Monday, June 20, 2022

Bella Union

 Around 2012 I stumbled upon a compilation titled 'White Winter Hymnals - 15 brilliant tracks from the Bella Union Label', my brother had a copy, it was one of those Uncut Magazine compilations, this one however was something special, each and every track on this mixtape seemed to have been carefully & thoughtfully curated and I remember being blown away by what I heard, the voices, sounds and textures, one song after the other, artist after artist, so blown away in fact that I had this sense we were entering into a new 'golden age' of music. The compilation featured and introduced me to the likes of Fleet Foxes, Midlake, Explosions in the Sky, Andrew Bird, Vetiver, Beach House to name a few, and since then I had filled my cup with M Ward, John Grant and Father John Misty, artists who I took an immediate liking to. 

Little did my 23 year old self back then know that someday I would be joining that very family of incredible artists, and it gives me the greatest pleasure to announce that I've officially signed with Bella Union, and I couldn't be happier to have found the perfect home and family for my work. It is indeed a truly beautiful union and I can only look forward to the journey ahead!

Bella Union will be releasing all three of my previous solo records in the form of limited edition vinyl pressings through their new imprint Private Pressings which will be consecutively released in readiness for the incoming 4th full length album which is well underway!

My heartfelt thanks and appreciation to a wonderful human being and friend, the immensely talented Simon Raymonde, and the Bella Union family for taking in this small town South African boy.

Thank you to each and every one of you who have supported and shared in this journey with me from the beginning, may the music continue to reach and touch even more hearts!

Thanks to my beautiful supportive, creative family for sharing the gift of life with me, I am so grateful to have you all by my side.

For now, head on over to Bella Union and get yourself the limited red vinyl edition of 'A Child's Chant for the New Millennium' pressed by DeepGrooves, the greenest vinyl pressing plant in the world! 

Wednesday, May 18, 2022

Child's Chant for the New Millennium Limited Red Vinyl Edition Out Now on Bella Union

Limited Red Vinyl Edition Out Now on Bella Union
“Absolutely thrilled to be putting out ‘A Child’s Chant for the New Millennium’ with Bella Union! At the end of 2019 through early 2020 I buried myself amongst instruments, wires, synths, guitars and whatever I could get my hands on, I lost myself in the layering of textures, sounds and vocal overtones, armed with the scribbles of a couple new songs, ‘A Child’s Chant’ was born”.

Hailing from the South-east coast of Kwazulu-Natal, South Africa, Wren Hinds grew up with a musician for a father and a landscape painter for a mother. As a kid, watching h
is dad recording and overdubbing inspired Wren to keep a tape recorder with him, recording whatever and wherever he could. Later, he would compare the layering of instruments and textures to the mediums and paints of his mother’s chosen artform. For Wren, songwriting became “painting with sound”, using light, shade and a sense of space to communicate powerful impressions and feelings.

Wren brought this schooling to gorgeous fruition across his first three albums, initially available on Bandcamp and now released on vinyl through Bella Union Private Pressings. Made with an eco-friendly manufacturing company, each record will be available as a special edition limited to 200 copies, available through mail order and the Bella Union store. Either way, the trilogy plots the growth curve of a major talent, released in readiness for the now Bella Union-signed artist’s incoming fourth album. The first of the three retroactive releases will be “A Child’s Chant For The New Millennium”.

"I wanted to start releasing some brand new artists via our new imprint Private Pressing, a limited vinyl-only eco-friendly edition, working with DeepGrooves who claim to be 'the world's greenest pressing plant'. These pressings will be limited to 200-300 copies and only available through the artists' Bandcamp pages, our own vinyl and online store". - Simon Raymonde (Bella Union)

Wren Hinds brought fresh thematic cogency to his third album, recorded in early 2020. The linking matter is his unerring ability to apply himself to each new situation, in this case a longing for connection – to humanity, nature – in a world tilted towards digital disconnection. While the lockdowns intensified the album’s dystopian fears, the beauty and artistry in Wren’s songcraft counterpoint the shadows eloquently. The title-track laments “digital modification” over gamelan-ish flutters across six delicate minutes. All spectral voices and pining, ‘Sign of Life’ yearns for “some act of human kindness” to a wind-caressed cowboy lollop. ‘The Pearl’ longs for blissful quietude, while ‘Wrenbird’ evokes Sam Beam at his dreamiest. ‘River’s Song’ adds soft, sure layers of accordion and guitar, before ‘The Path’ marshals misty harmonies and finger-picked guitar for a gentle declaration of resistance. “Bang your freedom drum,” sings Wren, mapping out a singular path with understated assurance.














“A Child’s Chant For The New Millennium” is available HERE

Monday, April 11, 2022

Live Filmed Performance of 'A Child's Chant for the New Millennium' - An Aesthetically Breathtaking Production















  




Thank you to each and every one of you beautiful people for coming out to Saturday night's live filmed performance of the show 'A Child's Chant for the New Millennium' in Cape Town! It was truly a special evening! 

