ABOVE: HIGH HAZELS. PHOTO COURTESY OF RYAN LEE TURTON.
Born, raised, and currently based just outside of Sheffield, UK, High Hazels has the sound and energy to make anyone move. James Leesley (vocals and guitar) is joined by childhood friends and brothers Paul (bass) and Anthony Barlow (drums), as well as Scott Howes on lead guitar, who play together using as many vintage instruments as possible to create music with an unassuming, yet catchy tone.
“We try to keep things as uncluttered as possible, giving the music plenty of space,” Anthony says. “It’s drenched with major seventh chords that add a certain dreaminess.”
In the band’s upcoming single, “Banging on My Door,” the video for which we are pleased to debut here, Leesley sings, “Then a bad idea came banging on my door. I can hear it coming through the floorboards now.” This bad idea might reference a story about a girl, as the video certainly hints, although the band asserts that the music resulted from listening to The Velvet Underground and experimenting with sound.
“We wanted the initial riff to have a really lazy, almost drunken feel to it,” Anthony says. His brother Paul continues, “The simpler, the better.”
In the video, one watches as Leesley leaves his house and meets the rest of the band, who then continue to their practice space. It’s a simple narrative shot in black and white, which further accentuates Anthony’s suggestion of dreamy qualities. And while The Smiths, Simon & Garfunkel, The Shins, and Radiohead inspire the group of men, it’s less about the sound than one might think. “As much as their music influences us, I think it’s the ethos that influences us the most,” Anthony says.
HIGH HAZELS’ SELF-TITLED DEBUT ALBUM WILL BE RELEASED OCTOBER 27 VIA HEIST OR HIT RECORDS, AND THE SINGLE, “BANGING ON MY DOOR,” WILL BE RELEASED NOVEMBER 17. FOR MORE INFORMATION VISIT THE BAND’S WEBSITE.