SNOW HILL’S MUSIC IS READY TO HAUNT YOU
Stalker, a new police drama focused on victims being stalked and the detectives of the LAPD’s Threat Assessment Unit who always solve the case, sent chills down the backs of over 7 million TV viewers last week. Whomever heads up programming at CBS deserves just about every penny they’re getting because there is no other network that consistently cranks out series that just do so well. No matter what cable package you have, you’ll always have CBS and that definitely helps them but that’s not always the case (I’m looking at you, NBC!).
Something else that can truly help heighten the success of a TV series is its music. While I no longer watch Grey’s Anatomy, it was the last show for me that included music that became more than just an added layer. It became an additional character because when it showed up, it had power and it moved you. HBO’s Looking did a pretty decent job at music curation but I feel like it has the potential to take things much further. I have a similar attitude when it comes to CBS’s Stalker.
So far, CBS’s Stalker is doing a fine job and I am excited to see where the show goes with its story and clearly the music. However, since its premiere at the beginning of the month, there has been no brighter moment than with Snow Hill’s cover of “Be My Baby.” It is devastating. It is haunting. It’s like Angelina is singing this to an already doomed relationship. It is so good, I immediately reached out to this British duo comprised of Angelina Dove and Harry Sever.
Continue reading to discover how they met, what their idea of success if and how they feel about being featured in a TV show while still being unsigned.
THAT FASHION DUDE: How exactly did you two meet?
HARRY SERVER: We have two amazing and inspiring friends – Adam Driscoll & David Field – who originally had the idea to put the two of us in a writing room together.
ANGELINA DOVE: We met at a secret tea house in Soho, London. We actually met outside on the street as we were both trying to find the secret door.
HS: We wrote and arranged about 10 songs on our first day together, it was very intense. Then I accidentally deleted all our work and we had to do it again the following week.
TFD: In three words or less, how would you describe Snow Hill’s music?
AD: Piano, voice, ghosts.
HS: Ange’s sexy voice.
TFD: Who are some of your biggest musical influences?
AD: Etta James, Tammy Wynette, Annie Lennox, Neil Young, Bowie, Queen, Death in Vegas.
More recently: Agnes Obel, Phosphorescent and Ólafur Arnalds.
HS: Morricone, Nick Drake, Paul Simon, Leonard Bernstein.
TFD: What is your idea of “success” after taking into consideration today’s music landscape?
AD: Being able to shop at Whole Foods.
TFD: What is the most difficult thing about creating a song? Writing the lyrics? The music?
AD: Condensing and cramming all of that information into a few minutes of music. All songs would last twenty minutes each if not! Like simplifying the music; putting everything in in one go as it rushes out of you then peeling away the layers and simplifying it, until you get to the bones, the most potent part, the actual language of it. Harry probably even dreams in music; if you cut him, he’d bleed treble clefs instead of platelets.
HS: Finding that dynamic union of style and subject matter. A happy lyric has to have something to counter-balance the happiness; a sad lyric can be full of hope with the right melody and harmony. That’s what makes people want to listen over and over.
TFD: What is the most rewarding thing about creating a song?
AD: Music changes things, music changes people. It lights you up from the inside out. It’s relief. Life without creativity is bleak. Existence without self expression would be like chips without salt.
Even if my immediate world is falling apart, when I’m singing, nothing is wrong. Music can paint an entire storybook where words alone would need several chapters.
HS: [The most rewarding this is] when someone cannot explain why they love a song. They just love it. When there’s something in the music that people can’t explain in words, that’s when we’re doing our jobs well.
TFD: Can you share the story of how your cover of “Be My Baby” wound up on CBS’s Stalker?
AD: A wonderful music supervisor, Liza Richardson, heard a few of our demos, she asked if we’d try recording the cover of “Be My Baby” and as an unsigned band who’ve never released anything, that was really exciting.
HS: It was a bit of a mad 24 hours. I was flying to Hong Kong the following day and Ange was about to go on holiday. We managed to borrow a mic from a friend of David’s and record in my house before my flight in the evening. Our friend Vince in Los Angeles then did an amazing job of putting it all together and giving it all those spooky and ethereal textures.
AD: [Liza] and the director loved our version and it made it into the show!
TFD: What does it mean to Snow Hill to have this type of exposure and support from a national show such as Stalker?
HS: It’s been really overwhelming to see such a positive response, and we’ve totally got Liza and Stalker to thank for that.
AD: The most exciting aspect is having people from all over contacting us via our website. There have been so many heart warming encouraging, validating comments. At this point we’re still recording our first album and we’re about to release a single “Who’d Fight the Last Tiger.” I can’t describe the boost it’s been. It gives us a hopeful glimpse.
TFD: What can we expect from Snow Hill in the near future?
AD: Snow Hill snow globes! The single will be out next week, the album will follow next year, we’d love to come and play in the USA, that’s our biggest wish.
TFD: Can we look forward to any other covers? Possibly something unexpected like…Jessie J’s “Burnin’ Up”?
HS: Don’t know that one. I just looked up the lyrics. If we can figure out what ‘subliminal sex’ means, we’ll try it (the song I mean) and get back to you.
Listen to Snow Hill’s new single, “Who’d Fight the Last Tiger” now.