King Hannah : Big Swimmer : Out TODAY

May 31, 2024

King Hannah Release New Album Big Swimmer TODAY

“the Liverpudlian Low…sublime” **** MOJO
“a powerful slow-burner”
The Observer

King Hannah are excited to release their new album Big Swimmer, out today on City Slang. The record was produced by Ali Chant (PJ Harvey, Aldous Harding, Perfume Genius) and finds wide-screen inspiration from the band’s time on the road over the past few years across the US, with stints supporting Kurt Vile and Thurston Moore. Today’s release is accompanied by a visual for ‘New York, Let’s Do Nothing’, a song directly influenced by the band’s travels overseas.

The band have to say – “A song about our time spent in one of our favourite cities in the world and some of the ordinary things we did while there. Inspired by the urge to write something fun and with energy, reminiscent of the rolling country style of Sheryl Crow’s 90s but with that scrappy garage-band-dirt we love so much. Hannah’s relaxed, care-free vocal steadily wheels in and out of explosive choruses before Craig’s ragged, Television-esque guitar takes over”

The band recently announced a run of UK and EU shows for September alongside a run of dates in the USA and Canada. Tickets are on sale now here.

About Big Swimmer

On their first tour of the United States, King Hannah could hardly believe where their debut record had taken them. The Liverpool indie rock duo, composed of Hannah Merrick and Craig Whittle, were in the middle of the southwestern deserts of New Mexico, among other places they’d only seen portrayed in films and television. Their stubborn determination and sheer guts to swim hard towards their carefully planned vision, positively unquestionably, had landed them head-first in a scene from Butch Cassidy and the Sundance Kid, Badlands or one of the several true crime documentaries they’d enjoy when off the road. Being in a new place opened their eyes to common occurrences that they may have ignored had they happened in Liverpool, with a new perspective. Much of the band’s second record, Big Swimmer, reflects on stories from their travels, as the duo shared the stage with Kurt Vile, Thurston Moore, and festivals throughout Europe and North America. Particularly in America, Merrick and Whittle found themselves looking through their tour van window as a sort of screen, allowing for inspiration for their storytelling to come pouring in.

“Because if you’re visiting a different country, it’s more like you’re witnessing someone’s life,” Merrick comments on the band’s experiences on the road in the States. Therein a balance of lightness and darkness melded together, as the band witnessed everyday delights, horrors and mundanities – this all against the backdrop of their dreams of performing their songs around the world coming true. That balance is essential to Hannah and Craig, especially as they approach each release as an individual project, writing songs together from scratch. This can be heard in equal parts on their first EP, Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine, and debut album I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, out in 2020 and 2021 respectively.

Coincidentally, the title track and album opener, “Big Swimmer,” was the final song written before heading from the road into the studio to record their follow up, standing as a physical testament to the album's ultimate metaphor like a punch to the gut; that you don’t achieve anything by throwing the towel in. “Big Swimmer” is one of two tracks on the album to feature vocal harmonies from indie stalwart Van Etten. Having a cherished hero offer her endorsement and co-sign to this rising band’s music truly moved the duo, especially to be featured on the album title track that embodies the balance struck when chasing creative visions.

Wanting to capture the energy from the live shows of their debut tours, Merrick and Whittle went to producer and engineer Ali Chant (Aldous Harding, PJ Harvey, Perfume Genius). The producer’s one-room studio, guitar amps stacked even in the bathroom, felt like home. Tracking the songs live at once was essential. Whittle dotes on the microphone bleed, saying the goal was to create that feeling of everyone playing in a room together. In this space, they blended the richness and heart of the 70’s with the simmering noise of the 90’s.

Big Swimmer finds King Hannah on the other side of their first act with a newfound understanding of their sound, their strengths, their gratitude, and their vision for the future of the band’s music. This understanding has no doubt ushered the profound confidence heard in their new songs – Merrick’s voice soaring, Whittle’s guitar blazing – and the balance they have found while traversing the waters of the Atlantic, or the rock venues on either side of it anyhow. The album leaves your hairs standing on the back of your neck, between the at times prickly, and often heartening imagery of its storytelling. It’s very likely that when listening, you’ll find yourself daydreaming of a lake in summer and wanting to jump on in.