The Undercover Hippy returns for Stroud show
By David Wood
A musician back on a mission - The Undercover Hippy - makes his long-awaited return in 2023.
After a few years off-grid, the alias of Billy Rowan is embarking on a fresh operation for the year ahead, briefed with a brand new album release 'Poor Little England' (out 7 April), and an extensive UK tour unlike any he has done before.
The Undercover Hippy will be playing a gig at the Stroud Subscription Rooms on Saturday, April 1.
Firing the starting gun for the journey to come, The Undercover Hippy has just released his first music from the new record - the irresistibly catchy single: "Hey Boy".
"Hey Boy" dates back to a time in 2019 in which Rowan found himself relying on his phone with the unnerving dependency of a life support machine.
Emerging with a poppy, upbeat, and motivational song about a thoroughly miserable experience and how he overcame it, he explains of the track: "I wrote this song about my own unhealthy relationship with my phone and how I used it to self-medicate when I was feeling depressed.
"I was living alone at the time, and when I was in a negative headspace, I would escape into the world of social media scrolling, only to emerge two hours later feeling 10 times worse!
"So I wrote this song to remind myself that the best way to get out of a funk is to get up off the sofa, leave the house and seek out some real face to face interaction with other human beings.
"I hope it can help other people in the same situation, and also help to break down some of the stigmas around mental health and asking for help."
"Hey Boy" balances a buoyant ska beat, starry piano lines and those dextrous, pop-culture packed quips that have made The Undercover Hippy a lyrical force to be reckoned with.
The follow-up to 2017's 'Truth & Fiction', a deeply political album forged in the shadow of the Brexit referendum and consumed with fake news, internet privacy paranoia, and the fallout of the U.S. election; "Poor Little England" reflects a world with even bigger fish to fry, and a public (and artist), whose overloaded attention spans are facing critical mass...
Beaming with light and rhythmic melodies that never cease to shine and time-travelling lyrics that will twist your mind; turn off the news and turn up the tunes, the new record from The Undercover Hippy is one that deserves your full attention.
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