by Evan Phillips
Photo credit: Emma Swann, DIY.
When Black Honey first came to the attention of the UK’s indie scene back in 2014, it was strangely not entirely because of their music. That is not to suggest for one second that the music is in any way sub-par. The band are a heady mix of grungy guitar riffs, spaghetti Western style reverb, and tremolo a-la The Wytches, all combined with black bubble-gum pop hooks and huge sing-along choruses. This is all serviced by frontwoman Izzy Baxter’s delicate coos, empowering shouts, and banshee screams; her onstage performances are a glorious embrace of Gwen Stefani via Nancy Sinatra. However, it was the band’s coy attitude toward publicity that garnered most of the attention. You see, for almost a year, no one knew what they looked like.
I know, seems crazy in this decade, but when they released their self-titled EP, the band were yet to play a live show. They wanted their music to speak for itself – hence the lack of press shots or interviews that year. It makes the comparison to Wolf Alice, another band on everyone’s lips that year in particular, all the more appropriate; both acts took time to find their sound and have been careful not to give too much away. To date Black Honey have two EP’s and a string of singles under their belt, each a little more refined and polished than the last, and each slowly building the anticipation for a full length release (possibly due by the end of the year- you heard it here first).
Of course, the band haven’t remained anonymous all this time, since mid-2015 they’ve toured Europe and parts of the US relentlessly, had support slots with Slaves and the aforementioned Wytches, and been on just about every ‘ones to watch’ list from DIY to NME since they dropped a first single. So, take this opportunity to get what could well be a last glimpse at a band about to go supersonic; this is 1979 U2, pre-Nevermind Nirvana, Oasis before King Tuts, this is Black Honey- and they are blowing up.