AJIMAL shares official Everything Everything remix of 'How Could You Disappear?' New Album AS IT GROWS DARK / LIGHT
Out June 26TH.
Ahead of his album release, Newcastle-born, London-based multi-instrumentalist AJIMAL shares a remimaging of his highlight track ‘How Could You Disappear?,’ officially remixed by none other than Everything Everything. The track comes from his second album As It Grows Dark / Light, out this Friday, June 26 and produced with Guy Massey (Spiritualized, Bill Fay, The Divine Comedy, The Beatles, Paul Simon).
Last week, AJIMAL was announced as the second-place getter in Glastonbury’s Emerging Talent Competition for 2020.
Of the remix, AJIMAL says:
"It's always interesting to hear someone rework a song and turn it into something new - the things that they bring out and other layers that get added. I remember cramming in at Sneaky Pete's in Edinburgh to see Everything Everything play about 10 years ago and I love the way they've melded our styles on this rework of 'How Could You Disappear?’"
AJIMAL is the creative outlet for Fran O’Hanlon, a doctor by day, who acquired the project’s name in the aftermath of being caught up in Haiti’s 2010 earthquake crisis. Whilst working at a field hospital during his medical studies, he found himself in the presence of an infamous former voodoo priest, from whom he would later derive the moniker.
Following this experience, O’Hanlon went on to release his 2015 AJIMAL debut with CHIILDHOOD, recorded and released as he was qualifying to be a doctor.
As It Grows Dark / Light is the product of a collaboration with Guy Massey which began fortuitously, when O’Hanlon won a Focusrite recording competition, despite never having entered (he suspects a friend did so on his behalf). Although a classically trained pianist,
O’Hanlon feels much more comfortable writing and exploring music by ear, rather than through the more rigid classical syllabus he grew up with, and he further credits Guy Massey for pushing his boundaries as an artist. Of their unconventional recording experience, he explains
“Guy and I have recorded all sorts of bizarre things in the time we’ve been making the album… we’ve prepared pianos with gaffa tape and coins, we’ve used hairdryers to blow toilet roll onto guitar strings to create drones and put silicon beads in speaker cones to record the vibrations, scrunched biscuit wrappers to sound like footsteps on gravel, time stretched pianos, harps, strings, voices, musical saws. It’s been a lot of fun to experiment with.”
AJIMAL also drew in others in his orbit to contribute to the sonic textures of the release. School friend Emily Hoile, now of the Berlin Philharmonic Orchestra, features on harp. London-based composer Hinako Omori, another chance meeting via the competition, adds flute to the equation. He is also accompanied by a cast of string and brass players, including Sal Herbert and Ian Burdge. O’Hanlon sought out acclaimed German digital collage artist drømsjel, who created a custom collection for the album artwork.
So far, singles including ‘How Could You Disappear?,’ ‘ANIMALS’, ‘It’s Real’ and ‘Above All Else, Be Kind’ have featured on several Spotify editorial playlists and found an array of fans at radio including Phil Taggart at Radio 1, Tom Robinson at BBC 6 Music, John Kennedy at Radio X, BBC Introducing’s Nick Roberts, and Amazing Radio.
During his live show, AJIMAL encompasses elements of both soaring grandeur and pin drop intimacy - which has earned him support slots alongside the likes of LYR, Kathryn Joseph, Lucy Rose, Loney Dear, Lanterns on the Lake, The 1975 and Nadine Shah. He has played sold-out headline shows at House of St Barnabas and London’s Folklore.
AJIMAL - As It Grows Dark / Light