“a new sound for a new generation” (audiofuzz)
Hallam London is a musical commuter between his homecity of Dresden in Germany, and Sheffield in Northern England. Not only has the latter produced some magnificent bands that are amongst Hallam’s most important influences, but it’s also the home of lyricist Ian Badcoe, and respected music producer Dave Sanderson (Reverend and the Makers, 65daysofstatic).
For his coming album, Hallam is engaging with contemporary English poetry with lyricist Ian Badcoe. Together the two have created an album called Be Yourself in 11 Easy Lessons drawing on themes of gender, mental health, modern city life, and their shared love of science fiction. This album was recently produced by Dave Sanderson and will be released in 2021, but its story stems from an encounter on a UK poetry forum back in 2014. Hallam was looking for poets who might inspire new compositions but found, not just a few new songs, but a long-term collaboration and close friendship. Hallam feels that Ian’s lyrics with their intelligent profoundness, witty sense of humour, and sonorous language stand out clearly against the usual pop monotony.
And then there is Soap Bubble: a poem by Ian about the bubbles on bubbles that humanity has been blowing over the centuries: system on system built on all too finite natural resources, but acting as if they would last forever. Bubbles in the economic sense, working fine while they stumble along, but hollow if you look too close, and building up huge ecological and social impacts for when they fail. This issue is of great importance to Hallam and so he has taken up the challenge and set the poem to music; creating a haunting and tragic message that many won't find comfortable, but which no-one can really ignore.
For a previous album: Not Afraid of Greatness, Hallam also channelled his love of English language poetry into music, but on that occasion drew on the sonnets of William Shakespeare. He turned some of the most famous of those exquisite 400-year-old poems into avantgarde electro-pop which was described as: “captivating and magical … elaborately composed” – while Hallam himself has been regarded as: “a virtuoso singer, colourful guitarist and, above all, a daring composer”.