The Hanging Stars
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The Hanging Stars

London, United Kingdom | Established. Jan 01, 2014 | INDIE

London, United Kingdom | INDIE
Established on Jan, 2014
Band Americana Psychedelic


This band has not uploaded any videos
This band has not uploaded any videos





In late-Sixties California, the Byrds and the Flying Burrito Brothers combined traditional country music with hippy rock to great success. The influence lingered, and almost 50 years later in rain-grey London, the cosmic country revivalists The Hanging Stars have made Over the Silvery Lake, an album with enough of a hazy, sun-dappled charm to make the capital's dreariest weather bearable.

The Hanging Stars stay within the shadows of their heroes, yet their leader, Richard Olson, has such a knack for melody, and the combination of pedal steel, banjo, electric guitar and the occasional parp on the flute is so well constructed that their album goes beyond pastiche. The cowboy romp The House on the Hill is ominous, the fairytale-like Golden Vanity whimsical and alluring. Whatever contemporary cultural relevance it has, this is a delightful, transporting listen. - The Times


Country-psych from impressive London debutants.

A promising debut from London's The Hanging Stars, who switch deftly between deliciously sentimental Americana and swaggering psychedelia. The band are equally comfortable in either territory, sounding like the Broken Family Band or Lambchop on "Floodbound" and "The Hanging Stars", songs lent a yearning quality via pedal steel, but also dealing in the Scouse pop of The La's and Boo Radleys on "For A While", "The House on the Hill" and the brilliant "She Never Sleeps". The widescreen of "Running Waters Wide", reminiscent of Buffalo Springfield, ends things on an impressively ambitious note.

Peter Watts - Uncut April 2016

"The Sound of LA & Walthamstow"

The sound of LA and Walthamstow. 3*

The mixture of twanging Byrds-style guitars, hardcore pop and the rootsiness of banjos, fiddles and pedal steel is hardly a great leap forwards - but while London's The Hanging Stars do the familiar, they do it differently. Essentially songwriter Richard Olson surrounded by a loose collective of helpers, they're tradition-based, but, for the most part, not worthily so. This bush-tailed debut, recorded in Los Angeles and London's Walthamstow, is as its best when they let themselves go, hence the closing Running Waters Wide, which adds flute without suggesting Jethro Tull; the glorious standout The House on the Hill and the sweet The Hanging Stars. They don't always get things right and the overly-muso, banjo-fuelled Rainmaker, Sunseeker sounds reverential rather than celebratory. But there is much going on here, most of it good.

John Aizlewood - Q


Still working on that hot first release.


Feeling a bit camera shy


London-based psych folk outfit The Hanging Stars released their critically acclaimed debut in early 2016 out now via The Great Pop Supplement and Crimson Crow. Following a series of sold-out gigs at The Finsbury in Manor House, the band are delighted to announce their biggest London headline show to date at The Lexington in Islington on 23 November. This will follow a supporting slot with Teenage Fanclub at their sold-out Islington Assembly Hall show in London on 5 September as well as an appearance at Liverpool International Festival of Psychedelia on 23 September. They also appear in the Paisley Overground compilation due out on At The Helm Records and will play Stow Fest in Walthamstow on 16 September.


Over the Silvery Lake received plaudits from broadsheets such as The Times, who described it as; "An album with enough of a hazy, sun-dappled charm to make the capital's dreariest weather bearable”, as well as The Guardian, who said; “Mersey-laced harmonies and just a whiff of the Gun Club.” Music monthly Uncut proclaimed that it was; "A promising debut from London's The Hanging Stars, who switch deftly between deliciously sentimental Americana and swaggering psychedelia” and Q called it a; "Bushy-tailed debut."  They picked up a good amount of support at 6 Music and “The House on the Hill” scored a much-coveted 10/10 by John Robb on Steve Lamacq’s Roundtable. The Hanging Stars played a sold-out three-night residency at London’s Betsey Trotwood, recently shared the stage with The Clientele at Islington Assembly Hall and have toured extensively throughout Europe.
Blending folk pastoralism with swampy 60s Americana, The Hanging Stars sound like the missing link between the California desert sun and the grey skies of London Town. The album was recorded between LA, Nashville and Walthamstow, with each of these vastly different places leaving an indelible mark on the songs.

The band is made up of songwriter, singer and guitarist Richard Olson (The See See, Eighteenth Day of May), Sam Ferman on bass, Paulie Cobra on drums, Patrick Ralla (The Alan Tyler Show) on banjo, guitar, keyboards and assorted instruments, with pedal steel courtesy of Horse (Dan Michaelson and The Coastguards) and Joe Harvey White.


The Hanging Stars place themselves firmly as part of a long folk tradition encompassing European and North American influences – as a continuation rather than a pastiche of these styles. This is the sound of a band really coming in to their own, fully formed and in no doubt of their vision. With Over the Silvery Lake they succeed in producing a record, which has the country, blues and folk traditions at its heart. And what a big heart it is. Embrace it.

Band Members