The Baby Seals have had their busiest year yet. They’ve squeezed all of the annual leave out of their work places and poured themselves into Kerry’s car, ready and primed to hit the great gig venues of the United Kingdom and northern Europe. They have secured some excellent festival slots, at Femrock Fest Brighton, Derbyshire’s Indietracks and Loud Women Fest III. They’ve sold out of the first run of their self-titled EP and are releasing a special edition, which will help raise funds for Bloody Good Period. Last but not least, the band will be setting off on their first tour of the European mainland. They’ve landed gigs in Duisberg, Köln, Antwerp and Amsterdam amongst others.
They kicked-off (geddit) their summer with a headline slot at Femrock Fest Brighton, sharing the bill with Sit Down, Charmpit and Militant Girlfriend. Brighton’s Finest described the band’s performance as “Body positivity and patriarchy smashing, they made me genuinely laugh, and also cry at the overwhelming feeling of solidarity amongst the crowd.”
Hoping to replicate this feeling, they’re heading towards a slot at the coveted Indietracks festival in Derbyshire. Catch them at the Church stage on the Sunday sharing a bill with Sink Ya Teeth, Lovely Eggs and Dream Wife. In anticipation of this, the band have been invited to two warm-up gigs, in Cambridge and Ipswich respectively.
Onto August, the seals will be turning their attention to Rebellion Punk Festival in Blackpool, after a night of supporting Dream Nails in Manchester and Leeds. When questioned, the seals said they were intending to simultaneously smash the patriarch whilst ramming candyfloss down their gobs. I don’t know about you, but we’re excited to see how that plays out.
Last, but by no means least, The Baby Seals have been invited to return to Loud Women Fest. This will be the third incarnation of the London-based Female LGBTQ organisation’s fabulous festival. Catch it at The Dome in Tufnell Park.
Special edition EP
Having sold out of the original run, the seals have released a special edition of their debut EP which includes Masturbation Month inspired-track Vibrator. The band have teamed up with Bloody Good Period, who supply menstrual supplies to asylum seekers, refugees and those who can’t afford them. 10% of all proceeds from the special edition EP will go to this important organisation.
Empowerpop European Tour
Everyone knows that all good tours start with a good warm-up. At The Blue Moon on 14 October, The Baby Seals will be headlining, for the first time in Cambridge, UK this year with support from the excellently named DoYouThinkHeSaurus?. Once they’ve recovered from that, the girls are starting their European mainland tour in Folkstone, before heading over the waters to Djazz in Duisberg on Saturday 20 October. With a currently TBC stopover in Amsterdam on the 19th, before heading to play in Bielefeld, Germany on Tuesday 23rd. The countdown to the weekend begins Thursday 25th at Juz in Manheim and then Friday 26th at Illusion in Bamberg. Saturday 27th sees the seals play their penultimate gig in Köln at Limes before they head off to Antwerp on Sunday 28th for the final date of the tour.
Forthcoming Live Dates:
24 July / Cambridge / The Blue Moon (w/ The Smittens)
27-29 July / Indie Tracks Festival Derby
3 August / Wharf Chambers Leeds (w/ Dream Nails)
4 August / The Peer Hat (w/ Dream Nails) Manchester
5 August / Rebellion Punk Festival Blackpool
11 August / Smokehouse / Ipswich (w/ Shark Muffin)
“A deeply atmospheric cut, echoes the soft darkness of Daughter.” - DIY
Following spellbinding performances at Cambridge Folk Festival and Secret Garden Party last summer Kerry Devine announces the release of her debut album ‘Away From Mountains’ on 11 May via Trapped Animal.
‘Away From Mountains’ is profoundly inspired by the Fenland landscape and the stillness and history that inhabit the ancient and wild fens in the East of England. As Devine expands: “When you’re there and you're still you can hear so many different sounds, so many different layers, so I wanted to create something that sounded like that, that had the depth and the richness but also very sparse. This place comforts me, I wanted to create a kind of sound womb that the listener could come into and be comforted too.”
