The Flux Capacitors supporting Jah Wobble at The Fleece Bristol Sept 2015
” The FC’s have pretty much have torn pages out of the rule book, rolled them up and smoked them..what did we learn tonight as we leave sonically battered and lyrically bruised after our warped encounter? If anything that you can escape convention, be lyrically subversive underneath an avalanche of melodic noise, samples and hooks… you can also have a good time doing it. More please”
The Flux Capacitors First single “Melt” Sept 2015
“…adrenaline fuelled action, piercing guitar lines, hard pounding drums and roaring riffs, Melt packs one Hell of a wallop bulldozing anything that stands in its way..”
The Flux Presents
Dusting For Prints 2013
“…the camera is out of focus and Your Mother and I can’t see the kitten…”
Situation Normal Then 2008
“…abrasive folk rock hybrid…incredibly captivating and irresistible…is likely to be one of the most intriguing of the year…”
Devil has the best tuna
“…a unique brand of folk-tinged dark rock ….subtle dynamics…the guitar….emits a brash and gloriously dusty sound that is suitably paired with Winter’s smoky, fainting voice…Endearing beauty and musicianship…”
The Music Magazine
“…a commendable solo artiste and rich purveyor of scintillating-yet-caustic folk/punk …dark and idiosyncratic British charms with an increasingly melodic sound …her most potent album to date…brutal uncompromising and intelligent punk…”
Fresh Deer Meat
“…Hazel has set about creating a wildly powerful and uncompromising new album…”
“…a relative unknown …former Blue Aeroplanes member…Winter’s gritty folk-rock sound is exciting, strange and incredibly compelling….haunting lyrics and unique instrumentation…unsettling yet captivating…”
Chewing Gum For The Ears
“…a striking solo artist…cathartic and hypnotic blend of coarse English folk and unapologetic, splintering garage blues, like evil black-sheep twin sister of Maddy Prior and early P.J. Harvey…striking….alarmingly visceral…truly engaging and bewitching…”
“…fat, fuzz-heavy guitar played with disarming skill behind a cacophony of strings, flutes, and bells…makes a swift impression…”
Wears The Trousers
“…Adrian Utley…her fellow Bristolian, helps create a more rounded production on Situation Normal Then, albeit one that still retains Winter’s trademark vicious bite…Utley should be applauded for his subtle production work throughout the album. The employment of folk and Celtic instrumentation could easily have backfired, but every track bristles with inventive touches that deepen with repeated listens…the spooked world of Hazel Winter will alienate some and delight others. Needless to say , this is an album that deserves repeated listens for its unique atmosphere to really grip…”
Death Row Bride 2004
“…the sound of a quite unhinging ferocity…a terrific burst of whispery nastiness…”
“…The West Country’s first lady of noirish guitar blues…vocal witchiness and bile-spitting make a convincing dent”
“…Hazel Winter purrs and crows … facing her demons …twatting you over the head with a shard of buoyant riffage…a thoroughly disturbing, thoroughly compelling listen …”
“…doomed romantic masterpiece…but best of all is Hazel’s provincial non-singing Northern voice picking at death/love metaphors like scabs that won’t be left alone…”
“..ever -present atmosphere of menace…Goddess-like spikiness…”
WHATS ON IN LONDON
“…noirish confessions …raw, stark and sparse … allow Winter’s tortured whispering, cooing and choking to have full shocking effect…”
“…fabulous new album…bleak hearts and fuzzy murder ballads ….a spooked collection of livid punk blues and eerie ballads…”
(c) Andy McCreeth www.eyelashpics.com
Put Away The Sharp Knives 2000
“…Winter pulls you into her deliciously paranoid world …an extraordinarily unsettling persona…one to watch, but with the lights on…”
“…jagged and dangerous…angular…soulful…a thrillingly raw debut…”
“…oddly seductive…sexual magic…Hazel Winter will be unstoppable…”
“…bluesy, viscerally exciting ride…thrillingly uneasy listening…”
“…dark and broody….a contemporary classic…”
“…slinky, schizoid, off-kilter groove…jagged, edgy, rare and brilliant…”
“…a stunningly fine album…breathe in her cold air, she’s the breeder of bad dreams…”
“…affair of the (dark) heart… furious and fathom-filled….clash of fragility, ripped lyrics and wonderfully warped guitar…songs clogged with life’s cold sweat…”
BATH FESTIVAL GUIDE
“…frantic, crashing, howling, cacophonous racket spiked with open-heart lyrics ripped from the files marked sex, death, general belligerence and painful break-ups/downs…disturbingly close to the bone….it fucking rocks…a statement of bloody-minded intent and utter, delicious confusion…”
Interview with Wears the Trousers
The cover of your new album is a frozen featureless face. What was the thinking behind that?
