After making a high profile debut at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year, newfamiliar release their debut track ‘How Can I?’ via Atlas Artists / Parlophone. Originally from Belfast, Ryan Johnston (vocals) met his bandmates Will Booth (guitar) and Danny Hepworth (guitar) through Wakefield’s creative scene. They have collaborated together in various projects, with newfamiliar representing the realisation of their collective potential.
‘How Can I?’ paints an evocative picture of a life that will never be the same again. Its lyrical snapshots capture the small details that everyone experiences when they’re feeling fragile, vulnerable or alone. The song was sketched at Booth’s home and was later completed at a lakeside retreat in rural Scotland, before being recorded with producer Rich Cooper (Billie Marten, Tom Odell). Listen HERE.
The song’s opening verse expresses the trio’s innate skill at crafting universal emotion from uniquely personal experiences.“Wide awake and I’m dreaming of the past again,” sings Johnston, his words striking to the heart of anyone who has been cursed by the thoughts that haunt you in the small hours. “Going back to the places we’ve already been / They’re black-and-white when they used to be all coloured in / I’m terrified of your memory wearing paper thin.”
Those words – genuine, honest and devastatingly unguarded – are indicative of newfamiliar’s lyrical philosophy. And it’s perfectly matched by the warm embrace of their music, a melancholy melting pot of organic live instrumentation, reverb-heavy atmospherics and pure soul. It’s an instantly affecting introduction to a band whose core strength is placing a subtle modern twist on timeless songwriting and ever relevant themes.
‘How Can I?’ is released alongside a video that was directed by the award-winning illustrator and animatorBloodBros. Its elegant animation reflects the song’s storytelling style, with beautifully depicted images of an ordinary home in a sense of transition. Its striking aesthetic, spacious and full of muted but still vivid colours.