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Newcastle-based singer-songwriter Jake Houlsby set to release debut EP

Indie-folk singer Jake Houslby will be celebrating the release of Yannina at a special gig at St Ann's Church in Newcastle on Saturday June 6

Newcastle singer-songwriter Jake Houlsby
Newcastle singer-songwriter Jake Houlsby

Newcastle-based singer songwriter Jake Houlsby is set to release his long-awaited indie folk-infused debut EP.

Jake will launch Yannina at a special gig at St Ann’s Church, in Newcastle on June 6, with the EP officially released two days later.

The six-track EP will feature recordings including the title track, Fuel For The Fire and Beyond All This and promises to show a side to the musician we’ve never seen before.

Having previously released material under the guise of Suntrapp, Jake stepped out of the limelight six months ago to reconsider his artistic direction and decided to release music under his own name.

Jake said: “It came about after a bit of a rough six-month period in my life where I became very dissatisfied with everything around me and the songs I’d been writing. As I eventually started to crawl out of the abyss, I felt the only way I could carry on was to ditch Suntrapp and release some music under my own name. It was my gut instinct to make the change.”

The folkster has gained widespread acclaim in the last few years with tracks such as, All The Seas, New Morning and Silhouettes, which gained national radio airplay on BBC 6 Music courtesy of Lauren Laverne and Tom Robinson.

In 2013, Jake was also the proud recipient of the Alan Hull Award for Songwriting in addition to being selected for the Roundhouse 3030 Project which saw him perform at the Roundhouse Rising Festival.

Jake has been playing music for 12 years and writing his own material for around seven and feels his music fits into the ‘folk’ category alongside artists such as Nick Drake, José González and Neil Young.

He has spent the last few years honing his craft and is ready to kick start this new phase of his career with a series of live shows dedicated to his new release. The musician is looking forward to getting back on the road and seeing people’s reactions to his new material.

He says: “I don’t think my music has necessarily taken a different direction. I’m a different person to who I was last year - a little wiser, a little more jaded - so the songs I’m coming out with now are different to the ones I was writing last year, but it’s been a linear progression I think.

“I love both writing and recording for different reasons. When the venue is right, the sound is right and the audience is right, playing live can be almost transcendental. Writing and recording is more like giving birth or building a house, depending on which simile you prefer.”

He is now planning on getting Yannina heard by as many people as possible before he heads back into the studio to record some more music. As he admits he feels like he has held on to certain songs for too long in the past, almost like they’ve been money, and no longer wants to do this.

In the meantime he is going to continue gigging to promote the album and after the launch show in Newcastle Jake has dates lined up in Leeds and Preston.

“I don’t know if it’s just because I’m a lot more aware of it now than I was five years ago but it really feels like things are happening and people are listening,” he says. “There’s always been good music coming out of the North-East in my opinion though, it’s just not always met with the acclaim it deserves.”

Jake will be performing at St Ann’s Church, City Road, Newcastle on Saturday June 6. Doors open at 7pm and tickets cost £4 plus booking fee. For more information about Jake go to www.jakehoulsby.com


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