The Undercover Hippy, aka Billy Rowan, performs at Gullivers in Manchester’s Northern Quarter next week.

The Undercover Hippy returns with a new album Truth & Fiction, which is due out on 20 May 2017.  The album is his first studio release since 2014’s Monkey Suit.

Those familiar with Billy’s music, will already know he is definitely not your average singer songwriter. After 7 years spent DJ’ing and MC’ing on the Drum & Bass circuit, Billy switched up identities, swapping the decks for a guitar as he began a new life with a new moniker in 2007: the Undercover Hippy was born. He has toured relentlessly ever since.  He has won over fans with soulful vocals, infectious reggae rhythms, and the lyrical delivery of a skilled mc, with a charismatic style and playful sound that has had audiences rapt from day one.

Truth & Fiction finds The Undercover Hippy inspired-by and rallying-against much that has come to grip politics and society over the last 12 months.

The 10-track Truth & Fiction covers topics from the serious to the ludicrous. He offers his own take on fake news, internet privacy and the U.S. election.  But also covers more jovial topics of nappy wearing barristers and best friends trying to snog your mum.

The Undercover Hippy worked with producer and engineer Dean Forrest (Backbeat Soundsystem, Easy Star Records) at Cube Studios in Cornwall.  There, they laid down the groundwork for the follow up to 2014’s Monkey Suit album.  Locking himself away in his studio, Billy set about writing and developing the recordings into finished songs.  He completed the album, working with Grammy nominated mix engineer Dean Barratt (Natty, Shy FX, Anoushkar Shankar) to bring Truth & Fiction to life.

Speaking about the writing and recording process, Billy commented, “For a while I was a bit worried that the last album Monkey Suit might have been the best I had to offer, especially when 3 weeks before going into the studio we still only had 5 songs written for a 10 track album! But actually, the songs that have been written and developed during and after the recording process are probably my favourite tracks on the album. It’s also meant that those songs are still really topical, as I’ve literally been writing lyrics and recording vocals right up to the final week of mixing. So yeah, I’m really happy with how it’s turned out, so you can expect big things!”

Where and when can I see The Undercover Hippy in Manchester?

The Undercover Hippy is playing a 13-date May UK headline tour.  The run includes a Manchester show.  He then follows it up with festival appearances in June.

The Undercover Hippy plays at Manchester’s Gullivers on 11 May 2017.