Hooton Tennis Club
Hooton Tennis Club are an indie rock quartet from Liverpool consisting of vocalist/guitarist Ryan Murphy, guitarist/vocalist James Madden, bassist Callum McFadden, and drummer Harry Chalmers. Their warm and tuneful yet relaxed sound recalls '90s American slacker indie as much as it does Brit-pop, bringing to mind Dinosaur Jr. and Pavement as well as Supergrass and Teenage Fanclub. Their songs are generally midtempo and fuzzy, but have a strong melodic sense that prevents them from sounding tossed-off. The group signed to Heavenly in 2014 after being brought to the label's attention by Carl Hunter of the Farm. HTC's debut single, "Jasper," co-produced by Bill Ryder-Jones of the Coral, was released as a limited 7" record in February of 2015. Two months later, the group's cover of Neil Young's "Barstool Blues" was released on a split 7" with the Wytches on Record Store Day. Another 7" single, "Kathleen Sat on the Arm of Her Favourite Chair," appeared in June, and the band's debut full-length, Highest Point in Cliff Town, arrived in August. The band toured throughout the year and in 2016 began work on a new album. Using money granted by the Momentum Music Fund, they were able to spend three weeks recording in remote Scotland with Edwyn Collins at his Clashnarrow Studios. The resulting album was titled Big Box of Chocolates and released in late 2016, again by Heavenly. ~ Paul Simpson
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