JAMES LEONARD HEWITSON

James Leonard Hewitson by mystupidscketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is he?
“I am James Leonard Hewitson, I’m 23 years old and I’m from Hartlepool, England. I liked to sing pop songs and I was learning classical trumpet when I was in primary school. Then, through secondary school I taught myself some guitar and bass guitar, and formed a few DIY bands with friends (one of them got on Reading & Leeds BBC Introducing Stage in 2010 – ‘Arcs & Trauma’). However, I’d never really done a solo project, and I kept having ideas for indie/pop songs. When the time came around to move to university, eventually, all of my bands from home disbanded as everyone was on their separate paths, including myself.”

“At 20, I started playing shows around Newcastle alone, and managed to gather some friends to record some music as a full band. From that point, the project was real and I could start to build on it. I also played trumpet for Frankie and The Heartstrings and Kingsley Chapman and The Murder during my time at university, which gave me more insight into touring, performing and songwriting. In 2016, I launched ‘James Leonard Hewitson’ with my first single, Care Less, Love Less.”

James Leonard Hewitson’s double A-side Sometimes/Experience Song is out now.

WHY did he get into music?
“I don’t know why I started playing music. I think I enjoy entertaining. Some of it thrills me – writing a piece of music you’re happy with is like a really challenging puzzle.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind his songs?
“Musically, I am inspired by anything that is simply just good at what it does. I really love The Hives, Adam Green, Gang of Four, Jonathan Richman, TOPS and a load more. Lyrically, I take into account my Hartlepool accent and my lazy deliverance when writing lyrics. There’s an intentional half-arsedness about my lyrics, but I think people sort of enjoy it. With these two songs, Sometimes and Experience Song, it’s mainly about feeling underutilised socially, professionally and romantically, recognising that, and doing nothing about it.”

James Leonard Hewitson

WHERE did he grow up?
“I grew up in Hartlepool. It’s a small seaside town in the North East of England, and publications like Vice, The Guardian and The Economist try and milk it for its post-industrial greyness and political uncertainty, but I quite like it. I’ve lived in both Hartlepool and Newcastle – both teeming with lots of musicians, and thus, musical communities to participate in. I think that’s certainly helped me develop my writing. I currently live in Hartlepool, where there are few places for artists to perform in, yet there are lots of artists around. I’m actually starting a new project in September with Hartlepool Town Hall Theatre called ‘Town Hall Live’ to help bring more artists and communities together in the town.

WHEN can I see him live?
“I will be playing with my band at The Waiting Room in Stoke Newington, London on Wednesday 13th September.” Catch him live also in Manchester at Eagle Inn on 12th September and in Newcastle at Surf Cafe on 15th September.

HOW can I get to know him better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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GENEVIEVE DAWSON

Genevieve Dawson by mystupidsketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is she?
“I’m a singer-songwriter, I sang jazz and folk music growing up, and learnt the piano and guitar in my teens. I’ve been writing songs since I was about 14, but only recently decided to put a band together and start putting them out into the world. It’s exciting and hugely rewarding to hear them become these alive, full things with Rick on horns and Danny on the drums. I met them studying at Goldsmiths which is teeming with great musicians and supportive people.”

Genevieve Dawson’s upcoming EP Things My Mother Tells Me, produced by La Leif, is due for release in August. Her debut single I Am On Something is out now.

WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“I think a lot about lyrics, and I’m always really excited when I hear artists who do that too – I was obsessed with Anais Mitchell for a few years, and more recently listening to lots of Arthur Russell – I like how he can just sing one line and it says everything you need to know. I grew up on Joni Mitchell and Ella Fitzgerald as my staples and I think that combination of a kind of very personal, direct, poetic form of storytelling that Joni has and Ella’s way of singing a melody with her full body is what I try and focus on. I think it should always feel like you’re telling a secret through your songs, and the more specific you can be about the feeling or experience either through the sounds or words you’re saying, the better.”

WHERE did she grow up?
“I grew up in a village outside of Edinburgh and then when I was a teenager we moved ‘into town’ as we put it. Being in Edinburgh as a teenager I was really lucky to be surrounded by music and I spent all the money I earned from waitressing going to gigs. When you live in a fairly small city like Edinburgh you always know what’s going on and you never miss an artist if they come to town, whereas I think in London there’s the feeling that ‘you’ll see them next time’, so I think that vibrancy in Edinburgh, with the Fringe and International festival in the summer too really fuelled my love of live music.”

