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The Hoosiers

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“We came back to it for a very simple reason: we started enjoying writing songs again.” Sam Swallow’s description of how The Hoosiers re-formed, and in doing so reconnected with what had made them start a band in the first place, is matter-of-fact, but the expression on the keyboardist’s face as he says this is passionate. Sitting beside him and nodding in agreement, Irwin Sparkes, Martin Skarendahl and Alan Sharland convey a similar sense of having emerged, blinking, into the light, having endured some pretty dark times. The 12 tracks that make up The Hoosiers’ comeback album, The News From Nowhere, offer further evidence of renewal: produced by the band, and recorded in the East London warehouse where Martin has amassed a collection of vintage recording equipment and instruments, The News From Nowhere is an astonishing return to form. “Doing it on our own terms,” says Irwin, “and actually having a proper say in it, felt wonderful. We have nothing to lose, but a lot to prove.” “It’s the first time we’ve worked without a producer,” adds Sam, “and that has it pluses and its minuses. We ended up asking someone to come in and help with the last stages, just to have an objective pair of ears and get a different opinion on one or two things we couldn’t resolve.” Such as? All four Hoosiers exchange glances. “We’re a democracy,” says Irwin, “and that can have its drawbacks.” “Especially when there are four of you,” ventures Al, “because that two-against-two thing can occur.” Sam: “But then Irwin instituted the sitting-on-the-fence idea, too, which complicated things even further.

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