The full performance will premier for online audiences on the 14th May along with a very special Bella Union release announcement!

Thanks to ConcertsSA, SAMRO and The Norwegian Embassy for supporting the production and making it all possible.

To the amazing team who worked tirelessly behind the scenes in putting together such an aesthetically breathtaking production, I am ever so grateful to you for your enthusiasm and perfectionism, I love you guys!

Wednesday, March 23, 2022

Digital Mobility Fund 2022 Live Filmed Performance in Cape Town

South African Singer songwriter and producer, Wren Hinds will embark on a one-night only live filmed performance of his new show, 'A Child's Chant for the New Millennium'. The performance takes place on Saturday 9th April in the exquisite Sun Temple on the mountainside of the Southern Peninsula in Cape Town, South Africa and will feature songs from all three of the songwriter's acclaimed solo albums. The initiative is supported by ConcertsSA, The Norwegian Embassy, SAMRO and IKS Cultural Consulting as part of the Digital Mobility Fund #DMF2022.

In 2021, Wren Hinds’ solo work caught the attention of British record label Bella Union (Fleet Foxes, M.Ward, Father John Misty, Beach House) and subsequently, the UK label has signed a record deal with the South African songwriter which will encompass the release of all three backlog albums as well as future works by Hinds to be released on the Bella Union label.

Set between the Indian ocean and the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal, Hinds was raised in an artistic household and was greatly influenced by the works of his artist mother, his father and elder brothers who all happen to be musicians, as well as his uncle, a prolific poet and lyricist. It was in this environment that his inclination to music was enhanced and encouraged by his fathers song writing and recording in the ‘family studio’. The beauty and tranquillity of these surrounds combined with a familial synergy were to become an emblematic factor in the creative evolution of Wren Hinds.

This is a filmed event and the audience will be part of the production which will premier on the 14th May 2022.

http://concertssa.co.za www.facebook.com/ConcertsSA https://twitter.com/ConcertsSAhttps://www.instagram.com/concertssa

#ConcertsSA, #DMF2022

Wednesday, June 30, 2021

Faber Alt


I am overjoyed to announce the recent signing of a full publishing deal with London based
Faber Alt publishing- a division of Faber Music. Check out the full story here 

“Wren Hinds is an incredibly talented songwriter who has the rare ability to write excellently crafted songs that already feel like established classics. As soon as we heard his music, we knew he was a perfect fit for Faber Alt. and it’s an absolute pleasure to welcome him to our roster.” - Lucy Holliday (Head of A&R, Faber Alt)

Hailing from the small town of Ramsgate along the tropical east coast of South Africa, singer songwriter and producer, Wren Hinds delivers a lush, textured and honest approach to crafting songs with a reflective lyrical sensibility that communicates deep profundity.

Set between the Indian ocean and the rolling hills of KwaZulu-Natal, Hinds was raised in an artistic household and was greatly influenced by the works of his artist mother, his father and elder brothers who all happen to be musicians, as well as his uncle, a prolific poet and lyricist. It was in this environment that his inclination to music was enhanced and encouraged by his fathers song writing and recording in the ‘family studio’. The beauty and tranquillity of these surrounds combined with a familial synergy were to become an emblematic factor in the creative evolution of Wren Hinds.

The story begins in 1850 where two brothers from London found themselves shipwrecked off the coast of South Africa en route to Australia, instead of pursuing their journey toward the south pacific, the brothers settled and married in South Africa and made the remarkable African landscape their home.

A few generations down the line, Wren’s father, Kevin Hinds begins his music career in Johannesburg in the 1960’s, first as a harmony duo with his brother, under the name The Hinds Brothers. Although this unity lasted only a few years there were remnants of their brief collaboration in the form of live recordings made and archived by David Marks, both in his lounge and at the South Africa Folk Festival. On an LP entitled ‘Cross Section’ the brothers were featured alongside South African greats such as Johnny Clegg, Mike Dickman and the Kitchen Bros.

In the 1970's, during some of South Africa’s most violent and tumultuous years, Kevin Hinds went on to record 5 seven singles for CBS and EMI Records and continued performing as a solo artist, back then, sadly, due to political upheaval, civil unrest and international sanctions, the South African music industry was very closed off from the rest of the world, and it wasn’t easy for a South African artist to get exposure internationally.

A generation later, from 2009, The Hinds Brothers ‘return’ in the form of Wren Hinds and his elder brother Aden Hinds- delivering close, haunting, brotherly harmonies in the tradition of the family bands of old, such as The Carter Family, The Stanley Brothers, The Everly Brothers and the Louvin Brothers (among some of their favourite records they’d listen to as children), and true to this tradition, this new incarnation of The Hinds Brothers continued to make a vibrant contribution to this genre. In 2012, The brothers went on to record and release their very first album, ‘Ocean of Milk’, which, after two years in the making, received a South African Music Award nomination for best adult contemporary album of 2014.

