Introducing Interview: King Hannah

Having been massive fans of Liverpool duo Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle – aka King Hannah – for a couple of years now, we’re extremely excited to hear about the release of their debut album, I’m Not Sorry I Was Just Being Me, later this month. And, with acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan already under their belts, it seems as though this year is going to see big things for them.And, with their knack for creating a beautifully atmospheric musicality, paired with Merrick’s trademark rich, sultry vocals and a spellbinding, iridescent splendour, the album promises to be a truly compelling listen.

We caught up with Hannah and Craig to find out more about the album, what inspires them and what’s next… Have a read!

Hi King Hannah, welcome to Get Inn Her Ears! Are you able to tell us a bit about how you initially started creating music together?
Craig: We met when working in a bar together, but I had seen Hannah performing at a university band night a few years before and she had blown me away with how good she was. So, we quite quickly got to talking about music and got along really well, then eventually we would meet up before night shifts and play music together. It was a very slow, natural process for us – getting to know each other, figuring out what we liked in music and how we wanted to sound.

I’ve been a big fan of your exquisite, spellbinding sounds for some time, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
Thank you so much! And thank you for being so supportive for so long, longer than anyone else! You were one of the first sites and radio shows to shout about ‘Creme Brulee’, back when we self-released it!! Our influences change a lot from month to month, but our biggest influences at the minute are artists like Bill Callahan, Mazzy Star, Courtney Barnett, PJ Harvey, Silver Jews… People who make honest, real music.

You’ve just announced the release of your debut album I’m Not Sorry I Was Just Being Me – which is so exciting! Are you able to tell us a bit about it? Are there any particular themes running throughout the album?
Yeah, we are super excited! And nervous, but mostly excited. We wrote, recorded, mixed and mastered the record in about eight months, which is really quick for us. It was full on. There are no intentional themes; we didn’t set out to write about anything in particular, but there is a definite feeling of nostalgia and sentiment on the album, and quite a few of the songs tend to be about childhood and memories and the warmth that they bring to us.

Do you have a favourite track on the album? And if so, why?
C: I have a few! I’m really liking one called ‘Go-Kart Kid (HELL NO!)’ at the minute. I remember Hannah showing me this song on her acoustic and being blown away, I felt like I was right there with her during her childhood, her writing is so vivid and personal. I just love it. And then it also has this grungy, sludgy, 90s end that is really loud and aggressive. It has a bit of everything that we like in music.
Hannah: I’m big into that one too but also really like ‘The Moods That I Get In’ and ‘A Well-Made Woman’. When touring the UK last October, we experimented a little with a few of the songs live, ‘The Moods That I Get In’ being one of them and it completely grew into this body of work that no one expected. And I just love ‘A Well-Made Woman’ as it’s so dark and sounds like it’s from the 90s… well it does to me at least! Plus Craig’s guitar work is phenomenal, as always.

How have you found recording and promoting an album during these strange times?
Well, we have nothing to compare it to really! The recording process was probably helped by the fact the world wasn’t fully open – it gave us more time to devote to the writing and making of the album, and we used that as much as we could.

How is the music scene in Liverpool at the moment? Would you say live music has made a full recovery after the last couple of years?
We have weirdly never really felt a big part of the Liverpool music scene. We’ve always just quietly done our own thing, building towards this. I don’t think the music scene has fully recovered – some people are still rightly apprehensive about being in crowded spaces, and gigs can be cancelled at such short notice if cases rise or someone tests positive. We think that uncertainty and apprehension will be lingering for a long time over live music, unfortunately.

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any other upcoming artists or bands you’re loving right now that you’d recommend we check out?
C: I don’t know what the cut-off for ‘new’ music is, but I’m in love with a band called Babehoven at the minute, and their album Nastavi, Calliope. I think they’re based in Portland, and they make this beautiful, lo-fi, intimate music. Their latest single ‘Fugazi’ is on repeat in my bedroom right now.
H: I’m absolutely shocking for discovering new artists… It’s something I really need to get better at!! When I ‘discover’ an artist, I later discover that they’ve been around since the ’90s!

In addition to the album release, what does the rest of the year have in store for King Hannah?
C: We have our first ever EU tour and our first ever US tour coming up! Which is so surreal, it still hasn’t sunk in that we will be playing in all these wonderful places.
H: Totally!! We often get asked how all of this feels, but honestly, it’s all happening so fast that we very rarely actually sit down and chat the whole thing through! It’s a whirlwind and we’re so incredibly grateful. Thank you so much for having us and again, for your continued support!! You guys are the best!!

