Producer Ben Hillier has launched a new label, Agricultural Audio, named after his recording studio in Sussex.
Hillier has worked with artists including Blur, Elbow, Depeche Mode and Nadine Shah.
The debut release from Hillier’s new label - launched this month in partnership with The Orchard - is his own artist project. Storm Franklin sees Hillier join up with the Howling Bells singer and solo artist Juanita Stein.
Hush Now is the first single from Storm Franklin’s debut album, which will be released later this year.
Storm Franklin came into being at Agricultural Audio in late 2021. Hillier and Stein had first met the previous year, while working together on Stein’s third solo album, Snapshot.
Storm Franklin takes its name from a storm brewing in the South of England at the time. The recording project is described as “songs that exist somewhere between the French pop nostalgia of Air and ’80s bands such as Tears For Fears and The Cars”.
Ben Hillier said: “From the first writing session the two of us sparked immediately. The music took on a life of its own and we soon realised that this wasn’t going to be a continuation of anything we’d done before but a whole new project.”
Juanita Stein said: “Hush Now came together incredibly fast and really laid the groundwork for what was to come. It was a process of deeply trusting our instincts and throwing ideas around with abandon, not entirely understanding the process, but when we listened back, it made all the sense in the world.”