London-based psych-folk-country quintet The Hanging Stars will release their second album Songs For Somewhere Else in February 2018. Taking cues from both sides of the Atlantic, they mainline the dying embers of the early 70s psychedelic folk and cosmic country scenes, transforming them into an energized new sound for our times. As the title suggests, the album is about escapism from the everyday, against the cynicism and greed that pervades society.
This album follows on from their critically acclaimed 2016 debut Over The Silvery Lake, which received praise from The Times, who described it as; «An album with enough of a hazy, sun-dappled charm to make the capital's dreariest weather bearable”, as well as Uncut, who proclaimed that it was; „a promising debut from London's The Hanging Stars, who switch deftly between deliciously sentimental Americana and swaggering psychedelia”. They picked up a good amount of support at Radio 2 and 6 Music, with lead single “The House on the Hill” scoring a much-coveted 10/10 by John Robb on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable.
The new album is more varied than its predecessor and sees them expanding into new territories whilst continuing to channel an English wistful ethereality grown from American soil. Tracing their inspiration from Dennis Wilson to Gram Parsons and On The Beach era Neil Young, they equally draw from early gospel soaked Spiritualized, jangle pop, spaghetti western soundtracks (“Mean Old Man”), old Bossa Nova records (“Water Song”) and prohibition-era blues (“Too Many Wired Hours”).
The recording for Songs For Somewhere Else commenced prior to the release of Over The Silvery Lake and captures the development of a band who had toured Europe in the winter of 2015/16, and went on to play coveted support slots with Teenage Fanclub, The Clientele, Wolf People and GospelbeacH, as well as Liverpool’s International Festival of Psychedelia. Joining founding members – songwriter, singer and guitarist Richard Olson (The See See, Eighteenth Day of May), Sam Ferman on bass and Paulie Cobra on drums – were contributions from now permanent members Patrick Ralla (Alan Tyler Show, Edwyn Collins) on guitars, keys and vocals, and Joe Harvey-White (pedal steel, dobro), bringing new perspectives to the bands’ work.