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Howling Bells In Concert – 2008 – Past Daily Soundbooth

Juanita Stein of Howling Bells
Juanita Stein of Howling Bells – perpetually immersed in the universe of expression.

Howling Bells – in concert at Summer Sundae 2008 – recorded August 8, 2008 – BBC 6 Music –

Australia’s very own Howling Bells tonight. In concert at the 2008 Summer Sundae Festival, recorded and preserved for posterity by BBC 6 Music on August 8, 2008.

Howling Bells were a Sydney, Australia rock band which formed in 2004, from the ashes of their former band Waikiki. Members include: Juanita Stein (vocals, guitar), Joel Stein (guitar, keys, vocals), Brendan Picchio (bass, keys, vocals) and Glenn Moule (drums/vocals). They debuted with the single “Wishing Stone” (Feb 2006, Bella Union).

Soon after their formation, they packed-up and moved to the UK, where they recorded their critical acclaimed debut album, “Howling Bells” (May 2006, Bella Union), with Coldplay / Gomez producer Ken Nelson . Press included a rare 9/10 in NME and 7.8/10 in Pitchfork. They spent much of the next 2 years touring mostly Europe, Australia and parts of the US. Howling Bells played at the 2007 NME Awards show. They also performed at numerous festivals over the 2006 English summer including Reading/Leeds. They have supported US band The Killers and Placebo around Europe, as well as Snow Patrol on their Australian tour.

Howling Bells signed to the well respected U.K record label Independiente (Travis,The La’s) and released their 2nd album, “Radio Wars”, which they recorded with Dan Grech-Marguerat, who has produced/engineered records alongside producer Nigel Godrich, including Radiohead and Air.The first single was Into The Chaos.

The band became largely inactive through 2015 and 2016. In a Facebook post, Juanita Stein described the band’s inactivity as “an unplanned hiatus” while also announcing her launch of a solo career. The band played their final show to date at the 2017 Margate Wonderland festival at Dreamland Margate, alongside The Kills and Carl Barât.

2017 also saw Joel Stein launch his solo project, Glassmaps. Its debut album, Strangely Addicted, was released in November of that year.

Juanita Stein has released three solo albums to date: America (2017), Until the Lights Fade (2018) and Snapshot (2020).

Their music has been called folk rock, melodic blues, and country-goth. Juanita disagrees with the group’s gothic characterization.

The style of Howling Bells was greatly influenced by film. The Steins and Picchio have expressed admiration of French films in particular. Juanita has stated that she enjoyed bringing the strange and ethereal energy from those films into their music. To describe the sound of Howling Bells’ debut album, critics used terms like dark, brooding, and Americana. NME described it as “the sound of PJ Harvey hitching a ride with The Velvet Underground through Twin Peaks.”

As a reminder – here’s their 2008 Summer Sundae gig.

Crank this one up.

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