At around the same time, Wren formed a duo with ambient songstress and long time friend, Faye Oakes, and subsequently released two albums, ‘Volume One’ in 2013 and the self-titled ‘Faye and Wren’ in 2018.

From 2012 onwards, Wren Hinds had been building up a steady backlog of solo recordings which never saw the light of day until the first Bandcamp release in the summer of 2018 of ‘Tragedy Hill’, his debut full length solo album- a raw and intricate web of warm vocals, thoughtful lyrics and a simplistic layering of textures made up of the old family piano, an array of his favourite guitars and bowed strings, all recorded at his Durban studio. “Creating a song or a piece of music feels, to me, like the act of surrendering to the unravelling of the unknown, somewhat like painting with sound, it’s an honest and natural process, just witnessing how this creation evolves into the most unexpected beauty and sometimes, chaos.”

In March 2020, while the world slipped into turmoil and uncertainty, Hinds self released his second solo album, ‘A Thousand Hearts’, this time working closely with his uncle and lyricist, Keith Erasmus on two stand out tracks, ‘Sadness in the Wind’, and ‘A Thousand Hearts’. Hinds and Erasmus have developed a writing relationship in similar vein to the ‘Elton John, Bernie Taupin’ approach. ‘A Thousand Hearts’ is a journey of it’s own, with ten gorgeous compositions, again with the simple yet tastefully layered textures all backed by the strength of song writing which was ever so present in his debut solo album.

In September of 2020, Wren Hinds goes on to release his third solo album in the form of a seven track EP, ‘A Child’s Chant for the New Millennium’, a handful of songs recorded in his childhood home, highlighted by yet another noteworthy writing union with Keith Erasmus on the opening three tracks. ‘A Child’s Chant for the New Millennium’ is a title that speaks for itself, the haunting lyrical content tackles everything society is facing in a seemingly upside-down era.

In 2021, Wren Hinds’ solo work caught the attention of record producer and musician Simon Raymonde of Bella Union, and subsequently, the British label has signed a recording deal with the South African songwriter which will encompass the release of all three backlog albums in vinyl format as well as future works by Hinds to be released on the Bella Union label.

In a relatively short career, all the while flying under the radar with a rather low profile, Wren Hinds has proven to be a prolific songwriter, producer and composer, and an artist that is definitely worth keeping an eye on.


Thursday, May 27, 2021

Incantations

Almost halfway through 2021 and life seems to be steering me into some of the most amazing and unexpected places, guiding and pulling me into a world where a year ago, I would have never expected to find myself. I am not yet able to share or disclose any further information on the matter at hand just yet (Perhaps in the next few weeks I will be able to share some, and if not, all of the good news). 



In April 2021, the Southern African Music Rights Organization offered funding for eligible artists to create an album of new works, I applied for the project and a few weeks later I got the go ahead to begin the project, I immediately knew that I wanted to create something completely different to my usual work as a singer-songwriter, and began the process of conceptualizing a truly South African instrumental, leaning on traditional 'zulu guitar' record, I also knew that I had to release this album under a different name, mostly as I don't really want someone to hear this record and forever more think that Wren Hinds is an instrumental maskandi guitarist, I'm not at all, but I did grow up in KwaZulu, which must've ingrained the sound of the landscape and the history of this land right into the very fibre of my being, it's almost as if I got the chance to channel some great and wise ancestor who simply used me to express the soundscapes within the record.

My friend Andre Swart, an immensely talented photographer out of Durban sent me the perfect shot for the album cover, a typical scene from the Transkei, a kid standing looking right at the camera outside his family's wattle and daub hut, overlooking the majestic landscape of the Kei. - I am truly grateful to Andre for always being so enthusiastic and keen on collaborating with his photographs, he is a gem of a human being and an eternal friend.

'Incantations' takes the listener on a journey through the   sounds of the 'African guitar' and follow's in the tradition of   great mentors and ancestors in the maskandi lineage such as   King of the Zulu Guitar, Madala Kunene. It is an album of   invocation, initiation and exploration through the healing and   naturally 'psychedelic' approach to music by our fore-bearers,   it is medicine music and it truly embodies the culture of   Southern Africa.

Incantations is available HERE.

Thursday, February 11, 2021

The Dance of Life

The Dance of Life - new single is out today 12.02.2021.

I spent the start of 2021 immersed in my studio, armed with a plethora of synthesizers, stringed instruments and a choir within, I've been working on a bunch of new songs and this is the first offering, 'The Dance of Life'- another collaboration with lyricist/poet Keith Erasmus. I am so looking forward to the unfolding of a new collection of songs, and it always brings me such joy to share my art with the world.

Stream/Download the single
HERE

Full discography available at wrenhinds.bandcamp.com

Support future projects wrenhinds.blogspot.com

Cover photography by Keith Erasmus.