With its combination of timeless songwriting, wholehearted emotion and fervent soul, newfamiliar established their huge potential with their debut track ‘How Can I?’. It accelerated to #1 on iTunes’ singer-songwriter chart and earned its first airplay via BBC Music Introducing. Building on that stellar introduction, newfamiliar today share their follow-up ‘Here For You’, which is out now via Atlas Artists / Parlophone. Listen HERE. Watch the lyric video HERE.
‘Here For You’ puts a fresh stance on the compassionate stance that newfamiliar explored with their debut track. It’s a straightforward message that while what has broken can’t be fixed, there’s someone on call to help you weather the storm.
Ryan Johnston’s vocals radiate with honesty and feeling to bring those words to life. Meanwhile, the music from his bandmates, Will Booth and Danny Hepworth, provides the space for the lyrics to hit home and the warmth to reiterate their power. The song builds skywards from plaintive acoustic guitar and uncluttered percussion to establish a richer sound that feels as if hope is finally beginning to emerge from despair.
Johnston commented, “‘Here For You’ is about empathy, it’s about simply being a shoulder to cry on when that is all someone needs in that moment. No words of advice, no explanations of how you came through something yourself, just listening and being there when someone truly needs you.”
‘Here For You’ was produced by Rich Cooper (Billie Marten) and written by Johnston and Cooper. It was mixed by Cenzo Townsend (Florence + The Machine, U2).
Originally from Belfast, Johnston met Booth and Hepworth through Wakefield’s creative scene. They have collaborated together in various projects, with newfamiliar representing the realisation of their collective potential. Even prior to the release of ‘How Can I?’ they made a big first impression when they were invited to play Radio 1’s virtual Big Weekend last year.
Their songwriting echoes some of the key traits of their influences. You can hear traces of Dermot Kennedy’s observational lyricism and his modern approach to the singer-songwriter tradition alongside some of Paolo Nutini’s characteristic soul. Their poignancy is a hallmark that they share with Fleet Foxes, while their rich live band sound also possesses the intimacy of early Bon Iver. Johnston compares their style to his favourite songwriter, Bill Withers: it’s about bravery rather than bravado, depth of feeling rather than dramatic theatrics.
Those influences are further explored in their new ‘Drift’ playlist at Spotify. It spans vital current artists such as Mac DeMarco, Celeste and Leon Bridges all the way back to Otis Redding, Al Green and Joni Mitchell.