Four Years of Black Honey, The Evolution of Izzy B Philips

It’s been exactly 50 days since Black Honey released their last single, ‘Bad Friends‘ and with their highly anticipated debut album dropping at the end of September, it’s high time we have another single to string us along that bit further.

With that in mind, lead singer – Izzy, recently shared this ambiguous and somewhat allusive post to Instagram containing a simple blue image.

To the untrained eye it’s a meaningless post, easily dismissed. But to a super-fan such as myself I can only assume that there’s a hidden meaning. During a private conversation with Izzy B Philips the other week, she mentioned to me that the band were announcing a new single soon. After some digging, I have every reason to believe that this is in fact a tease for a new single called ‘Blue Romance’.

Blue Romance is one of many new songs to grace their setlists as material from their new album, alongside tracks such as ‘Only Hurt The Ones I Love’ and ‘Midnight’.

But, in order to understand the influences on their new material and to give some insight into what might appear in the album, we need to rewind four or five or even six years to the beginning of their musical care. We need to journey through the heart and soul of the band that is Izzy Philips as the apparent stylist and lyricist. But also take note of the musical influence of all the band members; Chris Ostler (guitar), Tommy Taylor (bass) & Tom Dewhurst (drums).

To those who don’t already know, the band pre-dates the initial four years since the birth of Black Honey in 2014. Formerly known as Kill Moon, after the famed song by Echo and the Bunnymen, the band actually formed in 2012 and had just four songs under their belt. Adopting a much more psychedelic, garage-rock sound the band maintained a very secretive attitude. The tracks were recorded in a bedroom studio and only three remain on YouTube. ‘Shine‘, ‘Black & Blue‘, ‘You Said It All‘ and the missing track ‘Jupiter’ were the first ever indication of Black Honey’s true potential as a band. Hearing the songs in isolation you can still appreciate and acknowledge the clear-as-day influence that Izzy channels into her music, which I believe she will carry with her for years to come.

The band maintained this secretive attitude through their first moments as Black Honey too, releasing their first track ‘Teenager’ and accompanying B-side, ‘Sleep Forever’ with nothing but the title and accompanying artwork, with no inference to who the band were or what they were about. Until word eventually got out that this band were one to be known.

But, Teenager and Sleep Forever weren’t the only two tracks put out in 2014. Two more demos; ‘The Taste’ and the more popularly known ‘Bloodlust‘, which has recently been put out on 7″ vinyl alongside ‘Ghost’.

It’s here you hear the evolution of sound from their earlier psychedelic, garage sound from the Kill Moon-era into their infamous Tarantino-esque sound. 

Fast-forward one year to 2015 and the iconic Tarantino, Western stylings are omnipresent in the three tracks released over the year; ‘Spinning Wheel‘, ‘Madonna‘ and ‘Corrine‘, respectively. That’s not to forget the lesser-known hit, ‘Mothership‘, that accompanied their most popular single – ‘Corrine’. Upon first listen you would be adamant you’d heard the songs previously in a Wes Anderson movie or any cult classic for that matter. Yet, despite this, you’re simultaneously greeted with the euphoric feeling of discovering art for the first time. 

Moving through to 2016 and the band’s momentum is picking up fast following the release of the ‘Headspin’ EP that features the glorious hit ‘All My Pride‘. However… 5th October 2016 marks the day that Izzy truly embraced her inner-creativity as Black Honey released their first music video to their new single – ‘Hello Today’. The video was filmed on set in the Joshua Tree Desert in California, USA where Izzy casts herself as the lead role in her own dream Pulp Fiction – Grindhouse – Kill Bill mash up movie extravaganza. This just goes to show that publicity and a bigger budget only accelerates the band’s vision further, maintaining that same aura they set out with in 2014, and arguably as far back as in 2012 – they just might not have known it to be possible then.

Izzy B. Philips in Hello Today music video

Black Honey have since gone on to release 3 new singles; ‘Somebody Better’, ‘Dig’ and ‘Bad Friends’. All a constant betterment of themselves as they progress through their artistic careers, not just musically but visually as shown in the unique creativity of each music video. 

Izzy herself told me that their work in the new album ‘shits all over the old stuff I wrote’, which obviously sets my already high expectations, exceptionally higher. So, I guess from here on out the countdown begins to the next single, video, album, merchandise release. Whatever they have to throw at us, I know their fans will be ready and waiting with open arms.

Ross Carley x

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.