The UK may have missed out on Shilough Hopwood’s music.
Americana UK guest writer Paul Harding shares his great sadness that he recently heard of the passing of Shilough Hopwood, the leader and songwriter for the band Honeychurch, on 21st September 2023.
He first heard Honeychurch in the My Space days following a link I saw on the Mojave 3 site and was immediately struck by the beauty of the music coming from my speakers. The earlier tracks were sometimes described as slow-core and melancholic but what was also clear was the quality of the songwriting and harmony.
Shilough started writing under the Honeychurch name in the late 90’s with Larissa Hopwood joining in 1999 and Tim Kratz on slide and b-bender in 2001. Drummer Greg Millward was from Doncaster in England.
They released two albums, one compilation and a couple of EPs, each release growing in confidence and when ‘Will You Be There With Me’ was released in 2012 I was struck by the beauty of the songwriting, playing and production. The album just simply oozes class.
The first album, named ‘Makes Me Feel Better’ was released in 2004. There had been an EP ‘Calling Me Home’ in 2001. ‘Makes Me Feel Better’ isn’t that easy to find but I have seen copies on Discogs. Some tracks from this album are also found on the compilation ‘Early Times – 2001 – 2004’ which was released in 2008.
Honeychurch is not that well known in the UK but their music deserved a wider audience. Through the songs, Shilough Hopwood will always be remembered. Giving them a listen is highly recommended.