Steafán Hanvey grew up in Downpatrick, Northern Ireland. His father is an esteemed photographer and both of his parents were traditional Irish musicians. From an early age, Hanvey was encouraged to play a tune or two for his family. In school, his teachers would call upon him to sing to his classmates. While traditional Irish music had a big impact on Hanvey, he found a lot of inspiration in the music of Joni Mitchell, Van Morrison, Soundgarden, and Simon & Garfunkel. As a teenager he formed 50/50, a heavy rock band he led for three years before heading to Western Washington University to study sound engineering.
After school Hanvey went to Helsinki, Finland where he recorded his mini-album “Sole.” He gigged in Helsinki and around Finland before eventually relocating to Dublin to make his debut full-length album, Steafán Hanvey and the Honeymoon Junkies. This saw Hanvey gain a lot of publicity in Ireland and the UK. Now he’s back with a new record, Nuclear Family, on Honeyworks Music. He recorded the album in Paris, Helsinki and Dublin. It was mixed by Tore Johansson (producer of Franz Ferdinand and The Cardigans) and mastered in London by Mandy Parnell (Feist, PJ Harvey, Nick Cave and Björk’s Biophilia).
Nuclear Family reveals Hanvey’s maturity as a singer-songwriter. With top-notch production, Hanvey’s voice and acoustic guitar simmer as songs build into a rolling boil. This album discusses the trials and tribulations of life, exposing pain, anger, anguish, passion and love along the way. Hanvey works with a cast of nearly twenty musicians on Nuclear Family, which adds plenty of warmth and ambiance to the record.
Steafán Hanvey is currently on tour in the U.S. and will have a New York album launch at Rockwood Music Hall on April 6th. Take a look at the tour dates to see when he will be in your neck of the woods. In the meantime, check out Hanvey’s video for “Secrets and Lies,” which was shot on super 8 film by Austrian director, Karin Hammer, in Co. Down (Downpatrick, Strangford, Portaferry, Tyrella beach) and in Dublin.