Described as having “as much soul as John Mayer”, and being “as funky as Prince”, Sion Hill is a young singer/songwriter, multi-instrumentalist, artist and producer from Ireland. Hailing from Mullingar, a small town in the midlands, Sion Hill (aka Nathan Johnston) first picked up the guitar and taught himself to play at 11 years old.
Johnston began to write songs at the age of 12 and after a few years of continuously playing with different bands and musicians his way let him to Clouds Hill in Hamburg. Determined to continue alone, Johnston signed as a solo-artist to Clouds Hill and in order to pursue his career further, moved to Germany where he adopted the stage name Sion Hill – meaning ‘Heaven on the Hill’ – an homage to his Irish heritage, school days and his hometown. Sion Hill spent the following months recording at Clouds Hill Studios with producer Johann Scheerer, best known as Peter Doherty’s producer.
A wide range of Sion Hill’s influences bounce around throughout the album from folk to country to soul, to rock and pop. The second single “Beaches” boasts summer feels with funky guitar, organ and a riotous choir recruiting for a revolt against our dependence on technology and the growing impact of capitalism and self-indulgence. “Press no buttons, live by the sunlight and the moon. Start a Revolution.” “Before You Go” is a story of loss told with the sadness of the blues. The title track “Elephant” brings the sexually-charged disco pop of the 70s bang up to date. “Circus” is a philosophical, psychedelic finale on par with the best of Jeff Buckley. A tale of life in the city that never sleeps. “Beauty of a million sleeping souls never finds them. It’s a circus.” The album features 12 brilliant tracks full of soul & pop, gospel & country, folk & funk Sion Hill is happy to wear his heart on his sleeve with songs which sound both incredibly mature and timeless. How does he manage it – barely in his 20s? We’ll tell you.
Clouds Hill have joined forces with The Famous Company to help launch Sion Hill in the UK. This September Sion Hill will be visiting schools nationwide on a 4 week tour which will also highlight the issue of cyberbullying. In addition to the schools tour we’ll be working alongside Sion’s German team on a full UK radio, TV and press campaign. Speaking about the new partnership, Stefan Gross from Clouds Hill said, “Being an artist from Ireland signed for worldwide release, Sion Hill obviously needs a strong partner in the UK. We are glad to have found that partner in The Famous Company and we’re looking forward to creating great results as we work together to launch Sion Hill for the UK market”
Check out Sion Hill – Beaches below