After making a high profile debut at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year, newfamiliar today 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.

Music News caught up with the band to find out more...


Please tell us about you debut single ‘How Can I’

Well, it’s a warm song that speaks openly about loss. The sonic of the music and sentiment of the lyric seem to say the same thing. I love the texture of the sounds on this song

BloodBros created a fantastic video, how did it all come about?

The work of an incredible illustrator Isobel Mehta has been something I’ve been drawn to for quite a number of years now, it’s informed a lot of our visual work on this song. We reached out to BllodBros through an old friend that suggested him. When we seen his previous work it was just perfect and as we began to work together on this project it feel in place very easily. I think we all understood eachother and what the song really need in animation

A melancholic debut, has this last year exposed any personal vulnerabilities?

The past year has given us all time to reflect on a lot of things and the lack of ability to freely create together shown us how vital our creative process is to our individual and collective happiness

Produced by Rich Cooper, whose worked with Billie Marten and Tom Odell, how did that come about?

I wrote a song with Rich a few years back, it was one of those stress free creations that comes together in a couple of hours and it has always been a firm favourite of mine, although still yet to be released. Billie was also apart of the same music scene in Yorkshire that we come from and we played on the same bill together years ago, her delicate sound has always been so beautiful. Rich seemed to capture it perfectly and then some! I listened to the album Rich produced for her, on a return flight from LA a few years ago and it really stunned me! He’s brought out the best in us and I can’t put into words how grateful I am for that. I’ve worked with many producers over the years and it’s very rare to find someone like him, someone that properly understands how to find the unique and natural feel of a band and accentuate that

What can we expect from new material?

More of the same really just like a wave though, some songs will be bigger some songs will be smaller. We have an album in our minds right now

How does the song-writing process work?

It comes in so many forms, usually a spark from a conversation or a moment of reverie. Concepts and titles usually begin a song but other times a simple set of chords being strummed without thought during a moment in the studio ignites a melody for someone else. I always find this question hard to nail down. We are not methodical, we are all daydreamers and we just go where a moment takes us

How would you sum up your musical style?

I think at its core it’s a blend of soul and storytelling folk music delivered in a modern way

Who are your heroes in music?

I’ll give you a few names that we often discuss, Bill Withers, Newton Faulkner, Bon Iver

When are you hoping to get back to playing live?

ASAP! No idea when but we are definitely keen

Any other message to Music News readers?

We’ve got a lot of music coming out this year, so if you like this song come and follow us on Instagram, tiktok and Facebook

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