Massive thanks to Hannah and Craig for answering our questions!

King Hannah’s debut album I’m Not Sorry I Was Just Being Me is out this Friday, 25th February via City Slang. And, for a taster, watch their latest video for spellbinding single ‘All Being Fine’ here:

Track Of The Day: King Hannah – ‘All Being Fine’

Having been massive fans of Liverpool duo Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle – aka King Hannah – for a couple of years now, we’re extremely excited to hear about the release of their debut album later this month. And, with acclaim from the likes of The Guardian, Stereogum and Brooklyn Vegan already under their belts, it seems as though this year is going to see big things for them.

Taken from the album, latest single ‘All Being Fine‘ is a beautifully atmospheric offering. Flowing with an eerily captivating energy, as jangling hooks and sparse beats accompany Merrick’s trademark rich, sultry vocals, it builds with a dark, iridescent splendour, drenched in a subtle, swirling scuzz. Oozing a gritty, spellbinding allure akin to the likes of PJ Harvey, this new track showcases King Hannah’s own unique, majestic grace and exquisite ability to create soundscapes with a truly compelling ethereal power.

Directed by Whittle, watch the sunny new video for ‘All Being Fine’ here:

I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, the upcoming debut album from King Hannah, is set for release on 25th February via City Slang. Pre-order here.

Mari Lane
@marimindles

Photo Credit: Katie Silvester

Introducing Interview: CRAWLERS

Based in Liverpool, raging rockers CRAWLERS have spent the last couple of years building a loyal and committed fan base, and have now shared their long awaited debut EP – a diverse collection of emotion-strewn anthems. From the raging, politically-charged energy of ‘Statues’ to the sparkling melancholic splendour of ‘Come Over (again’), each track oozes the band’s trademark impassioned drive and swirling raw charisma.

We caught up with CRAWLERS to find out more about them and their mission as a band…

Hi CRAWLERS, welcome to Get In Her Ears! Can you tell us a bit about the band?
Hiya Get In Her Ears! Crawlers are a four-piece band based in North-West England (half of us from Warrington and the other Liverpool), we formed in late 2018 and like playing around with the sound of rock in any way we can, but most of all we’re four best mates who love creating music. 

How did you initially all get together and start creating music?
Amy (guitarist) and Liv (bass) played together in a few bands in their high school and ended up splitting up when both went to different sixth forms. Holly (vocals) and Liv then went to LIPA Sixth Form in Liverpool, and were into very similar music and decided after dabbling in a few projects to create a band with Amy. We met Harry just after we released our third ever single as he wrote a review of the song for a magazine, and once we said we needed a new drummer he was the perfect fit!

Your new EP CRAWLERS is out now – can you tell us what it’s all about? Are there any themes running throughout the EP?
The EP has mainy themes, however it definitely has an overarching theme of struggles. The first single ‘Statues’ is about the corruption of the American police system, and its institutionalised racism. The second ‘Breathe’ is about my (Holly) existential crisis about the development of social media and technology. The penultimate ‘MONROE’ explores the beauty standards specifically for women in media, and the unfair treatment of Britney Spears. And finally ‘Come Over (again)’, the final track, is about our own personal woes, grief of relationships and family, and most of all, the people who cause such feelings.

You’ve been compared to the likes of Nova Twins and Yungblood, but who would you say are your main musical influences?
We’re very lucky to be compared to both artists as they’re both individually extremely talented! We as a band definitely are inspired by the likes of Nirvana, The Strokes, Queens of the Stone Age, Pixies and Smashing Pumpkins… However, individually we all love very different types of music which allows us to delve into many different types of genres. Holly loves artists such as Mitski, Phoebe Bridgers and Black Country New Road, whilst Liv is a huge metal fan, inspired by bands such as Metalica and Tool. Harry loves Gorillaz and Rage Against the Machine, and Amy is the biggest Fleetwood Mac and ABBA fan possibly ever!  

How is your local music scene? Do you go to see lots of live music?
Liverpool is a wonderful scene currently, exploding with some of the UK’s biggest talents of many alternative genres. Everybody knows everybody and word spreads fast of a new band on the scene and it’s absolutely crazy to start becoming mutual friends with artists and bands we have loved and respected since we first started out in the scene. 

