News

New single announcement: Terminal 4!

‘Terminal 4’, the first single from my second album, premiered on Loud Women today! It will be released digitally on 19 May, available from all the usual places.

I liked the idea that we’re continually making a personal map of our emotional lives, and that specific places have the power to take us back in time, whether we like it or not. The song was inspired by going back to places that have strong feelings attached to them, like the house I grew up in, and visits to Oxford and Bristol where I used to live. It’s about the idea that as we move through the world we give meaning to the places where we make important memories – even mundane places like street corners and train stations.

I’ve been wanting to make an animated video for a while, partly because I’m not that keen on being on film, but also because I love animation. This single felt like a good time to give it a go, so I asked Horrorize Studio to make one for me, and it came out great: you can watch it here.

The full version of the song features an extended outro to shake your ass to – have a listen below. Singles are supposed to be three minutes long, not closer to six, but I think this version is way better. So I figured, fuck it, it’s not like it’s going to be on Radio 1 anyway, I may as well release the version I like best. The B-side is a cover of 100,000 Fireflies by The Magnetic Fields, which I recorded a year or two ago, and the artwork features one of my drawings.

Meanwhile, my new album is about half completed (yes, most artists finish their albums before picking singles but I’m impatient and I don’t like leaving long gaps between releases). I’ve got five songs recorded and a bunch more half-recorded. I hope to have news about more single releases very soon, and will post again shortly about live dates over the summer.

New art on Instagram!

 

As you may have noticed, I’ve been a little bit quiet lately on the music front, for two reasons.

One is that I’ve been working on my second album (title TBC!), which is coming along slowly but surely – about half of it is finished, with the other half in various stages of completion. I will be making an announcement very soon about my next single, which is due out in the next few months – I have a great animated video by Horrorize Studios which I can’t wait to share with you. More news on this soon, as well as festival dates for the summer.

The second reason is because I’ve been busy getting back into visual art, which is an old hobby of mine but one which I’ve neglected for quite a few years because the technology at my disposal didn’t quite match what I wanted to do. But lo! I was given a stylus pen for my birthday in January, and since then I’ve been madly practising my drawing skillz. You can see what I’ve been up to on my Instagram account. I’ll be drawing the artwork for my upcoming releases, and I did some illustrations for Loud Women Fest as well. Yay!

EP press rundown and festival news

The Pillow Fort EP is out!

It has had some great press coverage so far – ‘Stay Away From Me’ was played on BBC Introducing on 6Music, as well as featuring on Brutha Voodoo’s Playlist Obscura and on The Devil Has the Best Tuna blog’s fresh sounds.

There was a lovely review of the EP on The Flux Presents and another on The Electricity Club. The Von Pip Musical Express featured ‘Good Guys’ as its Track of the Day, and it was also played on Grrrl Power Hour on Lucky Star Radio.

I did an interview for local blog East Blam, and wrote a piece for the awesome feminist collective TYCI about why I chose to write ‘Stay Away From Me’.

Thanks to everyone who has bought it, written about it or otherwise supported the EP – it means a lot to me.

I have also confirmed that I will be playing at the Matchwomen’s Festival on 2 July – a brilliant day celebrating women’s activism in East London. Advance tickets are £5 and are available here.

In the meantime I’m also working on new material – three new songs recorded in February, and more to come soon!

‘Stay Away From Me’ video

I’m super pleased to finally share with you the video for ‘Stay Away From Me’, which was filmed in Bristol on a cold day in October last year. It was directed by the awesome Laura Kidd, aka She Makes War, who spent the day walking backwards through the streets of Bristol to film me singing, while passersby looked on with befuddlement.

It is, of course, taken from the Pillow Fort EP, which is now available for pre-order on iTunes, Amazon and Bandcamp.

You can also order the CD from Bandcamp up until 4 March, after which time the online shop will be shut until 21 March as I will be overseas and unable to stuff things in Jiffy bags and post them to you. If you order the EP and the Connections/Departures album together you can save a whole pound!

You can now also listen to the full EP on Soundcloud:

Pillow Fort EP release date and pre-orders

Pillow Fort EP

I can finally announce that my new release – the Pillow Fort EP – will be released on CD and digital download on 4 March 2016. In fact, you can already pre-order the download and/or the CD from Bandcamp, and get two tracks straight away.

It will include four new tracks recorded last summer, most of which I wrote in my head in 2013/14 whilst house hunting, taking the tube back and forth from Bow to East Ham. Although I’m working on a second album, I decided to release these four tracks together first, as they all hang together sonically (being electronic but also slightly more guitarry than most of my usual stuff). They also fit together thematically in a way, as they’re about approaching different aspects of every day life from a feminist perspective.

I posted the fourth track, I Built a Fort, on Soundcloud a few months back, and I’ve now also posted the first track, Stay Away From Me:

I’ve been really enjoying gigging again recently (having sometimes been a bit ambivalent about it in the past) and I’ll be playing more shows in 2016, as well getting in with recording the album. I’ll be posting new tracks, videos and other bits and pieces on Facebook and Twitter, which are the best ways to keep up with what I’m up to.

More news very very soon!