Recorded live in the stillness of night in an empty Northamptonshire church the album exudes a haunting quality. Inspired by artists such as John Martyn, Devine’s ethereal vocal – which has raised comparisons to Beth Orton – is used as an instrument, interweaved with simmering strings and acoustic guitar. A self-proclaimed audiophile ‘Away From Mountains’ also includes samples of nature and sounds of human existence such as trains pulling up and old barrels being played as drums.
Lyrically nature is also omnipresent throughout 'Away From Mountains', often used as subtle metaphors for Devine’s own inner conflicts married with themes of nostalgia, death and rebirth and the passage of time. Lines in the Landscape, for example, chronicles how the Fenland fields once belonged to the sea, but since banishment by drainage there's a foreboding sense of pull-push between land and water. In parallel, the song deals with unrequited love, of falling for someone who isn’t falling for you and the sense of being stuck in an emotional no-man’s land just like the water. Closed Roads deals with the death of a friendship and also the aging and dementia of Devine's Grandfather with reflections on the cycle of life.
Over the last 18 months, Devine has been honing her sound whilst playing live with performances at Fête De La Music Festival in Rennes, France and UK festivals such as aforementioned Secret Garden Party and Cambridge Folk Festival. She has also performed various shows across Ireland and the UK including a performance at Royal Albert Hall’s Elgar Room as support to Nadine Shah and Eliza and the Bear. She has garnered early support from Amazing Radio (“An amazing talent far beyond her years. A haunting melodic sound.”), BBC Radio Cambridge and BBC Radio 2, with Mark Radcliffe including Devine’s music in his Folk Playlist 2017.
Following the successful release of album teasers Work You (as premiered on DIY) and Vehicle which was released as a double-a side single with Maija Sofia, both out in January this year, Devine’s long-player 'Away From Mountains' will be released on 11 May (12” vinyl/CD/digital) via Trapped Animal. The album was recorded in Fotheringhay Church in Oundle Northamptonshire by Jes Kerr, who also mixed the record, and mastered at Metropolis, with the exception of Work You which was produced by Benny Turner and Closed Roads which was recorded by Benny Turner at Chime Studios in Peterborough.
'Flowers' / 'Vehicle'; Trapped Animal double a-side super ltd edition 7" ft Kerry Devine & Maija Sofia + Irish tour dates
We're chuffed to bits to announce a very special (super) limited edition 7" Vinyl split
The 7", features 'Flowers' by Irish singer Maija Sofia & 'Vehicle' by Kerry Devine.
Maija Sofia, recently appearing on the cover of the Irish Independent Review as one of Ireland’s young ‘future makers’, has been captivating listeners with her dark, fairytale, lyricism since the release of her first single ‘Cosmonaut.' An artist who Trapped Animal invited to perform at a number of their club nights in London last year, naturally as Trapped Animal has grown into a record label, they have looked to release Maija's music and are extremely excited to help release 'Flowers' to the world.
Maija says: "The lyrics of Flowers came to me on a four hour train journey through Wales after reading Angela Carter's 'The Bloody Chamber'. It's an intensely personal song about trauma and violence, ironically - it's also the most poppy song I've ever written. It was my first time recording with a full band, I wanted to disguise the darkness of the lyrics under a sort of Phil Spector girl-group style wall of sound."
Following on from spellbinding performances around the UK and at this year’s Cambridge Folk Festival and the final ever Secret Garden Party, Kerry Devine announces the release of the single 'Vehicle', taken from her forthcoming debut album 'Away From Mountains', releasing April 2018 on Trapped Animal
‘Away From Mountains’ is profoundly inspired by the Fenland landscape and the stillness and history that inhabit the ancient, wild fens in the East of England. ‘Work You’, the first single taken from ‘Away From Mountains’ was filmed at one of these dark and mystical locations - Woodwalton Fen.
Both Kerry and Maija will be appearing on bills together in Ireland this January with UK dates tba.