at the same time! Pulsating synth underscoring for a new theatre production of Brighton Rock in York for a few months which then went on to tour around the UK, releasing Particles In Space album, playing the Queen Elizabeth Hall in London for its reopening with Mary Casio: Journey to Cassiopeia and the Colliery Brass Band, presenting five BBC 6 Music shows, scoring orchestral arrangements for Paul Weller’s new album and then conducting his shows with an orchestra.

What was the highlight of 2018?
Definitely working with Paul Weller. Some songs we worked on I used to sing with my friends at school, so to meet him and then perform live on the TV for BBC Radio 2 Live In Concert… still blows my mind. Plus I hadn’t even done the whole conducting thing before. I mean I know the basics and would have done maybe count in’s for quartets and recordings but never live on stage! It was quite a challenge mentally to find the confidence to get through it.
The biggest surprise though was I loved it. Truly loved in. So much so, I had to stop myself from smiling all the time and at least have an essence of trying to be nonchalant. Blew me away really that whole experience and his trust too to let me get on and do it. A memory made right there. I hope to do more.

What was your weirdest moment of 2018?
Weird but good weird – my brother and his wife bred their dog and she had five wee chocolate brown cocker spaniels. I’ve never held a puppy before, especially not five little wriggly brown sweet smelling handfuls of adorable love. I could have scooped them all up and taken them home with me.

What can we expect in 2019?
Very excited about a collaboration with a poet called Will Burns that happened this summer. A really different studio experience for me – visceral and fast – electronic and organic – his words conjured up so many ideas with sounds and melodies. We are taking it on the road in 2019 and the launch is in London 4th April at Cecil Sharpe House – in the round with soundscape speakers encompassing us as if in the studio creating from scratch. It’s been a geeky dream to do one day, so I’m so excited it can happen.

Chose 3 New Year Resolutions which we will check back on this time next year.

Right then Hannah…

  1. Go on at least one holiday for longer than a day, you nutter.
  2. Scrap that, take three holidays at least.
  3. Practice better your patience with technology. Count to 10.

Who? Young Romance are Kingston-upon-Thames based indie duo Claire and Paolo who hit the ground running with their razor sharp riffs and smouldering sounds. Flying the flag for Indie D.I.Y as they toured extensively across Europe, the band more recently released their second album.

Our 2019 Crystal Ball Prediction: Halfway through a hometown gig, a mosh pit will break out over a fierce debate whether Kingston-Upon-Thames counts as South London or Surrey.

The Q&A:

What did you get up to last year?

We toured a lot, released a new album and wrote new songs.

What was the highlight of 2018?

This is tough as we’ve played lots of memorable shows and loved playing live on Radio X but I think topping those is definitely releasing the second album. We are really proud of it so it was great to unleash it on the world.

What was your weirdest moment of 2018?

I think one of them has to be playing acoustically both at our headline London show and on Radio X. There’s something more terrifying about being completely stripped back like that.

What can we expect in 2019?

We’re hoping to do our own headline UK tour and potentially release an acoustic EP, amongst writing and beginning to record the third record.

Chose 3 New Year Resolutions which we will check back on this time next year.

  1. Write the new album
  2. Release new music.
  3. Stop eating cheese.

Who? The Slow Readers Club are a Mancunian quartet who stay true to the musical heritage of their home city. Packing in as many shows as possible in 2018 was a wise investment as it now means that the group are ready to quit their day jobs.

Our 2019 Crystal Ball Prediction: Following a rather embarrassing mix-up at their local library, the group will be sued for their misleading band name.

The Q&A: 

What did you get up to last year?

We released our third album ‘Build A Tower’ which reached no 18 in the official UK album charts. Did two tours of the UK culminating with sold out shows at Manchester Apollo, London Scala, Glasgow School Of Art, Leeds Brudenell, Stoke Sugar Mill, Hull Welly Club, Hebden Bridge Trades Club, Bury Met and more. We also appeared at several festivals including, Kendal Calling, Beautiful Days, Neighbourhood Festival, Reeperbahn Festival (Germany), Haldern Pop (Germany), Kaltern Pop Festival (Italy), SOSX Beijing (China), and Strawberry Festival, Hangzou (China). We also had great support for our singles from BBC 6 Music, Radio X, XS Manchester and BBC Introducing.

What was the highlight of 2018?

Playing a to a capacity crowd (3500) at the Apollo in our home town of Manchester. It was a properly magical experience and one that we will remember forever. The Apollo is an iconic venue and one that every band from Manchester aspires to play let alone sell out.

What was your weirdest moment of 2018?

Probably flying out to China and trying to figure out the food, the locals were very amused by four manc lads trying to Hot Pot with chop sticks.

What can we expect in 2019?

Up until December 21st, the band had been writing and touring around full time day jobs. In 2019 we go full time on the band, in Jan and Feb we will be writing new material. In March and April we will be heading out on a massive 32 date tour of the UK and then on to Europe after that (dates to be announced). We also have some festivals lined up including Eurosonic (Netherlands), Bearded Theory Festival (Derbyshire), Neighbourhood Weekender (Warrington) and Mad Cool Festival (Madrid).

Chose 3 New Year Resolutions which we will check back on this time next year.

  1. Eat more fruit and veg.
  2. Listen to some music outside of our comfort zone.
  3. Spend more time with friends and family.

 

Who? Those of you who were paying attention over the summer would have already read our live review of Apollo Junction and it is due to performances such as these that the Leeds based quintet never seem to have a dull moment. Their soaring, anthemic style which brims with optimism is resulting in a meteoric rise for the group.

 Our 2019 Crystal Ball Prediction:  Riots and chaos will bring the Capital to a standstill after one of the group unwittingly makes eye contact and smiles at a stranger during a London gig.

The Q&A:

What did you get up to last year?

We’ve had a crazy year having been on BBC 6, our local introducing stations and Radio Wales. We’ve had amazing support from so many people this year who have been really kind. We’ve also played a few brilliant festivals as well as being up and down the country gigging. We were lucky enough to play before the Josh Warrington World Title Fight! Gigging has meant a lot of time in a van together which is always a laugh and also helped us start work on our album – which is amazing as half of it is written now!

What was the highlight of 2018?

Well, we would all argue about this but we were lucky enough to be voted one of the top 5 ‘must see’ at the Isle of Wight of Festival as when we were playing the field became packed full of dancing fans. We love making a crowd dance and to play at such an iconic place meant so much to us.

What was your weirdest moment of 2018?

Oh, there’s been a few but chilling back stage at Isle of Wight Festival with Colin Firth was definitely up there. He liked the band and our hair cuts but wasn’t a fan of our shoes! You can’t please them all…

What can we expect in 2019?

We are about to sign our first record deal which we are just finalising the distribution details or some bollocks…our amazing manager handles all that. We’ll be playing more gigs up and down the country so that will mean that we get to meet more amazing people. Hopefully we’ll continue growing and bringing wonderful people with us so please come and watch us – join the party!

Chose 3 New Year Resolutions which we will check back on this time next year.

  1. Release the first album.
  2.  Finish the second.
  3.  Buy more shoes.

 

 

 

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