The frozen head was made by an artist friend a few years ago. When she was casting it, I spent an afternoon immobilised upstairs in a deserted house with my entire head covered in sticky tape waiting for it to dry, and burglars kicked the door in downstairs and stole all our bikes. While I was in the studio recording Situation Normal Then, I remembered the cast was languishing in the attic having never been used and I dug it out.
You collaborated with your sister’s band Horseplay on this album which has resulted in it sounding a lot more folky than your first two releases. How did this collaboration come about?
Playing with the Northerners came about from visiting home in Durham over the last few years and sitting in on my sister’s bands’ sessions. I’d moved down south in 1984 because I wanted to escape men with beards playing folk in pubs and play electric guitar in an all-girl rock band. Going back recently and playing with my family was just about going back home really. I like the instruments now, but am still not very keen on the beards. I had a nursery rhyme picture book as a child with a lurid picture of the Man in the Moon who kept things in his beard: animals, food, an owl. There was always something deeply not right about any of that.
How did you choose the album title Situation Normal Then? Is it an ironic comment on the abnormal situations the characters in your songs find themselves in?!
It came up when I was writing the song ‘Malice Damaged’ and it just made me laugh.
You recently went to Siberia with your cousin to investigate Shamanism. How has this influenced the record?
The Shaman read my mind and gave me some advice which didn’t translate to the studio as much as it probably should have done. I am working on it. The bit where I got sprayed with yak’s milk obviously had an impact on a couple of the live takes.
What would you say fuels your songwriting, and which musicians have had the biggest influence on you?
I played guitar in bands for years and also wrote songs for other people to sing. That was what I wanted to do. I didn’t consciously aspire to sing myself; it overtook me and seemed a bit unarguable with. Influences: Robert Johnston, Captain Beefheart, Leadbelly, The Beatles, Alan Hull, Richard Thompson…
Many of your songs seem to be about the dark side of love, deadly obsession, love pushed to the point of homicide and blood – do you find songwriting cathartic?
I have just written a song about my recent and protracted abscess-related dental disaster. That was pretty cathartic. Coming from Durham Methodist coal-mining roots I have the NHS engraved on my heart and I am appalled that I have felt no choice but to go to the private sector after what happened to me. I am also aware that not everybody has a vintage Telecaster they can stick on eBay to fund their treatment. Having said that, it is worth more than rubies to finally have a dentist I can trust not to approach his professional responsibilities like a fast food operative. He is definitely going to be the only person with permitted drilling privileges in my gob for the foreseeable future.
How difficult was it setting up your own record label, Death Row Bride Records, and what propelled you to do so?
Bill Hicks said that involving yourself with corporate big business was like sucking Satan’s cock. I just can’t help feeling it would have been polite to at least have been asked, especially given how I limbered up for it so enthusiastically for so many years. And of course it’s too late now; I couldn’t actually drop to my knees for anything now, the state my knees are in. Hence the independent record label. As regards “how difficult” it has been running my own label, it has at times involved A* swearing and the sort of weeping where you make noises and produce slime. I comfort myself that I am commendably multi-tasking by doing all that whilst simultaneously straddling the Everest of the Moral High Ground, as opposed to kneeling in the Khyber Pass of Demonic Congress amongst the Cava corks, Ferrero Rocher wrappers and bits of used Andrex.
You live in the same neck of the woods as PJ Harvey and I notice you thank somebody called Polly in the album notes…is she a friend?
That was a different Polly. I don’t know her. After my first solo album came out, I got a couple of rather worrying emails from a clearly distressed young lass who explained to me that she was hearing hidden messages in lyrics which she thought were communicating with her…err, only they weren’t messages in my lyrics, they were in PJ Harvey’s; she was just getting in touch with me in the hope that I might be able to pass her concerns on to PJ Harvey as we had worked with the same producer. Fuck me man, I can’t even get my own stalker.
There has been a lot of hype surrounding the West Country music scene ever since the Massive Attack/Tricky/Portishead heyday of the mid ’90s. But do you think it is easier for musicians to get a break living in London because of the huge live circuit there?