WHY the title Things my mother tells me for her upcoming EP?
“I wrote most of these songs in the year after a particularly difficult break-up, and I kind of thought that would be the main subject of the songs I put out. I realised through writing though, that what the break-up gave me was a chance to really question my set of assumptions about myself and who I am and what I want from life. The song Things my Mother Tells Me started out as a list of thoughts I was telling myself as a kind of comfort in that period. I realised mid way through writing the song though that even these weren’t certainties – they were actually things that my mum has always told me would be true, and the song is a kind of question mark – maybe you won’t be what you expected. I liked that duality of having at once a set of things you hope will be true (that you’ll find someone you love, that you’ll end up with kids), and also the realisation that maybe you’re not the person you think you are, and it might all be different. I chose that as a title because it best sums up where I am at the moment, filtering through the things I’ve always assumed would be true.”

WHEN can I see her live?
I’m playing at Greenbelt festival on 25th of August, and after that we’ll be doing a small UK tour in Sep/October – dates/venues will be posted very soon to my website and Facebook.”

HOW can I get to know her better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Website // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

Listen to Genevieve’s debut single I Am On Something

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JEAN K

jean kArtwork by Marta Milanese/Finn Kidd

WHO are they?
Jean K are singer Jean Kern and producer Michael Tomlinson, a disco infused indie pop group based in London.

Jean: “It’s been a year and a half that Michael and I are doing music together. At first, Michael was helping me to finish and polish some songs I was recording at home. Then it became more of a regular thing, and we started thinking of trying to play live.. Laura (on keyboard) and Gordon (on bass) joined us.. we only had 2 shows so far but it was really fun.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
Jean: “When I started composing songs, I never wanted them to be too serious, so I was more trying to put words together that had not necessarily any meaning. (Also my English was so bad.. it was easier for me to just put random phrases/words together). But now, I love when a song tells a story, or has a strong idea behind. It might be the only way to make a pop song interesting enough.. I mean, nowadays all the bands are using the same kind of set up and (old) instruments.. so lyrics are definitely a way of adding excitement.”

Michael: “I love writing songs with Jean because when he comes in with an idea he’ll always surprise you with what he thinks it might be about – in this case (for debut single Billy) he said it could be about looking for a lost time traveller. I thought immediately of Billy Pilgrim as Kurt Vonnegut is one of my faves. Jean went off and devoured the book and when he was done we wrote the lyrics.”

“A really great thing about the ‘random phrases’ and French language background Jean mentioned is that some really weird/lateral stuff gets thrown when we’re writing – by the time we’re done the story that’s developed is something unique.”

WHERE are they from?
Jean: “I’m from Strasbourg. It felt like a small city when I grew up with not too much to do…and it might be the reason why the music scene is more organised in a regional network (North-East France) with strong connection with cities like Metz, Nancy or Mulhouse.. they are all not really glamorous cities (with quite a lot of poverty) but somehow, some really interesting stuff is coming out from it.”

“’La grande triple alliance international de L’est’ is a good example of it. Media Pop Records, Rival Colonia, Herzfeld are labels from the area that have a lot of interesting bands and artists. I’m actually always keeping an eye on them and they have been and are still a source of inspiration.”

WHY are they called Jean K?
“It’s my name.. we were trying to find more of a “normal” band name then just gave up.”

WHEN can I see them live?
“The release party of Billy is on the 2nd of August in London at the Alibi. Hopefully we will be able to line up few shows in September.”

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen: Soundcloud
Like & Follow: Facebook // Instagram

Jean K’s debut single Billy will be out on Ltd cassette and download via Crocodile Records and Cargo distribution on July 28th.

Have a listen to Billy here below.

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INCA MAPS

Inca Maps by mystupidsketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
“We are Matt Tilling (vocals, guitar), Tim Horne (bass, synths) and Leo Morgan (guitar, synths), plus Elliot and Thom when we play live. Matt was formally in a folk band at university, but they broke up after graduating and he was already exploring new things sonically anyway. Tim and Leo have known each other since school.”

