Based out of Sheffield, Prima Hera is the new solo project of Stef Williamson. Stef previously made her name when living in Nottingham and performing as a member of Twin Kidd. After a five-year musical hiatus, and inspired by the experience of becoming a mother, Stef has a string of releases planned for the year ahead, and recently returned with the debut Prima Hera single, Sidecar.
A song about self-doubt, Sidecar was a track that only revealed itself to Stef after she’d finished writing it, as she recalls, “at the surface level the song is about someone who thinks they’re better than you. It was only after I finished the lyrics I realised the person in the song is the part of your own mind that tells you you aren’t good enough”. Musically, the track is a beautiful melding of the grandiose and the minimal. Stef’s vocals are luxuriously layered, coated in a warm blanket of reverb as they swoop and sore in a way Angel Olsen would be proud of, yet the backing is barely a whisper, a beautifully gentle rhythm track and arpeggiated keyboard bringing to mind the likes of Lomelda or Karima Walker. The lyrics are as subtle as they are cutting, the narrator playing like Kaa in The Jungle Book as they slowly drag down your self-confidence, “you talk to me like I wouldn’t understand, as if your thoughts were too high for any man”. It’s a sparkling commencement from Prima Hera, a musician marking herself out as someone well worth keeping your ears open for in the year ahead.
FTR: For those who don’t know who is Prima Here?
Prima Hera is the name I’ve given to all my solo stuff. It’s just me. I sing melancholy pop songs with reverb-heavy keys.
FTR: What can you remember about your first show?
First ever?? Hmm, I was in a punk band when I was about 14 in a really small town – The Easy Queens. I remember we played at a local school and someone from a Wolverhampton band happened to be there. We heard he liked us and we went home so excited thinking we might get signed hahaha
FTR: Why do you make music? Why not another art form?
Music just feels like something really core to my being – it just makes sense to my brain. I like doing some other arty things, but nothing else feels the same.
FTR: What can people expect from the Prima Hera live show?
You can expect something intimate and stripped back. At the moment it’s just me and keyboard, so I’ll just be there crooning my sad songs. I’ve realised I’m always trying to write melodies that are as emotional as possible (to me at least), so I hope that some of that feeling comes across. For some reason I also end up trying to be funny when I’m on stage, so you can probably expect some attempted banter too.
FTR: What’s next for Prima Hera?
I have another single planned for release in March. Then I want to record in Spring to put out a couple more releases this year. After that, who knows? I’m a bit of a recluse gig-wise (I like to think I’m like Kate Bush haha) but I would love to play these newbie songs live soon.
They Listen To…
Nirvana – Aneurysm.
Nirvana were my gateway band to ‘proper music’. This is one of my faves.
Kate Bush – Running Up That Hill.
Kate Bush is one of my musical icons and Hounds of Love is one of my favourite albums. RUTH has such an amazing soundscape. The way the drums drive the song throughout and the instrumental layering is other worldly.
A.O. Gerber – In the Morning.
I heard AO Gerber’s for the first time last year and their music became so inspirational to me. The vocal melody and delivery in this song just stuck with me. I love how it uses the sparse electronic drums at the start before dropping in to a more of an indie track.
I feel like I have two musical homes, Sheffield and Nottingham, (where i was in band Twin Kidd a few years ago) so I decided to pick a band from each:
Midnight Rodeo – The Big Melt.
This band is like a Nottingham all-stars band. My old band Twin Kidd gigged with singer Maddie Chamberlain’s band (Cherry Hex and the Dream Church) a lot. I love this new venture and the production on this track is divine. It was also recorded at JT Soar, which is such an iconic studio/venue in Nottingham.
Before Breakfast – Brush my hair (and tell me that you love me).
BB are doing amazing things. I love the rhythmic overlapping vocals on this song and their harmonies are unmistakable.
Sidecar is out now. For more information on Prima Hera visit https://linktr.ee/primahera.