And what can fans expect from your live shows?
As we have grown as artists, we have definitely also grown as performers. For some reason I (Holly) used to pretend to be bada*s on stage, when in reality I’m a bit of a joker. We focus on creating a safe space for all kinds of supporters, as I have sensory issues. I try to ensure when our heavier songs are played that everyone is aware of their space, as well as those around them and their actions, so that everyone can have a good time! I know there’s been a lot of times at heavier gigs when I have personally felt extremely overwhelmed because of the environment, and we wanna let people enjoy heavy music no matter how they like to enjoy it. Not gonna lie, sometimes I do treat a gig like a bit of a comedy show – I have a funny rapport with the audience and a giggle with the band. I feel like that makes it a lot more personal, and when our emotional songs are performed, it feels like we go through every single emotion at our gigs. 

As we’re a new music focused site, are there any new/upcoming bands or artists you’d recommend we check out?
Our current favourites from our scene are definitely Torture and the Desert Spiders, Stone, Gadzooks and Zuzu! All you should definitely check out! Generally I would recommend Witch Fever, Vial, Lowertown, Tash and Charles and the Big Boys too.

And how do you feel the music industry is for new bands at the moment – would you say it’s difficult to get noticed?
It’s a hard one. Social media has definitely made it easier for artists to get noticed, however it has also meant major labels have even more power to control, and has meant the over saturation of artists has made it difficult to stand out. A good time to play around in the live scene, now it is all back and about, and a good time to build a platform! 

Finally, what does 2022 have in store for CRAWLERS?
A lot. We’re going to be going on our first ever tour, and hopefully showing you guys even more of our now very diverse catalogue, hehe. We’re just so lucky for so early in our career to have such amazing supporters and fanbase – and we can’t wait to grow our craft and share it with the world!

Massive thanks to CRAWLERS for answering our questions! Watch the video for latest single ‘Come Over (again)’ here:

ALBUM: She Drew The Gun – ‘Behave Myself’

Personifying the spirit of rebellion, She Drew The Gun‘s uncompromising, genre-defying third LP, Behave Myself, is a rallying cry of fuzzy psych-pop hooks and lyrical protest, unafraid to fight the social and political dystopia we find ourselves heading towards.

Founded by Merseyside-based songwriter Louisa Roach, She Drew The Gun’s musical evolution parallels the decline of our political climate; beginning with 2016’s optimistic indie rock of Memories of Another Future, through to the political dissent of psychedelic sophomore effort, 2018’s Revolution of Mind, and now the immediacy of Behave Myself‘s punk flavoured pop revolution. Opening with the infectious basslines and disorientating synth assault of ‘Origin Song’, Roach introduces her lockdown long play with a certain degree of restraint, before tearing into the persistent inequality promoted by the societal mainstream on track number 2, prompting the question: “Who do you think is ‘Next On The List'”?

The anthemic title track ‘Behave Myself’ is for everyone standing together in feminist solidarity. Exploding into a cataclysm of throbbing basslines, true shred guitar, and spoken word social commentary, Roach shows off her strong pop sensibility but does not shy away from her deep-rooted punk rock attitude – “Get ready for my dangerous soul”, You can’t control her… Louisa Roach will not behave herself! “I am the rage of all women condensed to the point of explosion.” 

The dreamy melodies of ‘Diamonds in Our Eyes’ are followed by ‘Cut Me Down’, a grungey, post-punk protest anthem inspired by the Las Tesis feminist protest song of Chile, known as ‘The Rapist Is You’ or ‘A Rapist in Your Path’. Amplified by hard-hitting drum strikes, driving basslines, and a piercing guitar solo, Roach fights “deeper, faster, harder, cheaper, stronger, further, smarter!” And her frustration doesn’t falter during the scathing lyrical observations of ‘Class War (How Much)’, a psych-pop war song on class divide and “the parasitic vampires sucking our blood.”

The shimmering electroclash of synth and spoken word stream of consciousness on ‘Panopticon’ further showcases Louisa Roach’s evolution of sound; distorting any preconceived opinion of She Drew the Gun through eclectic inspiration and experimentation. The raucous fuzzy soundscape of ‘Innerspeak’ leads into dystopian mood shifter ‘All Roads to Nowhere’ – a juxtaposition of metallic melancholy and ethereal psychedelia – before closing with the vocal warmth of ‘The Rose’s Tale’.

Produced and mixed by Ross Orton at McCall Sound Studios, Behave Myself‘s intelligent, socially-charged lyricism, justified anthemic angst, and DIY political pop amplifies the voice of dissent through punk rock rebellion with a feminist vibe. Challenging us to observe, analyse, and critique a failing system, She Drew the Gun’s unsettling, authentic record is the unstoppable soundtrack for the rebel to revolt to; the sound of collective conscience awoken.

Behave Myself is out now via Submarine Cat Records.

Ken Wynne
@Ken_Wynne