“That’s nicely done, honestly Joe, I really like that… I don’t mean to blow smoke up your thingy, but it’s a really lovely piece of music” – Adrian Chiles, BBC Radio 5 Live
“From Teesside band Cattle & Cane, that’s Joe Hammill whose excellent solo EP is released soon” – Tom Robinson, BBC Radio 6 Music
“Breathtakingly beautiful” – York Calling
“Joseph’s debut is as powerful as it is intimate, ranging from a supple, poignant beginning to an epic mythical-esque anthem. Joseph’s vocal delivery rides the waves beautifully and brings the emotion of the lyrics to the fore. Pretty much an all round stunner.” – Fresh On The Net
“One of the most confidently existential songs we’ve heard and we can’t help but be intrigued.” – Ear To The Ground
“There’s no denying that he has that magic that makes a singer/songwriter memorable and magnetic to us all music lovers” – Wolf In A Suit
Singer-songwriter Joseph Hammill releases his debut solo EP on Friday 19th October 2018. Best known for his band Cattle & Cane and co-writes with the likes of Lucy Spraggan, Alice On The Roof & Tessa Dixson, Joseph’s solo project is inspired by the industrial heritage and history of his native Teesside. The EP’s title track ‘Infant Hercules’ has already become an anthem for the Tees Valley region with huge support from the local media and impressively, the lyrics are printed inside the collar of Middlesbrough FC’s home shirt for the 2018/19 season:
“To have my lyrics printed on the Boro shirt is a real privilege. That definitely wasn’t something I thought would happen when writing it!” exclaimed Joseph.
“I feel Teesside should be celebrated. There’s so much in our history that we should be phenomenally proud of. I love the hard-working ‘get on with it’ attitude of this area and I tried to get that across in the song” said Joseph.
“I like songs that make you want to push your chest out with pride. I hope people from Teesside and beyond feel that with this song,” added Joseph.
“There’s something about the area that you can’t quite identify in words, I guess spirit would be the closest I can get. It’s not just locally that Infant Hercules seems to resonate, though. Playing it across the UK in places like Sheffield, Cardiff and Manchester too, you really sense that people embrace our spirit,” explained Joseph.
Being a previous recipient of both the prestigious Alan Hull Award for North East Song-Writing and the respected Graeme Miles Bursary, Joseph is building on the great tradition of North East storytellers, with the EP bringing to mind such luminaries as The Unthanks and much-missed Teesside troubadour Vin Garbutt.
As well as ‘Infant Hercules’, the EP features three brand new tracks including ‘I Am Yours’, which has picked up airplay from Tom Robinson on BBC Radio 6 Music as well as plenty of support from the BBC Introducing team. As Joseph explains, “I A Yours was written in Saltburn, looking out to the cliffs and sea.” He added, “the song is imagined from the perspective of the town, what it has given and had taken. Its mixture of ancient and new. Its losses and its gains.”
The EP also includes a duet with Abi Alton, ‘Lead Me To The Water’, and the acoustic ballad ‘Home To Be Loved’. Whilst Hammill’s critically acclaimed band Cattle & Cane continue to prepare for the upcoming recording of their 3rd album, Joseph’s solo project allows him to explore his Teesside roots and call upon his folk and traditional influences.