24 March 2015
Johanne embarked on her solo career after living in the Pacific Northwest and working as a pianist and bassist with bands Susurrus Station and Zouaves. 'This Hollow' is the third Pikara album and makes a departure from the sound of previous releases, which have ranged from slow, dark, meandering pop to sparse tripped out instrumental compositions. 'This Hollow' centres around piano based pieces, complemented by soaring string arrangements. The album was recorded and produced by Jason Breeden; he is also responsible for the beautiful photography that accompanies the release.
Video for 'This Hollow' shot by Jason Breeden - https://vimeo.com/aiosoundin
"Johanne is as adept at constructing these sparse, trippy and largely instrumental compositions from scratch as she was at writing the slow, dark, pretty pop of her previous disc. That’s because these songs, however off-the-cuff, have personality. The five-minute “Tucana” dabbles in tango before disintegrating into tape-loop hell; “Svanen” finds ghosts of Delta blues in its slides and vocal moans."
WW, Casey Jarman on previous release 'Constellations'
"...Constellations, out with Aio Records is a brilliant, mostly instrumental album of looped violins, echoing through the deep corridors of classical music and gloomy experimental edges."
smalltownromance.com, Yair Yona
"Repetative and improvised she quietly weaves instrumental stories that can sustain listings over and over again."
Spisa.org, Johan Neij
"...a finely woven mosaic"
Undertoner.dk, Lasse Bertelsen
"(Pikara) plays a slow-moving mélange of folk, chamber music and ambient sound"
Willamette Weekly, Shane Danaher"...PIKARA is cinematic and intense, and I would recommend the listener experiment with it to see exactly where it resonates with them."
Crappy Indie Music, Jess Gulbranson
"From Medieval Folk to the Avant Garde. Ranging from Northern European classical folk to ambient, avant-garde violin compositions, then switching to thoughtful guitar/vocal work, Pikara spans a broad musical landscape."
Wine Unwind, Scott Pope
Take Me Home Tonight
23 March 2015
Originally from North Yorkshire and now based in Liverpool, Helena has impressed audiences and critics alike with her stunning live shows backed by a 10-piece band, complete with the comedically-named horn section 'The Horn Supremacy'. Her ability to captivate her audience from the first note, mesmerising even the most unruly of crowds, was evident when she recently performed at mammoth events such as Fiesta Bombarda and The Neighbourhood BBQ at Liverpool’s acclaimed venue, Camp and Furnace.
Since joining The Liverpool Institute of Performing Arts in 2011 to study, Helena has grown from talented musician to a potential international singing success, with recent interest from a major label. 2015 promises to be a year to remember for the rising star and she is definitely one to watch.
February 21st – St George’s Hall, Liverpool
March 1st – Studio2, Liverpool
March 20th - Camp and Furnace, Liverpool
March 22nd – Single release party, venue tbc, Liverpool
March 27th/29th – Threshold Festival, details tbc
April 16th – The 2Ube Extra Festival, LIPA PMA, Liverpool
July 28th – Kazimier, LiverpoolOnline
Video for 'Take Me Hone Tonight' - https://www.youtube.com/watch?
"Powerful vocal weaved over subtly crafted instrumental sections creating that unique sound the band has coined, and mastered."
“I can confidently say they displayed something quite extraordinary – an opening band that can deliver enough to satisfy the audience for the whole night.”
George Aird, Liverpool Student Media 2014
Chris Currie, 7 Waves Radio, 2014
“Impressive sound... Helena is undoubtedly the star attraction, her politeness in between songs in stark contrast to her powerful soulful voice.”
Poor Old Soul Records
13 April 2015
The band was formed in Liverpool by Luke Fenlon and Chay Heney who attracted the attention of Drummer Sam McVann and Bassist, Tom Sheilds. Their love of music is reflected in their record collections. From The Clash to Orange Juice. From Hooton Tennis Club to Peace. From Parquet Courts to Alvvays. From The Velvet Underground to Wild Beasts. A good band always has a good record collection.
Mick Jones (The Clash / BAD) liked the demos so much he produced ten tracks for the band and Paul Weller donated his studio.
Sugarmen's debut single 'Dirt' will be released 13th April on Poor Old Soul Records and is produced by Mick Jones.
Paul Weller (support) Victoria Hall Stoke On Trent 12th March
Paul Weller (support) King George's Hall Blackburn 16th March
Paul Weller (support) Scunthorpe Baths Hall 17th March
Notting Hill Arts Club 18th March
Dot To Dot Festival: 22nd May / 23rd May / 24th May
Blur (support) Hyde Park 20th June
Video Release Date: Tuesday 17th MarchAll photos by John Johnstone
Songs written by Luke Fenlon and Chay Heney