Sister John are a band of four multi-instrumentalists from Glasgow, formed around the songwriting of Amanda McKeown.
When we first heard their debut album, ‘Returned From Sea‘, we described it as “stunning – really, really properly beautiful, it feels like our very own Tupelo Honey or Music From Big Pink, something quite exceptional”.
‘Returned From Sea’ explores themes of loss and redemption, the individual in the world and the tangibility of the past in the present.
Released in September 2017, ‘Returned From Sea‘ made a big impression:
“One of the minor triumphs of 2017, a gorgeous, sparse record” – The Skinny
“songs which have a casual, unshowy grace and maturity” – The National
“ethereal debut single ‘He Came Down’ could evoke a sense of angelic magic in the most cool-headed of sceptics” – The National
“Immaculate, warm and welcoming” – Rave Child
“Seriously this is one of my favourite releases of the year” – Across The Kitchen Table
“The sound the Velvet Underground would make if Lou Reed wrote for Vashti Bunyan instead of Nico” – Brian Sweeney
‘Returned From Sea‘ received support from BBC Radio Scotland’s Roddy Hart and Janice Forsyth, and Guy Garvey on BBC Radio 6 Music.
With barely a pause, their much anticipated eponymous second album was released in January 2019. The band launched the album at a sold out gig at Glasgow’s Poetry Club before making their first appearance in London at a sell-out show at the Sebright Arms, with more shows coming this year including at Long Division Festival in June.
‘Sister John‘ has been Record of Note on BBC Radio Scotland, and first single, ‘I’m The One’, single of the week on BBC Radio Scotland, featuring on the shows of Roddy Hart, Vic Galloway, Janice Forsyth, Natasha Raskin-Sharp, Rapal, and also picked up by Amy Lamé at BBC Radio 6 Music.
Pushing forward their ‘lo-fi lush’ sound, ‘Sister John‘ adds driving indy rock, killer vocals, and strut and swagger to the folk-infused dramatic soundscapes and layered harmonies of ‘Returned From Sea’. It pushes their sound to the edges, exploring darker corners albeit with a wry smile.
‘Sister John‘ is already attracting critical acclaim:
“Could quietly become one of your favourite listens of the year” – Louder Than War Magazine
“Lush…dramatic…timeless” – The Skinny
“The Beatles jamming with John Cale” – Trust The Doc
“an early contender for album of the year” – Across the Kitchen Table
“This is definitely special. A tremendous work of art, that is engrossing from both a musical and lyrical standpoint, and it will almost certainly rank as one of the finest scottish records to have seen the light of day in 2019” – Small Music Scene
Sister John are Amanda McKeown, Jonathan Lilley, Sophie Pragnell, and Heather Phillips.
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