Just over a year since their inception, Seeing Hands are fast becoming one of Newcastle’s brightest new bands. Since the release of Treat You Right, the four-piece have rapidly made their name, knuckling down under a strict work ethic and playing live as much as possible. In turn the band have grown and matured to a point where their sound has become instantly recognisable – a seamless blend of jangly, surf guitars and echoed vocals that evoke the shimmering haze of a lazy summer’s afternoon. It’s only natural that they’ve drawn comparison to bands like Real Estate with a firm grip of melodic guitar pop, but frontman Kev Curran says, “we’re trying to shake that off a bit. We really like them but we don’t want to be like them.”
The release of I Knew You and It’s True at the back end of last year showed a clear progression, which saw them adding textured layers of synthesisers and swooning ambience to their sound. Their next single Love You Still, recorded at The Nave in Leeds and produced by Alex Greeves, is yet another dreamy, reflective ballad and but also a welcome departure from what’s expected of them. “The lyrics are still all about girls,” says Curran, “but now we are taking more influence from bands like The Smiths, or Cocteau Twins. We like that eighties drum sound and naughty, sexy synth”.
If you’d had asked six months ago that we’d be playing there, we would have laughed at you. I think you should try and play London as much as possible
Seeing Hands’ evolving musical DNA right now finds them focusing on their live show. One recent gig supporting all-girl indie punks Dream Wife for a special DIY showcase at Cluny 2 found them opening the set with new, lengthy material. “We are just playing two song sets now,” jokes guitarist Nick Hodgson. “That was the first gig where we started doing weird shit; we really want to come through as a live act now.”
The band are promoting the release of Love You Still with a run of dates starting at Newcastle’s Think Tank on Saturday 1st April with Modern Pleasure and Ronald Raygun. “Liam’s going to be walking around with his top off and a little bow tie on,” interjects Hodgson. “But seriously there’s going to be visuals, lights and some brand new material.” They’ll also be heading down to The Finsbury in London on Thursday 20th April. “If you’d had asked six months ago that we’d be playing there, we would have laughed at you. I think you should try and play London as much as possible,” Hodgeson states.
The band also recently released a run of limited vinyl pressings for last year’s single I Knew You, something they hope to continue doing for upcoming singles, “There’s something about putting on a record,” drummer Liam Guillan notes, “it’s harder to grow attached to music these days, people tend to pick and choose, rather than fully immerse themselves in an album”.
With an EP also in the works, a lot of good things can be expected of Seeing Hands over the coming months. After a phone call as unpredictable as it was enlightening, I rather naively ask what the band hopes to achieve in that time. “Own a gold speedboat,” replies Curran. Good luck with that one.
Seeing Hands play Think Tank? on Saturday 1st April and Pop Recs Ltd. on Saturday 8th April. Love You Still is out now.