Birmingham unsigned duo Hunger Moon discuss singles and styles

They’re back with a new single, and Birmingham duo Hunger Moon are hoping fans will be ravenous for it.

Birmingham duo Hunger Moon - Natalie Jenkins and James Attwood
Birmingham duo Hunger Moon - Natalie Jenkins and James Attwood

It’s called Honey, and they want it to provide further sweet nectar for fans who have lapped up their previous releases.

Hunger Moon are James Attwood and Natalie Jenkins, two 21-year-olds with a vision of how they want to play music and garnering critical acclaim for the end results.

They both hail from Wolverhampton and the Second City, sharing songwriting duties while Natalie provides the vocals and some guitar, with James providing the main guitars and piano live and doubling up on bass, drums and synths in the studio.

It sounds like a lot of work for the pair to take on, but it’s just how they like it.

“I was in a local indie band for a year that sadly no longer exists, but I have since done some session guitar work playing for loads of local acts and played in the UK's youngest ska band,” says James of his grounding in the industry. And it was a long-standing friendship that he turned to next when he was seeking something new, adding: “Me and Natalie used to play covers in pubs for a bit of extra cash on the side while we were studying at college.”

They started life as a band in Digbeth. Their influences came from Kate Bush, Jeff Buckley, Radiohead and Portishead, combining a hauntingly rich vocal with their very own take on indie pop.

Vocalist Natalie’s voice is mainly deep and rich, the reverberating beats that push her from underneath throughout much of their music allow her to do all the talking without overpowering or intruding upon the melodies.

The duo have been busy since they formed, opening up for Adam French, Joseph J Jones and Alessi’s Ark, winning acclaim from Amazing Radio & BBC Introducing, and appearing at Lunar, Y Not and 110 Above Festivals last year. They return to the latter, in Atherstone, this August.

They’ve been busy releasing material too. Honey will be their fourth single release, and the second which sees them collaborating with Babywoman Records – a community and support network for DIY artists to point them in the right direction on how to get their material out there.

Babywoman Records also helped them with third single Feel It Sometimes, released back in March, and they feel it is a working relationship that suits them.

“We worked with them on our previous single Feel It Sometimes, which in many ways was a comeback single having only released a few tracks last year,” James adds. “It's more of a one-to-one experience and more personal than, I suppose, a big label would be.

“It was nice to be a part of something where everyone can help each other out.”

Honey came out last Friday and is available to hear on their Spotifypage.

With hushed atmospherics, James’ keys help Natalie’s voice to once again glide from start to finish like a skilled ice skater at the Winter Olympics serenely drifting across the rink.

And yet it almost didn’t see the light of day. Not yet, anyway.

“We have a long list of unrecorded material and originally chose to release something else,” Natalie reveals. “But the week before recording we ended up with this song that resonated with us so loudly and we hoped would do the same with our listeners.

“We see so much promoting mental health and, more recently, how mental health affects men. It was something we instantly wanted to make noise about and help destigmatise in any way we could.

“We are musicians in a dog-eat-dog world and mental health is something we battle with every day; as does everybody else. Utilising the platform we have, Honey is an ode to Keith [Flint, The Prodigy frontman who died earlier this year] and a call to arms to check up on friends and family.”

“For us it's a case of trying to keep up with our extensive back catalogue of songs,” James adds. “We have so much that we want to record. It's a case of getting into the studio and getting it out ASAP.”

With a lengthening repertoire of songs to perform on the stage, it only seems natural that Hunger Moon might be looking to gear up for a lengthier release sometime in the near future.

They agree, with Natalie saying: “We would like to think that our trajectory will allow us to release an EP.

“At the moment, the financial odds of being an unsigned act are stacked against us. But as mentioned, as soon as we can get recording, believe me we are straight in there!”

That’s something for fans to look forward too, then. But before that, they can always catch the duo performing live.

As you’d expect for a release week, they’ve been busy.

Saturday saw them at Birmingham’s Centrala performing as part of the very first show in what will hopefully become a Babywoman Records Presents series. It was a packed line-up, with Ralph Pelleymounter, Natalie Holmes, Charlotte Carpenter and Andy Oliveri & the Mountaineers also lending their talents to the show.

And last night they were supporting Methyl Ethyl at Kings Heath’s Hare & Hounds.

And James reveals the shows brought about the usual outpourings of emotion they have come to expect.

“There’s been tears and emotional pop songs,” he reveals. “No kidding, we always make people cry.”

And going forward?

“We have some really cool festivals lined up this summer around the UK, which we are looking forward to announcing soon,” Natalie says. “And new music soon, of course!”

That’s something we can all look forward to then.

Hunger Moon are on both Twitter and Facebook @hungermoonmusic and you can hear the new single Honey and their previous releases on their Spotify page above. Announcements about new releases and shows will be made via their social media channels.

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