Someone once said to me that if you make art with integrity you can communicate with people and that’s ultimately all there is, which does make the “getting a break” thing a bit irrelevant. Unless you are wanting to go on ‘X Factor’. I suppose I feel you can just put your music out on the internet now and people will find you if they are interested. Having said that, obviously at some point during one of my gigs I am still anticipating that the crowd will part like a biblical sea and a fella with big shoulders (who will probably look a bit like Robert Mitcham) will walk towards me and say; “Play that again child”. He will then hand me a huge wad, the dead will come back to life, people who didn’t love me before will realise how wrong they were, and I will find myself as happy and fulfilled as Michael Jackson and Britney Spears. It’s going to be great actually, I can’t wait; throw some scatter cushions down, Khyber Pass here I come.
And finally, any hopes of touring the new record?
Difficult to say. Am currently very busy reading the biography of Catherine De Medici, which is taking up a lot of my time. It’s also making me wonder whether I might have had a better chance of decent dental treatment for my abscess in 1508 as opposed to 2008.
Fresh Deer Meat Interview
A former guitarist with cult 90’s Bristol outfit the Blue Aeroplanes, Hazel Winter has since developed a reputation as a commendable solo artist and rich purveyor of scintillating-yet-caustic folk/punk. Her new album ‘Situation Normal Then‘ is released in the New Year and finds Winter coupling her dark and idiosyncratic British charms with an increasingly melodic sound. It’s her most potent album to date and has seen Winter compared with everyone from PJ Harvey to Nick Cave across the blogosphere in recent weeks.
FDM.com recently sat down with Hazel to talk inspiration, anal probes and, of course, the Blue Aeroplanes. “We trade insults and recipes on a regular basis…” she told Louise Lake…
FDM: Hey Hazel, thanks for taking to time to talk to FDM.com. Can you possibly start by telling us a little bit about the recording of the new album? I understand it came about via two recording sessions that were 18 months apart?
HW: Yes, The grubby Northern relatives travelled down to Bristol with their packets of tabs and blood sausages. They arrived at my house where they were asked to take their shoes off before walking on my new carpet, filed past the Buddhist meditation shrine and sat down to a meal I had prepared which involved chickpeas. At this point I realised that in spite of being born and bred in Durham I have now been down south for longer than I was up north. The process of re- connecting with my roots by involving myself with the instruments of my youth was rapidly followed by my abandoning several years of vegetarianism and re embracing eating dead things with a shameful fervour. …..we did it all live, mostly in a couple of takes; minimal overdubbing…..I spent the next 18 months crouched in the foetal position in a darkened room with my fists in my mouth as Adrian became a father and got busy with Portishead… and I faced the prospect of finishing the production myself. The second session we recorded at J and J studio in Bristol which belongs to Jim Barr (also Portishead). Producing me and my sister in the same studio ultimately involved a certain amount of bloodletting. Fortunately I managed to break the back of the project before the fur really began to fly. Most of our head hair has grown back now.
FDM: ‘Midwich Sleep On’ has been the free Mp3 from the album that everyone has been passing around. Why did you opt for this track as the lead-off single – is it the most representative of the entire album?
HW: It was the first song I brought to the band and I was insisting it had to be played in C sharp (as I’d written it) which really pissed everybody off because the flute and pipes couldn’t tune down. I’d travelled up to Durham to have a go at all playing together and there was an immediate stand off. Then the piper remembered his (Australian) wife had brought back a didgeridoo for him after her last visit and it was in C sharp…he nipped off down the back lane to fetch it and it all booted off properly from that point on…so it sort of felt meant in a weird way…and it all started with that song.
FDM: You played in one of Bristol’s most recognised bands (Blue Aeroplanes) in the 90’s. How has Bristol changed creatively since then? Is it still as inspirational as it once was?
HW: Absolutely no idea. I hate going out. No idea what’s going on. The only thing I’ve been to in recent memory was a poetry reading at the Grant Bradley Gallery in Bedminster where an elderly gentleman got up and read an utterly fantastic poem about his anal probe. That was pretty inspirational actually. I’d definitely go back there again.
FDM: Where else do you draw your inspiration from? New music? Art? Literature etc?
HW: Books. I read a lot. I think 99% of music is utter shite and subsequently can’t bear listening to the radio or going to gigs. My mate makes me a compilation twice a year of stuff I need to hear which I tend to approach a bit like I did swotting for Maths homework at school. As a result I often find my way to things a bit late. By a few years sometimes. I’m fiercely and obsessively addicted to a handful of musicians.
FDM: When you cast your mind back over your career in music is there one particular stand-out moment that sticks in your head?
