Christof van der Ven www.christofvanderven.com
Christof van der Ven tells stories of growing up in the Netherlands, moving to rural Ireland and touring to the ends of the world on his debut album 'Empty Handed'. The album is a culmination of years of hard-touring, writing and recording. Having toured the globe a multitude of times with the likes of Bear's Den, The Staves (who feature on the album, providing backing vocals on ‘Oh When the Night’), and The Boxer Rebellion: “these songs are the culmination of my experience of the world to date, the stories from growing up in the Netherlands, over to rural Ireland, London and everywhere in between.”
Christof spent much of 2018 on the road supporting Bon Iver, Lisa Hannigan, Joan As Police Woman, Nick Mulvey, S.Carey, Bear's Den, Sam Brookes and Talos as well as his own headline dates in the UK and EU.
Emma Gatrill www.emmagatrill.com
Emma Gatrill is a multi-instrumentalist based in Brighton, UK. Her debut, 2012’s Chapter I, was a poignant collection of songs based around her then-latest acquisition – the harp. Subtly accompanied by various members of the Willkommen Collective, her intricate playing coupled with a unique vocal fragility drew comparisons to Björk and Joni Mitchell as well as her friends and co-conspirators Rachael Dadd and Rozi Plain.
Gatrill collaborated widely over the next couple of years, including joining Laura Marling’s band on Glastonbury’s Pyramid stage, Broken Social Scene on some UK dates and touring with This Is The Kit, Sons of Noel and Adrian, Matthew And The Atlas and kindred spirit Kristin McClement. Amongst it all, Gatrill somehow found time to develop her own live show; augmenting her harp and vocal with ambient analogue synths and drum machines using foot controllers.
Five years and hundreds of live shows later, her live ambitions fed back into the writing and recording process of her second album, Cocoon. The album showcases a huge leap forward in scope and imagination. The harp, tender vocal and unique take on classic songwriting are still at the core, but the arrangements draw from a much wider and often darker sonic palette – introducing vintage monosynths, drum machines and vibraphone. Gatrill’s circle of influences has widened too – from the joyful experimentation of Juana Molina to the intelligent pop and texturally rich arrangements of Julia Holter and My Brightest Diamond.
Benedict Benjamin Benedict Benjamin is Ben Rubinstein, formerly of The Mariner’s Children and Peggy Sue (Wichita). Ben is first and foremost a songwriter versed in the classical traditions of the form, capable of crafting both operatic crescendo and lullaby-like stillness shot through with the heartbreaking swoon of Roy Orbison, the soothing harmonies of the Everly Brothers and the honesty of Jeff Tweedy. His songs undercut the dream-like beauty of early 60s pop music with lyrics both frank and poetic, creating a powerful Lynchian duality that makes the heart swell and the head spin. His debut album 'Night Songs', produced by Dan Blackett (Landshapes, Bella Union) came out in 2016. He is about to release his sophomore album, Truant, after becoming a father.www.benedictbenjamin.com