| a tunefully heroic fierce panda one sheet
The Band: LONGFELLOW
The Release: ‘PRELUDE’
The Format: CD & DIGITAL MINI-ALBUM
The Label: fierce panda (catalogue number NONG 90)
The Digital Release Date: JULY 14TH 2014
The CD Release Date: AUGUST 4TH 2014
The Tracklisting: 1 ‘POLAROID’; 2 ‘MAY THE LIGHT’; 3 ‘KISS-HUG-MAKE UP’; 4 ‘LULLABY’; 5 ‘SIAMESE LOVER’; 6 ‘GABRIELLE’; 7 ‘WOLF CRY’; 8 ‘THE CONVENT’
The Truth: LONGFELLOW live in South London. They consist of Owen Lloyd (vocals), James Thomas (guitar), Ali Hetherington (keyboards), Lewis Fowler (bass) and Tom Warhurst (drums). 'Prelude' is an early-career-defining mini-album release which collects together their three digital singles released since last summer and contextualises (if you will) a gently hectic first year for this most fresh-faced of bands. In the true modern way of things the digital and physical releases have different release dates, with the download out on July 14th and the CD out on August 4th.
To tie in with the latter, LONGFELLOW play this special launch party here:
Club Fandango presents
LONGFELLOW + special guests THE NEW UNION
LONDON HACKNEY SEBRIGHT ARMS (31-35 Coate Street, London E2 9AG. 020 77290937)
WEDNESDAY AUGUST 6TH 2014
£4.00 early bird tickets available from www.wegottickets.com/event/279273
On June 11th 2013 Longfellow played their debut show in this formation at the Highbury Buffalo Bar for Club Fandango. The subsequent trio of singles were 'Gabrielle' (released July 2013 on their own label), 'Siamese Lover’ (released February this year on Label Fandango) and ‘Kiss-Hug-Make Up’ (launched in May on fierce panda). ‘Prelude’ throws in the b-sides to all the singles (‘May The Light’, ‘The Convent’ and ‘Wolf Cry’ respectively), adds a couple of band favourites in ‘Polaroid’ and ‘Lullaby’ and gets ready to crumble.
For these are thoroughly sensitive souls, often described as epic purveyors of melodically charged alt.pop. With Longfellow it’s all about art-on-sleeve emoting, where passion outwits fashion and no chorus is ever knowingly undersold. All eight of these tracks were painstakingly home-recorded in a bedroom on Brockley Road, Lewisham, as were the other 30 or so stadia-sized songs they have quietly stockpiled in SE4.
Last Halloween Longfellow supported Keane at a special birthday show at Tunbridge Wells Forum. Barely one week later they were first on at the Shacklewell Arms in Dalston with gothic indie tykes Desperate Journalist. That brace of wildly differing shows kick-started a remarkable six month-long run of radio activities which saw ‘Siamese Lover’ heartily endorsed by Steve Lamacq on 6 Music and Jo Whiley on Radio 2 while Longfellow were nominated Introducing Band Of The Week by Huw Stevens on Radio 1.
Then came a trip to SXSW at the behest of the BBC Introducing team, with an Austin showcase alongside Thumpers, Royal Blood and Public Service Broadcasting – a show which led directly to an American release for this ‘Prelude’ mini-album. And then third single ‘Kiss-Hug-Make Up’ saw the band multitasking to a manic degree, hitching up to the Radio 2 playlist for three weeks leading up to a special fierce panda X-posure show for Xfm’s John Kennedy at Camden Barfly on May 20th. Now that’s what we call airwave entertainment.
Throw in a string of handsomely received industry shows with Breakout at the Lexington, with Music Week at the Black Heart and with Killing Moon at the Barfly – Longfellow are nothing if not organised – and it swiftly becomes apparent that here we have a band for several seasons. June alone saw them headline Music Week’s media-heavy Radar night in Chelsea, play a special low key birthday show at Camden Black Heart, head to Brighton to record brand new material for an autumn EP, hit Maida Vale for a BBC Introducing session and then nip back to NW1 for a slot at Camden Crawl. Real music 4 real people? Oh, go on then…