“I needed some people who could translate the ideas I had into reality” says Matt “and luckily I found just the people! Tim and Leo have the amazing ability of taking a bare bones song with a melody and starting to take it in new directions. I guess that’s why we work so well together.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“There’s a pretty varied mix of themes across the EP ‘One’; some of the tracks are straight up heartbreak, written in the aftermath of a particularly tricky break up, but That Millennial is about Brexit! We wrote these songs over 2 years so there’s a lot of different emotions and experiences in them. One of the key themes is defiance: whether it be a tricky break up or a large national vote that didn’t go the way you wanted it do, all of the songs have a thread of defiance in the face of the unknown.”

INCA MAPS Daniele Fummo
Photo: Daniele Fummo

WHERE are they from?
“We all live in London nowadays but we grew up in Kent and Hampshire, tucked away from the excitement of city life” says Matt. “Certainly, when I was growing up the desire to make music as a means of escaping a very sheltered life was strong. The area I grew up in (beautiful, rural Hampshire) certainly influenced me early on (hence the folk band), and I grew up listening to Bob Dylan, Woodie Guthrie and co, but as you get older I think you want to mix it up a bit. It feels a very natural progression to start experimenting with more electronic, industrial sounds when you move to an urban area.”

WHY are they called Inca Maps?
“Honestly? We just thought it sounded cool.”

WHEN can I see them live?
“We played a run of gigs to support the EP so there’s nothing in the diary for now. The launch show in June was probably the biggest/best we’ve played so far.”

“For now we’ve already got some new songs in the pipeline, which is really refreshing after 2 years playing the same tracks!”

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Spotify // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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BlackWaters

BlackWaters by mystupidsketchbookArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
“We are BlackWaters. Maximilian Tanner on vocals, David Carpenter on guitar, Ollie Franklin on bass and myself, James Watkins, on drums. We all started jamming together nearly 3 years ago now. We all listened to pretty different stuff at the time but we met in the middle with a lot of rock music. We met each other from being out and about around Guildford. We’re all at the same college so just ended up bumping into each other at parties and shit like that.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“It can come from anything. Anything from a love song to shouting about our political shit pile we’re in right now. We’re not a band that speaks about one thing, but I think it’s so important to speak about the kind of hatred and anger that’s fuelling our generation. We just want people to come to our shows, let loose, sing our tunes and just forget about everything outside for a while.”

BlackWaters
Photo: Sandy K. Moz

WHERE are they from?
“Dave and Ollie are the only two that came from the same area. They come from Northamptonshire, kind’ve near Banbury and all those deserted little towns. Max comes from Brentwood in Essex and I come from South East London. Besides Dave and Ollie I think it’s good we are all from very different places cos we all seem to bring something different to the table. We are all living in Guildford at the moment but we are moving to Sheffield in a few months. There’s one decent venue in Guildford and one or two decent bands but it’s mostly filled with clubbers and jack wills lovers. Not too much we can relate to.”

WHY are they called BlackWaters?
“Like most things we do as a band our name is completely random. We were just putting random words together cos we needed a name. I think it was Ollie who suggested BlackWaters and ever since then it’s just stuck. I think that if you call yourself anything for long enough it will stick.”

WHEN can I see them live?
Thursday 06 July – Derby, The Venue
Friday 07 July – Stockton on Tees, KU Bar
Satuday 08 July – Coventry, Godiva Festival
Sunday 09 July – Glasgow, TRNSMT
Friday 21 July – Steventon, Truck Festival
Saturday 22 July – Sheffield, The Rocking Chair
Saturday 29 July – Kendal Calling
Monday 31 July – Guildford, Boileroom
Thursday 03 August – Newcastle, Times Square (supporting Libertines & Maximo Park)
Saturday 05 August – Hull, Humber Street Sesh
Friday 21/22/23 August – Reading & Leeds Festival
Friday 01 September – Wilkestock
Saturday 09 September – Guildford, Always The Sun Festival
Sunday 01 October – Bristol, Thekla
Monday 02 October – Cardiff, Glee Club
Tuesday 03 October – Birmingham, Institute 2
Thursday 05 October – Belfast, The Limelight
Friday 06 October – Glasgow, 02 ABC2
Sunday 08 October – Manchester, Academy 2
Monday 09 October – Leeds, The Wardrobe
Tuesday 10 October – Hull, The Welly
Wednesday 11 October – Nottingham, Glee Club
Friday 13 October – Sheffield, The Plug
Saturday 14 October – London, Electric Ballroom
Sunday 15 October – Brighton, Concorde 2

