South Shields musician opens heart about mum’s death to pen latest album

Jen Stevens and the Hiccups in action.
Jen Stevens and the Hiccups in action.
Share this article

A South Shields musician has opened her heart about the death of her mum to pen her band’s latest album.

Jen Stevens and the Hiccups’ latest release, Camera Obscura, was written by the singer-songwriter during her mum Anne’s battle with cancer and after she lost her life.

Jen, 29, of Chichester, began writing the songs while seeing her mum battle with the disease.

Anne passed away three years ago, aged 59.

Jen said: “I wrote the songs in the lead up to and aftermath of losing my mam. It is a very personal album but something I think people can really relate to.

“A couple of the songs are based on poems that my mam wrote while she was in a hospice. There’s one called Run which is based on a poem she wrote about how chemotherapy feels and it’s quite harrowing.

Jen wrote her new album during her mum Anne's illness and after she passed away. She's pictured with her mum at her graduation in 2008.

Jen wrote her new album during her mum Anne's illness and after she passed away. She's pictured with her mum at her graduation in 2008.

“I recorded that one just with a string quartet, which is something I always wanted to do and I thought this song was special enough to warrant it.

“The album has quite a mixture of sounds, there are bits of folk, pop and heavier stuff.

“Our first album was quite folky and the others have been a bit heavier and people liked both styles so we’ve tried to meet in the middle with this one.”

Jen’s dad John is a big fan of the album and she thinks her mum would have liked it just as much.

It is a very personal album but something I think people can really relate to.

Jen Stevens

She said: “I think my mam would have liked it, she was always very supportive and really spurred me on.

“She was at all the big gigs, standing in the front telling me to give it some welly.

“Mental health is another thing I’m really passionate in raising awareness about and this album goes into that as well. It’s really about how I was feeling about what I was going through, and if one person can listen to the songs and not feel so alone because someone else has felt the way they feel then I’ve done my job.”

Camera Obscura is the band’s fourth album and is made up of 11 original songs.

It will be officially launched with a gig at the Head of Steam, in Newcastle, on Thursday, November 26.

The band also includes Aaron Dixon-Cave, Tony Pottinger and Adam Barnes.

They also gig under the guise of covers band Rose Parade and Jen is regularly seen playing solo throughout the borough at venues such as The Ranch House, the Ship & Royal, the Sand Dancer and the Rattler.

The album is available to download through iTunes for £7.99 and a CD is on sale for £8 through the band’s Facebook page www.facebook.com/jenstevensandthehiccups.

Check the Facebook site for upcoming gigs.