Beth Jeans Houghton butters you up
"Hot Toast Vol 1" (21 September, Static Caravan) is the latest release from Beth Jeans Houghton, the Newcastle singer who, to paraphrase The Guardian, joins the dots between Gwen Stefani and Vashti Bunyan. Following the acclaimed single 'Golden', this release introduces Beth’s band, The Hooves Of Destiny. In no particular order, they are Dav ‘Lego’ Shiel on keys, Rory ‘Grove’ Gibson on lefty bass and Findlay ‘Vivian’ Euan Nimmo MaCaskill on violin.
Produced by Tunng’s Mike Lindsay, an old friend and touring buddy, the EP was recorded in his Play Studios, East London, in May. Its five tracks, says Beth, are “about riding the back of stained glass glory towards the war between modern day idiocy and the divine matrix.” In more detail:
“The first track, 'I Will Return, I Promise', is about the moment when Wilson the football finally floats away from Tom hanks in Castaway. That always wrenches the fucking guts out of me.”
“'Cruel Francis' is about my old mandolin player, Frank Conway. We used to take ballet classes together in our local church but he ditched me to make sweet love to his sitar, so I burned down his house.”
“'Hot Toast' sounds like it's about a man. But it is really a metaphor for me giving up all things bread related the day I found out I was wheat intolerant.”
“'Anne Cramb' is about a lady and her bench.”
“Last but not least is 'Lilyputt, AKA Hooves Of The Sun'. It's about running away from a guy with really big hair and having to take my shoes off to go faster.”
Beth Jeans Houghton has been playing guitar since the age of 16. She’s only 19 now. In the meantime, she’s supported Tunng and Tinariwen, hobnobbed with Vetiver, John Martyn, Bon Iver and Joanna Newsome and recorded a single, Golden/Nightswimmer with Adem.
An album is, of course, on the way, and is being produced by Ben Hillier, the production mastermind behind Elbow’s Cast Of Thousands, Doves’s Some Cities and Blur’s Think Tank. “Originally, I wasn't sure how Ben and my music would fit together, but it does and I can't wait to get back to his cave,” says Beth. “He looks like Mr. Bean, rides a bike, and helps me pass on love notes to cute guys in cafe's.”
Fans should expect the unexpected: Beth Jeans Houghton is not one to sit still for too long. “I tend not to worry too much about creating music. If I make a mistake on one record, I learn from it and do something different on the next. I plan to dip my toes into many genres before I quit this mortal coil. I don't define my music and I try not to let music define me. We are two separate entities but we get together for a shindig once in a while – and I intend to keep it that way.”
Catch Beth Jeans Houghton with her Hooves Of Destiny at the following places this summer:
21 Aug GREEN MAN FESTIVAL, Wales
29 Aug ELECTRIC ELEPHANT, Croatia
30 Aug REGENTS PARK, London (with Tunng)
5 Sep MOSELEY FOLK FESTIVAL, Birmingham
21 Sep THE PHOENIX, Exeter
23 Sep SLAUGHTERED LAMB, London – EP Launch!