Steafan Hanvey Returns to 'Rocket Shop'! 3/16/11

steafanhanveykelsey Steafan Hanvey and Rocket Shop host Kelsey Hanrahan at Big Heavy World.

Words and Photos by Julie Jay Seger

After one year's time, Irish singer songwriter Steafan Hanvey joined us in the lovely state of Vermont for 'Rocket Shop,' Big Heavy World's local music radio hour (Wednesday nights from 8 to 10 P.M on 105.9 FM The Radiator).

Steafan grew up in Northern Ireland and currently resides in Dublin, but he's made his musical mark around the world. He'd also like to clear up the common misconception that Ireland is a rainy, gray place. "It's actually very green, very full of light," says Steafan.

After touring around the U.S. last year to promote his first album 'Honey Moon Junkies,' Steafan is back for "The Thing This Is" showcase tour, kicking off this Wednesday March 16th with Erin McDermott at Kismet in Montpelier, VT.  There are also plenty of chances to catch Steafan in the Burlington area playing with Myra Flynn this Saturday March 19th at Red Square, on March 24th at 156 Bistro, or on March 26th at The Half Lounge. "The Thing This Is," will also pass through New York City and finish up in Chicago.

Steafan took his time with his second album, 'Nuclear Family,' which is now finished and set to drop sometime this year.  In 2007, Steafan laid the bare bones of the album in Helsinki, Finland. Over the course of the next three years he traveled across Europe, working with who he wanted to work with and growing along with the album itself. "It was such a romantic, inspiring, fulfilling trip. I took my time on it and wanted to create an album that sounds like it was made in a studio. It's a different album than I expected it to be. I'm very proud of it, I put everything into it and more. "

The whirlwind of traveling and recording 'Nuclear Family' was captured in a documentary that is included when you pre-order 'Nuclear Family' at You also get a copy of Hanvey's first album for free when you pre-order his latest release.  "This really was a gypsy record, recorded everywhere, so the documentary is incredible because it gives you a real taste of where I recorded the album and who was a part of it." After 'Nuclear Family' is released Steafan plans to head back to the U.S. to promote 'Nuclear Family' and be giggin' hard every night for the next two years.

'Rocket Shop' listeners were lucky to hear Steafan Hanvey play a couple songs live in The Radiator studio.  We heard older tracks like "Dublin Sky," and "Fair Weather Friend."   Steafan also debuted two 'Nuclear Family' tracks,  "God Speed," and "Into Your Sun."  Steafan's gentle Irish accent, evolving guitar licks, and the raw emotion of his sudden shifts in style kept me interested and eager for more.

Steafan elaborated about a common thread thoughout  'Nuclear Family.'  "It's about the challenges that change you, relationships that change you, and how everything you do can change who you are. I wanted to go home in every sense for this album, and a lot of it has to do with growing up during the troubles in Northern Ireland in the 70s and 80s. Back then, we couldn't talk about it, but my father was a photographer and captured a lot of the damage of that era. I use his photographs for inspiration, some are included in the digital album release.  So it's very in line with where I grew up, the ideas of challenge and family, as well as the nuclear family and the potential for destruction there."

Steafan conveys that pressure-cooker intensity beautifully in his music using quick shifts from soft to loud. His clever lyrics capture "the stuff you go through, the reality of change in every day life, and the challenges you face to grow." Visit to pre-order 'Nuclear Family,' and also receive his first album and the documentary about recording 'Nuclear Family' for free.

Thanks again to Steafan for making good on his promise to return to 'Rocket Shop': "It's good to be back in Burlington, it almost feels like home." Until next year, Steafan!


Rocket Shop Playlist:

1) Dublin Sky

2) God Speed

3)Into Your Sun

4) Fair Weather Friend