HW: Headlining the re-opening of The Bath Pavilion with my first band Gorilla My Dreams in about 1985 …that was the first big gig I ever did. I remember thinking if I can just get through the first track without swallowing my tongue, I’ll be fine.
FDM: Are you still in touch with the other central Blue Aeroplane members?
HW: Gerard lives 3 streets away from me which meant I was unable to effectively maintain the vendetta I had hoped to pursue against him after I left the band. It was too exhausting trying to be antagonistic given I bump into him down the corner shop several times a week. So now we are mates. Which is loads easier. Andy McCreeth (Blue Aeroplanes bassist) is a film person now and has been doing all the filming for my videos (he shot ‘Midwich Sleep On’ and a new one for ‘The CandyMan Walks’, which I’ve just finished editing). We hadn’t worked together since we played Glastonbury Pyramid stage in 92, so the video shoot ended up as a reunion/3 day bender in my spare bedroom, where we filmed. The peculiar way I have of holding my head tilted to one side throughout is as a result of Andy shouting “Keep Your Chin Up, You Lose 10 Years…” at regular intervals during shooting. True friend. Wojtek turns up to my London gigs in a kind and loyal manner whilst John Langley I see periodically out and about / in the studio…I played the Tsunami benefit with him a while back. Ruth Cochrane (Bassist) is my best mate. We haven’t done any music together for ages but we trade insults and recipes on a regular basis.
If the X-Factor involved reviewing albums then this album and it’s accompanying review would be my ‘journey’ on the show. Rather than on the show though where they try to justify that term, I actually have been on something of a journey with Situation Normal Then.
It’s the third album from former Blue Aeroplane member Hazel Winter and the first time I listened to it I wasn’t keen on it all. The vocal style didn’t particularly sit well with me and the music seemed a little awkward even for the folk style that it came across in. B
y the second play of the album though I was starting to make my peace with the vocal and the tracks were coming together more cohesively. This morning at work I gave it a third spin and it’s officially now one of those albums that does reward you the more you listen to it, I like it now, I really do.
The instrumentation is actually beautifully done, with banjo’s, mandolin, flute, drums, pipes and of course guitar it sits together so well, it has a slightly dark edge to it, but shows a lighter side in the melody that had taken three listens to come out for me.
If you are willing to give it the time it’s a seductive album that will tease you with a bit of leg to start with, ply you with melody and then have you every which way it chooses before the end of the night.
Wears The Trousers
A staple figure of the Bristol underground music scene for nearly two decades, it’s no surprise that Hazel Winter’s third solo album Situation Normal Then – her first in four years – bears all the hallmarks of an artist with years of experience behind her. On the surface her country-noir and folk-inflected music might seem to recall the simple things in life, yet underneath lies something far more unsettling, nightmarish even. In possession of a delicate, almost childlike voice that manages to be both alluring and unsettling, Winter’s approach is roughly the musical equivalent of a Neil Gaiman children’s book – deliciously twisted and occasionally terrifying.
Many of the album’s songs were inspired by fantasy and sci-fi novels and true tales of the occult. An unflinching re-humanisation of the persecuted witches of Roy JM Pugh’s book ‘The Deil’s Ain’, ‘The Ballad Of Geilie Duncan’ is a traditional-sounding folk number with lashings of Jew’s harp from co-producer and Portishead man Adrian Utley that ultimately descends into gory sacrifice and black magic, while the accelerating bite of ‘Dancing The Girl’ draws from Clarissa Pinkola Estes’s best-selling book, ‘Women Who Run With The Wolves’. Elsewhere, ‘Invasion Of The Bodysnatchers’ is namechecked in the frenetic ‘Turn The Main Siren On’ and John Wyndham’s much revered ‘The Midwich Cuckoos’ informs the album’s bracing introduction, ‘Midwich Sleep On’.
But it’s not all based on the ideas of outsiders. Hazel’s more personal ruminations are just as compelling, from the pleasingly mellow, Robin Hitchcock-esque melancholy of ‘Mystery’ to the jolting dark impulses of ‘Music To Self-Harm To’ (”Yes please, take me straight to hell / I’m feeling dangerously well,” she spits), Winter evokes the real-world hardships of trauma and pain. Underpinning everything throughout the album is Winter’s schizoid guitar: growling and chugging in one instance, softly plucking in another, but always pushing a strong course through a motley accompaniment of sounds. The blend of traditional and unusual acoustic instruments with the crunch of the electric guitar works well in the context of Winter and Utley’s upfront, unfussy production. Each instrument, no matter how diverse in tone, has plenty of room to sit in the mix.
