Video Premiere: The Hanging Stars “Black Light Night”

Photo credit: Julian Hand

Check out the captivating video for ‘Black Light Night’, the latest single from London’s The Hanging Stars.  Swirling instrumental layers wrap around Richard Olson’s dreamily hypnotic voice as we take a sonic journey into the cosmos.  Thrumming bass from Sam Ferman and Paulie Cobra’s powerful drums provide a base from which everything else can lift off.  Featuring mesmerising pedal steel from Joe Harvey-Whyte and soaring, melodic guitar from Patrick Ralla, the song rises on psychedelic currents, an ethereal vocal tune leading us high and low, twisting through a bleak, epic comedown: “Maybe it’s only a dream? // Maybe it’s not what it seems // The sun is sinking low // Upon my unmade bed // I want the third one more // Than I did the first.”  The remote studio in which the song was recorded hangs onto a cliff overlooking the North Sea and ‘Black Light Night’ captures something of that remarkable isolation and the endless tides below.  Julian Hand’s video takes us on an atmospheric road-trip with The Hanging Stars, a fevered journey in which wide-open spaces, industrial landscapes and moody images of the band flicker, flex, distort and bleed into one another.  It’s an effective accompaniment to a song that transports us away.

Frontman Richard Olson describes the video: “Shot through a widescreen lens of phased guitars, driving drums and celestial strings while overlooking a sunset so enthralling that space and time went out the window for just a little short while.  In spite of the bucolic setting of the Clashnarrow studio in the Scottish highlands we still managed to conjure up just a little bit of the claustrophobia, horror and paranoia that lies at the spirit of the lyrics. The lyrics in turn refer to the morning after a particularly long night at our main hangout in London, The Betsey Trotwood.  The wistful tune with a thousand yard stare was written by guitarist Patrick Ralla and had been doing the rounds with us for a good while, but it wasn’t until I stumbled upon some lyrics hidden far and deep down in my notebook it started to make sense.  When we were tracking the last few bits on the song Edwyn Collins turned up from his home down the hill.  All he said was ‘Radio 1’.”

The song is taken from the band’s fourth album, ‘Hollow Heart’, which is due for release on Loose Music on 25th March 2022.  You can expect more soothing harmonies and psychedelic explorations in a blissful blend of cosmic country and contemporary folk.  In the meantime, dream away through the ‘Black Light Night’.

Watch out for The Hanging Stars on tour across the UK this year, dates below:

April 8th – Moth Club, London
April 24th – High Wycombe, Ramblin Roots
April 30th / May  1st – Kilkenny (RI) Kilkenny Roots Festival
May 5th – Manchester, Gullivers
May 6th – Colchester, Three Wise Monkeys
May 13th – Newport, Le Pub
May 27th – Liverpool, St Michael in the Hamlet Church
June 5th – Portsmouth, The Wedgwood Rooms
July 2nd – Easton,  Maverick Festival

About Andrew Frolish 1453 Articles
From up north but now hiding in rural Suffolk. An insomniac music-lover. Love discovering new music to get lost in - country, singer-songwriters, Americana, rock...whatever. Currently enjoying Nils Lofgren, Ferris & Sylvester, Tommy Prine, Jarrod Dickenson, William Prince, Frank Turner, Our Man in the Field...
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Alan Peatfield

To my ears, a hint of Teenage Fan Club and more than a dollop of Dan Wylie’s Cosmic Rough Riders. Very enjoyable, thank you.