By Jordan Grammar | July 27, 2022
We were lucky to catch King Hannah in July at Baby’s All Right, and it was an absolute vibe. In their second ever NYC show, the duo from Liverpool showcased their debut album for an American crowd for the first time. Their first show in New York (and in the US) was a sold-out show at Union Pool last March, however frontwoman Hannah Merrick has long had her sights set on the Big Apple. “I interned in New York in my early 20’s for a music magazine. While there, I set myself a goal; to return one day with my own band and play to a sold-out crowd. We sold out Union Pool back in March, which was a very, very special moment to say the least.”
Coming off a Sharon Van Etten co-sign for their breakout single “Crème Brûlée”, the duo have quickly become the sweethearts of the alt indie scene, made apparent by another packed room at Baby’s All Right. Enlisting the help of a bassist and drummer for this tour, the duo-now-foursome played through the highlights of their highly acclaimed album, I’m Not Sorry, I Was Just Being Me, as well as a couple others from their short, but sweet catalog. Recorded entirely during Covid lockdown, this album has a bit of something for everyone. From moody alternative melodies to psychedelic riffs and some gorgeous instrumental interludes sparsed throughout. Our personal favorites from the album are the soft stripped down “Ants Crawling on an Apple Stork” and “Go-Kart Kid,” which continually builds up until the four-minute mark where the track erupts in an overwhelming energy that you must experience live to feel in full.
King Hannah now embarks on a tour across Europe and then it is back to the studio to create their next album. When they return to New York afterwards, we will be there, and we hope you will come get your groove on with us!
We sat down with Hannah and Craig of King Hannah and they answered a few questions for the groovement:
How did it feel to be back in NYC?
Hannah: Oh we just love New York!!! It’s such a special place to us and my personal favorite place to play. We’ve both been to America separately before, but the Union Pool show last March was our first time in the U.S. as a band.
What was your first concert?
Hannah: I think mine was probably The Spice Girls!!
Craig: Unfortunately mine was Guns n Roses!
Where are you from?
Hannah: North Wales
How did you first get started and how did you meet?
Craig: About nine years ago now, I went to watch my friend play at a university gig night. The night itself was absolutely terrible, but Hannah, (who I didn’t know then) got up and sang a little folksy song, just her and her acoustic guitar and she completely blew me away. I remember thinking then how brilliant she was, her voice blew my mind and I can still remember the song she played now! Then a few years later, I started working in a bar, where Hannah already worked. She was the person assigned to teaching me how to lay cutlery and the rest is history!!
How would you describe your music – either by genre or general vibe
Such a tricky question! We hope that it’s warm, real sounding with a lot of dynamics and space that people can get lost in!
Who/what do you draw inspiration from?
Anyone making good, honest music and who makes no compromises and stays true to making the music they love! Our favorite artists have been making music for years and years, it’s their life and they constantly strive to better themselves. We love that.
Who are your songwriting influences?
Hannah: It’s definitely artists who tell stories, artists who really care about what it is they’re singing about, regardless of what that might be. Artists who care about the instrumentation around the lyrics, that complement the lyrics’ movement and purpose like Bill Callahan, for example. I don’t listen to Joni Mitchell religiously, but she’s the queen of doing this seamlessly.
Who do you hope to inspire?
We strive to make better music always, we just want to be the best band we can possibly be.
What’s your dream venue to perform at?
Hannah: Probably Casino De Paris in Paris because we saw Courtney Barnett play there years ago and I remember thinking how cool it would be to sell it out one day. Also, it’s in Paris, which is one of our favorite cities! Plus playing in front of that many people would be absolutely incredible! It’s on the list for sure.
Craig: I’m the same!! Love that venue and city!
What’s your favorite city to tour?
Craig: I love Amsterdam. Our show at Bitterzoet last April was really great, the crowd was so invested, we loved every minute of it.
Hannah: It’s New York for me. I interned in New York in my early 20’s for a music magazine. While there, I set myself a goal; to return one day with my own band and play to a sell-out crowd. We sold out Union Pool back in March, which was a very, very special moment to say the least.
What’s your pre-show routine?
We really don’t do anything to be honest! We try and eat something, and do our best to not rush! We do put our hands in the middle though and say ‘King Hannah on 3!’ So that’s probably our ritual! It’s fun.
What’s next for you?
We have a European tour coming up in August and then we’ll be working on album number 2, which we’re really excited about.
📸: shot by Blaze Rozelle