Even after so many years in the business, Winter comes like a breath of fresh air in a music scene full of urgent yelping and electronic clattering. And though she stays true to her regional colloquialisms, she might as well be a million miles away from the mockney Dick van Dyke-isms of certain other artists of these isles. Her attempts at combining the idioms of traditional folk and modern sounds are intriguing and ultimately successful. With its bittersweet sound, false starts and expletives, Situation Normal Then is as raw as the northeast wind, but the richness of Winter’s music truly emerges on close listening.
It is possible to exit your comfort zone without needing a brown paper bag if it’s the Right Thing To Do
It takes nothing to have me hysterically hyperventilating into a brown paper bag; a medium- sized spider will do it. I went to Siberia to find a Shaman because my cousin needed to write her dissertation on Shamanism but she didn’t want to go on her own. I felt like I was looking down a telescope at the pair of us sat spot-lit a long way away, and my mouth was mouthing ,”…I’ll go with you…”
Dealing with authority figures is the same wherever you go
Organizing the visit involved being tediously barracked, humiliated and made to jump through ludicrous hoops. I had the advantage of having signed on the dole in the early 80s so I had some useful background preparation; particularly handy when going through customs in Moscow.
Flying Aeroflot can be entertaining
We flew from Moscow to Krasnoyarsk via Aeroflot in an aeroplane constructed entirely out of old tin cans. I was reliably informed by a mate who had survived resuscitation from near-death after a car crash, that should I suffer a fall from the sky in a tangle of burning metal, it would actually be quite relaxing and peaceful and not at all stressful. Somewhere over The Urals, I unfurled myself from the crash position and went to the lav. Apparently I accidently availed myself of the first class facilities, a fact which would definitely have been forever lost to me had I not subsequently been pursued the length of the aircraft by a furious stewardess with several heavily powdered chins, clucking and squawking like an outraged hen and shaking her wobbly warty wattle at me.
Death feels acceptable if the view is stunning
Driving across the Steppes towards Mongolia was blindingly lovely… miles of expanse… bleached standing stones. Occasionally a Gulag would loom up, incongruously brutal with its barbed wire fences. We over-nighted at the driver’s uncle’s house downing cognac shots…into oblivion. Next day we ran out of petrol on a mountain pass. It was minus 20 degrees and totally deserted. It was an estimated 5 minutes before we froze to death. I took a photo thinking it was going to be the last thing I would see. It wasn’t. The photo ended up on the back cover of the album.
There are always reasons
God the musicians in Tuva were fantastic. Unearthly. Their sounds recreate their environment … waterfalls … wind across the Steppes … horses’ hooves. Some Russians in Krasnoyarsk made jokes about “the fucking Tuvans”, telling us that they got drunk all the time. Lonely Planet guide warned travellers not to go to certain areas and that it could be dangerous. But what we found were lovely traumatized people who, when the Soviets invaded, had had all their traditional musical instruments made illegal. We heard stories that up until relatively recently some of their Shamans being thrown out of helicopters “to see if they could fly”.
You’d be forgiven for thinking that Hazel Winter is a(n early) PJ Harvey wannabe. There’s indeed a jagged edge to both of them but Hazel is a rock chick of her own and she proves that in her third album. Situation Normal Then is a like a record from the Fall: sounds the same throughout but every song is different. The pervasive sound in the album is a unique brand of folk-tinged dark rock that incorporates various folk and traditional instruments like pan pipes, bagpipes and banjo but in each song Hazel alternates the aforementioned instruments, creating subtle dynamics.
The guitar is also present but it emits a brash and gloriously dusty sound that is suitably paired with Hazel’s smokey and fainting voice; close to a loud whisper. The opener Midwich Sleep On is a prime example of that; it has gritty guitar lines and the banjo in the background. Many people disdain any sort of pipe used as a musical instrument but Hazel Winter does it in premium experimental and retarded fashion.
In Turn The Main Siren On you can find the brash guitars, but here they are topped with sloppy and urgent pan pipes in the background and, at mid-song, bagpipes(!). They work the treat and it will make you wonder why more popular music artists don’t explore this ground. The Candyman Walks is nearly a lullaby; her voice is shaky here and lines like “deep down the walls are breathing” gives the song the lyrical gloom that matches the sound. The last tracks are quite interesting. Music To Self Harm To has a bizarre title and Christmas Chrysanthemms features more random Celtic sounds. For the distracted listener the tracks in Situation Normal Then will all sound the same, but if you pay a little attention you’ll find endearing beauty and musicianship.
