China Lane’s big break at new record label, ‘Playing with Sound’

Alternative folk/pop duo, China Lane, joined two other bands from Manchester for the release of new record label ‘Playing with Sound’ at the Night and Day Cafe in March.

The duo formed in February last year, after Holly quit her scholarship in a dance school and Hester moved to the UK from Ireland. The pair had known each other for two years before they decided to collaborate and write music, then toured around Berlin and Europe.

On the release of their new single ‘Promise’ (out now), Hester explained how lyrics aren’t necessarily related to them but have a cold and harsh meaning.

“The story is something we made up, about a prostitute who falls in love with a guy she meets on the streets and fantasised over how he can save her.  It’s about the harsh reality of life and unfortunately it’s all just a dream of hers, none of it is real.”

The duo previously produced music in their homes, however this time they went professional.

“We worked with Dan Swift, who worked with the likes of Snow Patrol and Passenger. At one point he had us both singing over and over in a studio along with a huge gospel choir. The single wouldn’t be what it is without Dan, one hundred per cent. We’re very grateful for his help and guidance; he is such a great guy.”

“Sometimes we do prefer to produce our music in the comfort of our homes, it’s easier and relaxed but we definitely needed a professional sound.

“The professional sound is more of what we want to create now; we’re currently in a transition from folk and acoustic. We want to branch out to more genres as we both have different influences.

“My taste is mainly influenced by Passenger and Ed Sheeran, whereas Holly’s is more The XX,” explained Hester.

The duo decided to change after they went on a busking tour around Berlin. They’re going to Finland over the summer, but this time to busk on public transport.


“The last tour was so hot! We could do something we love, grow, survive and build up an amazing fan base. We left last July for Berlin and went around selling all of our CD’s, as well as busking and just generally that kept us afloat.

“In a venue people expect good music, but when we are on the streets we were able to see what the public and fans liked in terms of our material.”

Hester and Holly’s next tour will be around the UK for 23 days of touring universities and then they’ll be off to Finland for another busking challenge, so keep a look out for them in a city near you!



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