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.
April 11th: The Newsagent, Sydney, Australia
April 18th: The Wine Cellar, Auckland, NZ
April 19th: The Rogue Stage, Rotorua, NZ
April 22nd: Moon 1, Wellington, NZ
April 23rd on the Interislander ferry, NZ
April 23rd: Le Cafe, Picton, NZ
April 24th: The Playhouse, Nelson, NZ
April 26th: Wunderbar, Lyttelton, NZ
April 28th: Sherwood, Queenstown, NZ
April 29th: Gin & Raspberry, Wanaka, NZ
April 30th: The Cheeky Llama, Invercargill, NZ
May 1st:Taste Merchants, Dunedin, NZ
May 16th: Sebright Arms, London
May 23rd: Red Roasters, Brighton
May 27th: Bloc, Glasgow
May 28th: Bannerman's, Edinburgh
May 29th: Liverpool, venue TBC
May 30th: Three Minute Theatre in Manchester
June 4th: The Pavilion in Belfast
June 5th: Roisin Dubh in Galway
June 6th: The Twisted Pepper, Dublin
June 12th: Prachtwerk, Berlin
June 13th: Juhu, Berlin
23 April 2015
Lead Track: Worth The Gold
Chanel Samson is a Californian girl attracting a very large following across the north west of England as she brings some of her West Coast sparkle to Liverpool's vibrant music scene. In the past year, the Chanel Samson Circus has performed at The Kazimier, East Village Arts Club, Parr St Studio 2, and Zanzibar to name just a few, showering her audience with glitter and showcasing burlesque, poetry, music, dance, juggling, magic, fire dancing, and acrobatics alongside her music.
Looking forward to taking her Circus to Beatherder Festival this year, Chanel says "I'm an entertainer through and through. When I perform I want to give people a real show! My target audience is anyone who’s ever felt left out or different. I give them a home, I give them acceptance and a group to belong to under my circus tent."
Chanel's six-piece band adds a quirky rock vibe to her slapstick ukulele based songwriting, and with two singles out on iTunes and Spotify, self-directed music videos attracting a lot of attention on Youtube and a new EP out in April, Chanel is on fire!
Born and raised in Los Angeles, California, Chanel came to England to study music at Paul McCartney’s Performing Arts School, LIPA. She completely fell in love with the city, finding it both welcoming and creatively inspiring.
The city has been the backdrop to many new life experiences, many of which have been the inspiration for the songs on her new EP ‘The Beginning’. The record follows her time in Liverpool, the men in her life, her friends, and one particular doomed relationship with Matthew. The track 'F U Matthew' documents the doomed love affair but it's as cheerfully upbeat and irreverent as Chanel herself. Her lyrics are biting yet playful, and her delivery is tongue in cheek and knowing, allowing her to explore the darker aspects of relationships without ever losing that Californian sunshine smile.
A passionate environmentalist, rarlier this year Chanel released a single ‘Plant Killer!’ raising enough money to plant 47 trees with the Mersey Forest. The release was backed by a striking video released on YouTube. Chanel says "I believe anyone can make a change with a little action. To walk my talk, I’ve also called in a representative to LIPA to talk about the environment and what we, as inspirational artists, can do to save the planet."
'The Beginning' EP was recorded and produced by Felix Hagan, lead singer and songwriter of Felix Hagan and the Family. Chanel met Felix last year and was initially drawn to his black and white striped leggings and theatrical performance, knowing immediately they'd get along well. Together they are keen to establish Circus Rock as a solid genre. Chanel says "The sound Felix brought to the EP is exactly what I wanted with rock guitar and quirky instrumentation. I used my horn players at LIPA and he recorded everything else at his studio in Manchester."
Due to graduate in summer, Chanel plans to stay in the UK to tour England in June with an acoustic trio including cajon, cello, and ukulele.
‘Lovely and quirky at the same time, very cool and clever... You look and sound as if you could become Queen of the mixing and shaking it up genre!’
‘Dried Fruit is one of those rare tracks that as soon at it was finished I had to instantly skip it back and listen to it all over again. I'm lucky enough to be sent lots of songs to listen too and this one stuck out as a bit different, and pretty cool in fact.’
Jon Morter – The Jon Factor
‘Theatrical and fun their brief set is heavy on narrative, every song has a story behind it, and each follows on from the last.’
The Looking Glass – Patrick Clarke
‘Chanel Samson brings something to the music industry that's gone missing in recent years....that's complete originality and a beautiful eccentricity.’
Ian Weller - Stillhet Promotions
Threshold Festival – District – March 28 – 2pm
Strings & Things – Studio2 – April 12 – 8pm
2ube Xtra – LIPA – April 23rd – 5:30pm
Mono LPs Single Launch – May 3rd – 8pm
To attand Chanel Samson's show at Lipa's 2Ube Xtra Festival - please register for her guestlist using this link: https://www.eventbrite.
Chanel Samson - Songwriter, singer, ukulele and accordion
Live Backing band:
Joe Cummings – drums
Matthew Webster – guitar/cello
Erlend Hellevik – Bass
Silvan Rupp – Keys and vocals
Josh Betley – Trumpet
Max Asbridge – Saxophone
An animated music video for 'F U Matthew' by Liverpool artist, Ian Sheady will be available to accompany the EP's release on April 23rdAll songs written by Chanel Samson
On all tracks:
Chanel Samson - Vocals, Ukulele
Felix Hagan - Guitars, Drums, Bass, Keyboards, backing vocals
Josh Betley - Trumpets
Max Asbridge - Tenor and Baritone Sax
Brass arrangements by Josh Betley
Recorded at F-Bomb Studios, Manchester
Produced by Felix Hagan