Xtra Mile Recordings has signed Brand New Friend, an exhilarating indie pop brother-and-sister-fronted foursome from Castlerock, Northern Ireland, as announced exclusively by Stuart Baillie on BBC Radio Ulster's Across the Line. This coincides with the announcement of a headline show at the legendary Duke Of York venue in Belfast – where the likes of Snow Patrol started their careers – on 19 January 2018. Tickets will be on sale from 9 November 2017 here.

Brand New Friend! Image: Ruth Kelly

Brand New Friend! Image: Ruth Kelly

The band – Taylor Johnson, vocals and guitar; Lauren Johnson, vocals and keyboard; Aaron Milligan, bass; and Luke Harris, drums – have been gathering steam since their first Irish tour in January wowing crowds in Dublin, Galway, Belfast and Derry/Londonderry. Since then, they fired up the BBC Introducing Stage at BBC Radio 1's Big Weekend in Hull; played at all the key Irish summer festivals including Indiependence and Electric Picnic; stole the show at Whelan's 'Ones To Watch' Festival in Dublin; and have sold out headline shows in Belfast. They've gained radio play from the likes of BBC Radio 1’s Phil Taggart and BBC 6 Music on the Tom Robinson Show as well as consistent, solid support from BBC Radio Ulster's Across the Line.

Their third single 'Hate It When You Have To Go' was catapulted into the world in September, a two minute thrust of fuzz guitars and pogoing keyboard melodies. Watch the video below.

This song perfectly surmised the same frantic melancholy-dipped rush of previous singles 'I Was An Astronaut' and 'Your Friends Hate Me', as well as the accomplished pure pop sting throughout the five-track American Wives EP, highlighted by the thrashing title track and the delightful 'I Love You, Goodbye'. 

With hints of Ash and Los Campesinos! but with an even more infectious blend of joy and sad, Brand New Friend only need a few minutes of your time to have you joining in on handclaps and harmonies. 

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Taylor Johnson says about the signing: 

“We’re incredibly excited to have signed to Xtra Mile, a label who right from the off shared our huge ambition and the passion that we’ve poured into everything up until now. More than anything we can’t wait to start working even harder for them!

We’re well aware of their great reputation and want to repay them for the faith they’ve shown in us by delivering a brilliant album and getting out on the road. The hard work starts now and we can’t wait!”

Charlie Caplowe of Xtra Mile Recordings says:

“The first time we heard Brand New Friend we knew we wanted to be involved. It was immediate. They are a great and exciting new young band with huge potential. Instead of pausing for thought and restricting their momentum, passion and enthusiasm, Xtra Mile wants to jump on board and be with them from the beginning onwards. Really excited to be working with them. Onwards into 2018 and a cracking debut album.” 

More news to come in the next few weeks including plans for 2018.