INTERVIEW: NEL UNLIT RELEASE NEW SINGLE, SLOWLY | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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Multi-limbed Teesside orchestral-folk crew Nel Unlit are raring to go after more than a year spent in statis, and this week sees the release of their new single, Slowly. The slow-building track showcases Nel Unlit’s ability to weave storytelling lyrics with dramatic instrumentation. We caught up with Jon Horner to find out more about what’s on the cards…

Bring us up to speed with what you’ve been up to this past year or so

We had a tough lockdown, with many cancelled and rescheduled shows. We tried to stay positive though and writing our second album helped us keep busy. We were finally able to get in to record the album in July and we’re delighted to be able to get some music out again.

You’ve released your new single, Slowly. What is it about?

Slowly is about fracturing child-parent relationships, particularly in the treacherous period when children begin to approach adulthood. In this case, an estranged mother narrates on a weary father pleading with his teenage daughter to not try to grow up too soon. She feels that she has outgrown him and is ready to go it alone. He knows that she still needs him and even though he doesn’t always get it right, he is trying.

It is taken from your soon to be released second album (Ephemera or Tosh and the Girl). What can we expect from that and how does it differ from your debut album release?

We have found that stories are part of our identity as a group and so the album is another story. In that sense it is similar to our last record but that is pretty much where the similarities end. This album is less epic fantasy and more kitchen sink drama. We have used everything we have to create a grim real-world atmosphere for these characters and so sonically it is much harsher. We went into Greenmount Studios and worked with producer Jamie Lockhart, recording direct to tape in order to achieve the energy we wanted. 

You filmed a ‘making of’ style music video with Rob Irish. Tell us more about that.

We love Rob’s work. Despite the vastly varied styles of music he works on, he always captures a visual ambience that resonates perfectly and so we were desperate to work with him on this album. Luckily he was up for it and so we have several pieces planned. Firstly, we knew that we wanted to open ourselves up as musicians and people. We decided that the best way to do this was to welcome those who are interested into our world and our process. We asked Rob to come along to rehearsals and recording sessions and he became part of the gang, just one with a camera.  

What else does Nel Unlit have coming up?

We have two shows to accompany this release. We are playing The Georgian Theatre in Stockton on Sunday 29th August and Establishment in Wakefield on Thursday 2nd September. We will then start to work towards getting the album out. It is very nearly done and we can’t wait for you all to hear it!


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