Introducing: Ciaran Austin & Cantaloupe Island

by Beccy Smith

“Once upon a time there was a man named Ciaran. He made the musics on his laptop. One day he was asked by the BBC to do a live session. But Ciaran didn’t have any friends.” is where the story of Cantaloupe Island begins, according to their Facebook page. University of Exeter student Ciaran Austin, whose spoken word-esque lyrics and slick R&B/soul/jazz/hip-hop production have been previously featured on PearShaped, was invited to do a live session with BBC Introducing in Devon earlier this year and decided he needed to find himself a band. He’s since recruited Jamie White (Guitar), Pete Tillotson (Bass), Louis Brown (Drums) and Felicity Hamilton (Saxophone, Vocals) and formed Cantaloupe Island.

There’s plenty of Ciaran’s music to explore on SoundCloud and Spotify, and a new single You’re After Me, including vocals from Exeter 2nd year Merle Chapelle, is coming soon. However, the wait for the release of full band recordings is ongoing. The collaboration was made for a live set, and at present the only way to experience how Cantaloupe Island adapt Ciaran’s production and composition is to see them in this intended medium. Luckily for me and you, we won’t have to wait too long to do so; the band are performing their first headline show at Cavern on 6th November, moving upwards from playing regular sets at The Old Firehouse and an appearance at The Enchanted Garden Ball earlier this year. Support comes from Sadie Horler who is already making a name for herself around the South West and beyond, and is a BBC Introducing In Devon favourite.

If you’re looking for some local talent producing music that’s like nothing you’ve heard before, see this as your tip-off to get one step ahead of the game.