Hx

Music of 2015

This has been a pretty good year for music, and I’ve seen some amazing live gigs – Sleater-Kinney at The Roundhouse, The Mountain Goats at Shepherd’s Bush Empire and Chvrches at Alexandra Palace, to name a few. It’s also been really great to start gigging again this year after a bit of a hiatus, especially playing at Feminist Solidarity Fest in Hackney in September and at the Grrrl Zine Fair in Peckham just last week. My new EP is nearly ready for release – all that’s left to do is the artwork, and I should have the video for ‘Stay Away From Me’ up online in January. Lots of new tracks on the go as well for my second album, which I expect will be released in 2017 (knowing how long it always takes from actually recording things to releasing them).

As per tradition (one which I have failed to observe consistently every year), here are a few of my favourite new tracks of 2015. In fact, one or two of these aren’t my favourite track from their respective album, but my favourites weren’t available to watch/stream/embed online, so this is what we’ve got.

Video shoot in Bristol for the new EP!

Last weekend I was back in Bristol (nearly seven years since I moved away!) filming a video for ‘Stay Away From Me’, the first track off my new EP, which will be released early in 2016.

Shooting the 'Stay Away From Me' video in Stokes Croft. Photo by Laura Kidd.

Shooting the ‘Stay Away From Me’ video in Stokes Croft. Photo by Laura Kidd.

The video was directed by Laura Kidd, aka gloom-pop genius She Makes War. It features loads of iconic Bristol sights, as well as me wandering the streets singing. Obviously, having committed the crime of being (a) female and (b) in public, we got quite a bit of harassment by some not-so-feminist menfolk, but also some nice comments from the lovely (and, in some cases, drunk) people of Bristol. Great fun!

Waiting in the pub for it to get dark so we could film the last bits of the video. Photo by Laura Kidd.

Waiting in the pub for it to get dark so we could film the last bits of the video. Photo by Laura Kidd.

I’m looking forward to sharing the video with you when it’s ready. I also did a photo shoot a few weeks ago with my excellent friend Steve, in which we built an actual real life pillow fort in my living room. Here is a little sneak preview – I will post more soon!

Yes, I am 31 years old. What of it?

Yes, I am 31 years old. What of it? Photo by Steve Dawson.

Playing live at Feminist Solidarity Fest!

Feminist Solidarity Fest flyer

I’m excited to announce that I’ll be playing a live set at Feminist Solidarity Fest in Hackney Downs this Sunday, 6th September. It’s a festival of speakers, workshops and music for people supportive of gender equality, and is basically a massive picnic so bring your own food drink and blankets.

The festival starts at 12pm and runs until 7:20pm. I’ll be playing at around 6:10pm, and I’ll be debuting four new songs from my new EP as well as some more familiar songs from Connections/Departures. It’s the first time I’ve played live for a couple of years, so I’m a little nervous but also excited to playing at such a great event. Oh, and it will be the first live outing for my new keytar!

This is the full programme for the festival (click on the image to see the whole thing):

Feminist solidarity fest program

New track posted: I Built a Fort

Okay, so I got impatient waiting for the new EP to be ready to release and posted one of the track online early. I always feel like there are music industry rules about how much music you can share before you release it and how early you can share it, but I don’t really know what they are, so I’ve decided, fuck the rules.

I hereby present to you I Built a Fort, which, as I mentioned in my post about the new EP, is a song about dealing with the outright suckiness of the adult world in the most childish way possible. Enjoy!

Calling all UK feminist musicians, music fans and event organisers!

I have a new idea for promoting the music of feminist bands and artists across the UK and would love to hear your ideas about whether and how this could work.

In the last few years there seems to have been an increase / resurgence (?) in feminist-inspired music being made in the UK and elsewhere, and I’ve been thinking a lot about ways that independent bands and artists can build solidarity with each other and help each other out. Of course, there are already loads of great club nights, blogs, websites and social media accounts which are helping to get exposure for feminist musicians and build a sense of community, but we can always do more…

I often go to feminist conferences, festivals and events and think to myself that it would be great if independent bands and artists could use these events to share their music with like-minded people. Lately I’ve been thinking about starting up a little collective which would run stalls at feminist events which sell music by independent feminist artists of all genres. It would have an MP3 player and headphones where people could listen to things before they buy them, and of course be run by music fans who are familiar with all the music they’re selling and can recommend punters something they might like based on their tastes.

This wouldn’t be a profit-making enterprise – for me it’s more an opportunity to meet great people and share great music. There are some details to work out: for example, I would want all profits to go to the artists, but in some cases we would need to cover the costs of holding a stall, and so would need to work out a fair way to do this without becoming just another middle man who eats into artists’ revenues.

This is where you come in: I want to hear your views on whether you think this would be worthwhile and workable.

So, feminist artists/bands: is selling CDs/vinyl still important for you in the digital age? Would you send your music to be sold by fellow feminists at events around the country? Would you like to be part of a small collective running this? Or are there better ways of achieving the same goals?

Feminist music fans, would such stalls be a good way for you to discover new music? Do you still buy music on CD/vinyl? Would you be interested in helping out on the stall every now and then?

Conference/festival/event organisers, would you be interested in having such a stall at your event?

Any feedback would be really appreciated, and I’ll post again in a few weeks to let you know what the response has been like. Please send me an email or contact me on Twitter or Facebook. I’m looking forward to hearing your thoughts!

Hannah

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