INTERVIEW: Cattle & Cane | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Teesside siblings Cattle & Cane are back and this time it is Golden. Joe and Helen Hammill and their Cattle & Cane gang are releasing their fourth album, Golden, this month and it promises to be a return to their musical roots for the indie folk and Americana band.

The news will come as a real delight to their loyal and faithful home crowd and should only serve to enhance their growing appreciation and support across the UK and well beyond. Lead songwriter Joe describes the sound as “closest to the first album”. Chock full of instant classics, that initial long player called Home heralded an explosive entrance onto the North Eastern music scene when released in 2015.

Golden is the most comfortable musically, it goes back to the roots, a little bit of country, and the acoustic music we got inspired by to start with.”

Joe continues: “It was written in the least amount of time out of all the albums. A lot of it was written during lockdown and recorded remotely in individual houses. It’s the first time we have done it like that. Normally we are all together in the studio, it felt more chilled out. Less time pressure.”

They are delighted by the results. “The songs are a little bit more mature. They are the strongest we have done.”

Although Golden was largely written during lockdown, the pandemic didn’t necessarily affect the mood of the album. “It is a positive album,” Joe says. “I felt like the pressure was off during lockdown; you’ve got to keep moving in music. I did enjoy the process.”

when I wrote Golden I always knew it would be for my future person. There is a lot of positivity and excitement

Joe delves a little deeper into the inspiration. “It was roughly at that time I met my future wife, and I was writing a lot of songs at that time. There is a lot of the early excitement of meeting someone and wondering what could this be – weirdly when I wrote Golden I always knew it would be for my future person. There is a lot of positivity and excitement.”

Produced by long-time collaborator and the band’s live bassist Luke Elgie, Golden is an album that also incorporates many writing collaborations which, due to the circumstances of the time, were conducted long distance over Zoom, although to this day Joe still enjoys working with other songwriters remotely in this way.

I wrote a couple of tunes for this album with Beth Nielson Chapman, Beth’s one of the most incredible writers, she had that massive hit in the 90s This Kiss with Faith Hill and she is still amazing, she is constantly telling stories.”

Joe then revealed something of the process. “One of the sessions with Beth I had gone for a walk that day and I had this melody and just one line in my head, Come My Way. This was prior to meeting my wife I had that openness towards meeting someone, I hadn’t really felt like that before, like I am ready for something. Beth is a master of bringing ideas to fruition and making a great little song from it.”

Always a thrilling live band, in Golden Cattle & Cane have a new harvest of outstanding songs to sweep the crowd off their feet.

Cattle & Cane release Golden on 17th November. The band play The Georgian Theatre, Stockton on Thursday 7th, Friday 8th and Saturday 9th December, with a further North East show at The Glasshouse, Gateshead on Saturday 2nd March.

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