Newfamiliar have arrived with their debut single ‘How Can I?, despite being in their infancy they have already acquired a massive following. We caught up with Ryan to talk about all things from musical influences, newfamiliar and their debut single.
What’s the meaning behind ‘Newfamiliar’? How did it come about?
We came up with it in the South of Ireland at a pub in a town called Ballina, the name newfamiliar came out of a conversation about new beginnings.
Tell us a little bit about yourselves, what part do you play in the band?
Danny and Will are from Wakefield, they play guitar, piano and add the harmonies in our music. I’m (Ryan) a singer and lyricist from a town called Bangor just outside Belfast in Northern Ireland.
Who would you say are your biggest musical influences?
It’s really hard to pin this down, we draw influence from so many genres, probably Bon Iver, Bill Withers, Geoff Buckley, Newton Falkner, Paolo Nutini and Van Morrison to name a few.
Are there any particular songs or albums that you have enjoyed or been inspired by?
That’s tough, I would have to say ‘Grandma’s Hands’ and ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers, ‘Bon Iver’ by Flume and ‘Hand Built By Robots’ by Newton Faulkner are a few I’ve enjoyed and been inspired by.
You’ve just released your debut single ‘How Can I?’, what’s the idea behind it?
We were all losing someone in each of our individual family circles at the time. It was a very emotional song to write and in a way it’s almost an anticipation of how we and those around us would feel once our loved ones had passed away.
You say it’s about a life not being the same again, when we’re feeling fragile, vulnerable or alone; do you think this is something that is relatable, especially in the current climate?
It’s a story as old as time and sadly something that is relatable to everyone at some point in life.
It’s a pretty impressive debut single, what was the creative process like? How did it feel to record it?
It was first started in Will’s back room while he was at work. Danny and I were writing with a friend of ours Alfie Jackson. We wrote most of it in a few hours and just recorded a few voice memos of the idea. A few months later we were offered to stay in a boathouse on a really picturesque Loch in Scotland. We took some really basic recording equipment and wrote a few songs there. One afternoon we decided to finish writing ‘How Can I?’ and we recorded a really low Fi DIY version that heavily informed the sonic of the final production of this song and it’s now become a staple in our song.
A boathouse, with a picturesque view sounds lovely! Do you feel it’s important to write music about real life experiences that maybe some people shy away from?
I think it’s just naturally what we do, we write about what we know. Sometimes that means upsetting writing sessions but there is a feeling when creating something from raw emotion that transfers into the song that I believe people can feel and relate to when they hear it. I think ‘Lean On Me’ by Bill Withers is a great example of that.
Your debut to the world was at Radio 1’s Big Weekend last year, and your debut single ‘How Can I?’ has already had over 30,000 streams - that’s pretty mental, you’ve gotta be loving that right? What’s next for the band?
Yeah! Things feel good! We are just going to keep releasing music this year and see where it takes us.
Would you like to say anything else to our readers?
Keep an eye out for tour dates and keep your ears out for more new music.
The debut single ‘How Can I?’ is available on all major platforms now. It’s a debut single that you will no doubt be able to relate to and have a singalong to.
Article By Jenn Foster