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Spotify // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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la lune

la lune by mystupidsketchbook.jpgArtwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO is she?
“My name is Olivia Judd. I started writing folky music when I was 16, but then decided to go in a new direction with electro-pop/dream-pop style music when I was 18. My family aren’t musical, but I’ve been immersed in music from a young age. I’ve picked up a variety of instruments since the age of four, from the violin to the flute. I now play the saxophone, and I’m self-taught on guitar and keys.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind her songs?
“Because I used to write folky music – and the folk, singer-songwriter genre is often very raw and honest – I put a lot of time and emphasis into my lyrics; I want them to mean something. I love the use of metaphor, and I love writing about nature – particularly water. I usually write from experience – it’s something that has happened to either myself or someone I know. I can’t really write unless I know the situation or can connect with it in some way.”

“Musically, I’m inspired by a few different artists, all for different reasons. I love the weird and unique sounds The Japanese House uses, and how soothing her sound is. I love the boldness of Lorde’s instrumentation and vocals, and how she’s so wildly different but can appeal to the masses. I love Bon Iver’s spine-chillingly, ethereal, beautiful melodies, and his cryptic, raw lyrics.”

la lune

WHERE did she grow up?
“I grew up in London, but I now live in Brighton. I much prefer Brighton, because you get all the best parts of London, such as the culture, but it’s somehow better and far less chaotic. People are kinder and weirder here, and I love that. London is somehow cold, but I did love growing up in the city. I think that has shaped me as an artist because I’ve always been exposed to so many different things. I like variety and change, hence why I decided to rebrand and pursue a different genre of music.”

WHY is she called ‘la lune’?
“I wanted to go by a pseudonym because I wanted to allow my audience to experience my music at face-value, with no prior judgement based on my appearance or my name. I really like the idea of people finding my music and listening to it, and enjoying it without knowing who I am or what I look like. I feel the industry is far too focused on appearance – particularly with female artists – and I guess this is my way of ‘rebelling’ against that! I suppose I chose the name ‘la lune’ because I’ve always been intrigued by space from an early age, and I find the moon fascinating. I also like having my name and my song titles all in lower-case, as it fits with the minimalistic nature and aesthetic of my music.”

WHEN can I see her live?
“I haven’t got any gigs planned till September or October now, as I’m burrowing away in a cave and writing my first EP, which I’m incredibly excited about! I’ll be playing the odd gig in Autumn, but I’ll be doing a big EP launch show in January in Brighton. You can keep up to date with all my socials for gig dates and tickets etc (@listentolalune).”

HOW can I get to know her better?
Listen & Watch: Soundcloud // Spotify // Website // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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TRASH

trash by mystupidsketchbook

Artwork by @mystupidsketchbook

WHO are they?
TRASH are Daniel Longmore (vocals, guitar), Tom Barton (bass), Evan Martin (guitar) and Bradley Weston (drums). New single Migraines, taken from their upcoming self-titled EP and produced by Alex Greaves (Nave Studios), is out now via Clue Records.

“We’re four friends and music naturally brung us together” says Dan. “When we play a show it’s essentially a night out but we get to go on stage and perform for 30 minutes and then we drink whatever’s on the rider. It keeps us sane and lets us express our feelings. Awww.”

WHAT is the inspiration behind their songs?
“We write songs about love, sex, bordem, hypochondria, escapism and youth and all the issues and joys that come with it. We try and make the songs as explicit as possible so that they’re obvious and relatable. The music is guitar music, it’s rock and roll rolled in a layer of sweet pop. Awww.”

TRASH Photo credit Tarquin Clark
Photo: Tarquin Clark

WHERE are they from?
“We’re all from Chesterfield, England. It’s really good because it has a Primark and there’s not many around. It also has a Macdonalds which is really great. There’s nothing happening musically. Just bare classic rock cover bands whose lead singers work in construction.”

WHY are they called TRASH?
“Because we’re GROSS. The only reason someone would be asked to get in our tour van would be for punishment (farts)”. Awww.

WHEN can I see them live?
23 July – Tramlines Festival, Sheffield
30 July – Y Not Festival, Derbyshire
05 Oct – The Lock Tavern, London
07 Oct – Neighbourhood Festival, Manchester
20 Oct – Ku Bar, Stockton
21 Oct – The Leadmill, Sheffield
26 Oct – The Venue, Derby

HOW can I get to know them better?
Listen & Watch: Website // Spotify // Soundcloud // Youtube
Like & Follow: Facebook // Twitter // Instagram

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