Lessons in how to set tables don’t often feature in bands’ creation myths, but that was the catalyst that brought the core members of Liverpool’s King Hannah together. Guitarist Craig Whittle had first seen Hannah Merrick singing at a college band showcase. “I remember Hannah playing a song solo, just guitar and vocals, and I was blown away,” he told When the Horn Blows. But it wasn’t until several years later, when they were co-workers in a bar and she was instructing him in how to lay out cutlery, that he was finally able to persuade her to write songs with him.
It’s a good thing he did: their recently released debut EP, Tell Me Your Mind And I’ll Tell You Mine, is a slow-burning delight, Merrick’s smoky, hypnotic voice pitched somewhere between Hope Sandoval and Lana Del Rey, while Whittle provides the languorous, Kurt Vile-like guitar lines, most spectacularly on the Sharon Van Etten-endorsed Crème Brûlée. But while there’s an Americana feel to the music, Merrick’s lyrics stay closer to home: Meal Deal is about the difficulty of flat-hunting for the precariat. This reportage approach to writing is deliberate. “We don’t want to sound clean or polished,” says Whittle. “We want to sound real, and dynamic and authentic.”
Tell Me Your Mind and I’ll Tell You Mine is out now on City Slang