Prezzies for Quezzies! Crud asks Bristol’s Hazel Winter, Where’s Your Head At?
New album ‘Situation Normal Then’ released January 2009. 29/12/2008
Hazel Winter was a sometime member of Bristol’s cult indie-boys and Peel favourites The Blue Aeroplanes through the 90s and is now as she was then and before a striking solo artiste. Her forthcoming record ‘Situation Normal Then’ is a cathartic and hypnotic blend of coarse English folk and unapologetic, splintering garage blues, like evil black-sheep twin sister of Maddy Prior and early PJ Harvey. In fact, so alarmingly visceral is she, trembling tonsils and maxed-out throaty intensity, that she practically makes Polly Jean sound like a coy Katie Melua. It’s a truly engaging and bewitching collection that lets up for not one lone second. It will see light of day in January and you’d be advised to make her a new year’s resolution. And given her name is so seasonally appropriate it would be a shame not to subject her to some festive questions…
Have you been a good girl?
Are you talking to me or is there a dog in the room? Will chocolate treats be involved?
What was last Christmas album you bought?
Can’t remember that far back. Downloaded the last Richard Thompson album a few months ago….couple of fantastic tracks on there; ‘Dad’s Gonna Kill Me’ and ‘Johnny’s Far Away”. Utter genius.
What was the last Christmas movie you saw?
‘Wizard of Oz’ probably. I like the bit where she opens the door and it goes from black and white into Technicolor. I felt like that first time I saw a bloke playing 32/20 blues in the Welly Club in Hull in 1980, and I knew I was going to be a guitarist.
What are you most looking forward to about Christmas?
Going home to Durham and walking in the woods near where I grew up. It’s a medieval hanging ground and there’s a Bronze-age burial mound…it’s remote and beautiful, especially gorgeous if it snows.
What do you hate about Christmas?
Nothing particularly, although I’d be a bit more enthusiastic if there was a new series of House in the offing.
Who are you willing to the Christmas number 1 spot?
I neither know nor care.
How’s your Christmas shopping going?
Don’t do much of that. Gift-giving is mainly blotted out by feeding frenzy in the Winter enclave.
Top moment of 2008?
Hearing an elderly bloke at a poetry reading in Bristol describing his anal probe in verse. Utterly fantastic.
What are your plans for next year?
Making more videos. Got a few ideas for some of the other songs on the album. Sitting in front of a computer manipulating images to my songs rather than lugging a fender twin in and out of a transit van at 4 o’clock in the morning is feeling increasingly attractive.
Former guitarist with Bristol’s wildly-underrated 90’s indie types Blue Areoplanes, Hazel Winter has since gone on to release three albums of noirish guitar blues that pits her somewhere between the claustrophobic goth rock of Nick Cave and PJ Harvey’s acerbic punk roots. ‘Midwich Sleep On’ is the lead track from her third album ‘Situation Normal Then’ which is released in early January. It’s brutal, uncompromising and intelligent punk that finds itself sat comfortably alongside flourishes of Gallic folk.
Former Blue Aeroplane and one of Bristol’s most cherished musicians Hazel Winter releases her brand new album ‘Situation Normal Then’ on the 12th January 2009. Having previously released two solo albums to wide-spread critical acclaim, Hazel Winter joins forces with familiar Bristol cohort (Adrian Utley, Portishead, who looked after much of the production duties) to pen an album of nourish guitar blues and raucous folk rock.
Alongside Bristol-based fiddler Gina Griffin, banjo player Joff Lowson, and her sister Trish Winter and her band of Northumbrian folksters by the name of Horseplay, Hazel has set about creating a wildly powerful and uncompromising new album. Comment on this Article With Instruments including Northumbrian pipes, mandolin, wooden flute, medieval side drum and that traditional North Eastern heritage instrument, the Didgeridoo, the songs of ‘Situation Normal Then’ were recorded over 2 separate weekends 18 months apart; one was produced by Adrian Utley and the other by Hazel Winter.
Hazel Winter, a former member of Bristol indie band Blue Aeroplanes, has already released two solo albums which somehow crept underneath the Devil’s radar. So I’m glad I finally caught up with her. Her abrasive folk rock hybrid lies somewhere between PJ Harvey, Kristin Hersh, Janis Joplin and The White Stripes and, as you’d expect from such a list of comparators, is incredibly captivating and irresistible. Her third album ‘Situation Normal Then’ is due to be released in January and is likely to be one of the most intriguing of the year.