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is a musician from Johannesburg, South Africa. Performing with a guitar, synthesiser and loop-station Gil weaves a minimalist sound reminiscent of Beck, the Eels or Grandaddy. His songs move without falling into pathos while his skilled arrangements are a fascinating mix of folk, blues, indietronica.
In April 2014 Gil released his third album, Dolorous, on which his sound expanded from simple vocals and guitar to a larger production. His previous releases include All The Things (2013) and Too Early In The Journey (2011). All three can be found at gilhockman.bandcamp.com. You also can find plenty other tracks at soundcloud.com/gilhockman.
In 2013 Gil also composed his first film score for the documentary Fatherland and his songs won the Best Soundtrack award at the 2015 Fusion Audience Choice Awards for the film I Am Juli.
Growing up near the coastline of North Devon, Jess started writing songs inspired by the sea. However, a move to landlocked Oxford five years ago saw her quickly established on the local scene – her stunning clarity of voice capturing the imaginations of music fans, and appealing to a diverse audience, both young and old, cutting edge and traditionalist.
Jess comes from musical stock, her grandfather took a singing scholarship at New College in Oxford, and her father was a piano tuner and restorer during her youth filling up the house with pianos and harmoniums. Following in her grandfather’s footsteps Jess began singing at the age of 11 and trained classically to grade 8 in voice. It was always the folk element of exams and competitions that Jess enjoyed most but it was only many years later that she began writing her own folksy songs. The first was written just a few months before moving to Oxford for work.
New in the city Jess explored the many open mic nights the first of which was the Catweazle Club, a night remembered with fondness. Influenced by the music of Lisa Hannigan and Laura Veirs, Jess began to write more and soon had a small collection of songs. She sought out gigs, seeking a musical home for her gentle guitar style and clear vocals. Initially disinterested in the idea of recording her music, Jess became inspired by many of the Oxford artists that were capturing their sounds and sharing them in this fashion. She recorded her first EP ‘Red Jumper’ with her Uncle in Marlow. Having met Barney Morse-Brown of Duotone, Jess invited him to be part of the project to which he contributed cello.
The EP was launched in December 2011, Barney joined Jess on stage and the two have performed regularly together ever since. Following the release of the EP Jess was tipped as one to watch by Nightshift Magazine in 2012. That year she was also joined by James Cunning of We Aeronauts contributing accordion and backing vocals. It became a busy year, Hall played the notorious Nightshift ‘Punt’, the OCM open, appeared at Truck Festival courtesy of BBC Introducing in Oxford and opened for Sea of Bees as well as regular gigging around the city.
2012 also saw Hall begin to guest vocal with other local bands including Flights of Helios, Grudle Bay, and more recently August List. It was after a set with Flights of Helios at Wilderness Festival that Hall met Jon Ouin of Stornoway who was impressed with her vocals and soon afterwards expressed an interest in working with the singer. Jess’ debut album provided the perfect opportunity. Jess was already working with Barney who had agreed to produce and perform on the record. Jon joined the two both advising on arrangements and playing.
Jess’ debut album ‘Bookshelves’ was recorded and produced by Barney Morse-Brown in May 2013 in a cottage in the Oxfordshire countryside. Darren Fellerdale of Family Machine played double bass joined by Jess’ friends Lydia White and Anna Woodward who provided backing vocals. The album was mixed by former Peter Gabriel guitarist and Real World Music House Engineer Richard Evans.
Jess Hall launched her debut album “Bookshelves” on February 21st 2014 to a sold out rapturous reception at the prestigious The Holywell Music Room. Her album was produced by Duotones’ Barney Morse-Brown. Stornoways’ Jon Ouin added arrangements and also played on the album. Since then tracks from the album Bookshelves have been played on all 39 BBC regional stations via The Mark Forrest Show, played The Union Chapel (one of her ambitions), opened Green Man Rising Stage at the much loved Green Man Festival, supported Cara Dillon, and achieved her first ever front cover of independent music magazine Nightshift.
CONTACT VEZ, T: 078 111 36327 E:: [email protected] Twitter @Veriarti www.veriarti.co.uk