Pointy Features Interview

Hey there! Mind introducing yourself, and could you spill the beans on how the name “Pointy Features” came to be?

My name is Dan Leak, I am a guitarist, producer and teacher from County Durham. I go by the alias Pointy Features, a name that emerged during a holiday in Berlin with friends. While at a bar, a girl jokingly suggested that our group of traditionally British-looking lads should form a band called ‘Pointy Features’.

We laughed it off at the time. However, a few years later, when I was ready to release some music, I messaged one of the lads to recall the name. After searching online and finding no artists with a similar name, I decided to go with it.

Can you break down the vibe of your music and let us in on its unique style?

This latest LP (‘Hill End’) is a mix of ‘vintage’ sounds with a modern take – wrapping up all of our influences such as Pink Floyd, Tame Imapala, Khruangbin and Free but delivered with our own sound in mind. This is the first ‘vocal’ or band album I’ve done under this alias.

Over the last 5 years I’ve mostly built a sound around  bluesy guitar beats and distributing them online – this gained traction as the genres of lo-fi/chill-hop grew into popular through the pandemic downtime – thankfully project has accumulated over 100 million streams on streaming services since then.

Since then I’ve been wanting to make more ‘proper’ songs and enlisted a few local mates and musos to knock our influences (and take some of my old sound) to make something we are proud of as a group. On that note, shout out to the lads in the band: Kieran Johnson (vocals), Ben Johnson (bass) and John Timeny (drums).

If your music had a flavor, what tasty dish would represent it best?

It would probably be a Sunday dinner. Traditional – with all the good bits of the rock music that came before us and loads of gravy (the modern production) on top.

How’s the reception been for your new EP? Any cool stories or adventures you’d love to share about the release?

At the time of writing this we have had a good reception to the first 3 singles – we’ve been featured on BBC Introducing and shifted about half the records to presales / record shop stocking. We’ve also had a good run on Spotify – being featured on their ‘The New Retro’ playlist that has almost 400k followers.

One of the tracks ‘Old Coal Town’ refences the North East and Durham’s mining history in particular. I knew I wanted to include this on the record but we had no lyrics come the week of recording. Kieran and I sat down the afternoon before it was recorded and hoped pressure would produce the goods.

As we sat at the piano in Blank Studios Newcastle the song lyrics came to life in about half hour spare studio time – it’s probably my favourite from the record.

The album artwork is a visual delight! Who’s the creative genius behind its eye-catching design?

The artwork for my projects is created by a local artist and friend who was part of the initial ‘Pointy Features’ jibe in Berlin. He is a top class animator and illustrator who has been kind enough to provide art for all of my albums so far. His website and socials below:



Your marbled vinyl disc and album artwork are a match made in heaven! Were those vibrant colours always part of the plan, or did you face any interesting challenges deciding on the perfect combo?

The artwork for ‘Hill End’ started as a black and white piece (attached) which we selected from a range of ideas he provided to accompany his take on the sounds as an illustrator. Over time this evolved into the bright artwork which was used for the final cover.

The title ‘Hill End’ holds several connections to the LP itself. Firstly, it refers to a real place in Weardale, Durham, close to where some of the lads in the band live. Hill End bears a somewhat striking resemblance to the illustration on the cover (pic attached). We also liked that it has somewhat of a feel of the landscapes in County Durham overall.

With the single titled ‘Old Coal Town’ and a local theme throughout, we found ‘Hill End’ to be a fitting title in the end. The disc colours were chosen to match the artwork – a mix of marbled red and yellow. What’s interesting is how they’ve all come out different shades of red, orange and yellow which adds to the uniqueness.

Any standout moments or tales from the recording process that molded the overall sound of this vinyl record?

I wanted to go into a studio for this LP and take a bit more of an old fashioned approach – previously everything I’ve done has been tracked, mixed and mastered at home. The album was moulded by local producer ‘John Martindale’ and engineer ‘Josh Ingledew’ at Blank Studios – they had a lot of input on the sound.

Rather than using reference tracks it was a case of adjusting as we went, tones and some arrangements. Certainly a shout to them two in helping me co-produce the tunes, and to any bands in the North East, Blank is a top spot for stress free recording.

What’s been spinning on your playlist lately? Any favourite artists or albums?

In the same vain as this LP, we all generally love the classics and anything that has a touch of them in their influence. Here’s five albums I’d suggest off the top of my head:

Khruangbin – The Universe Smiles Upon You

Skinshape – Life & Love

Thin Lizzy – Live and Dangerous

Tame Impala – Innerspeaker

White Denim – Corsicana Lemonade

Reflecting on your experience with Press On Vinyl, what led you to choose them for pressing your vinyl, and how did the whole journey unfold?

At the start of this LP / project we knew the aim was to press vinyl. Press On Vinyl has had a lot of good press over the past few years, we’ve heard from other local artists that its fairly straightforward and affordable process. That alongside yourselves being local to the North East – it was an easy choice.

For fans itching to catch your live performance, any thrilling gigs or performances on the horizon that we should mark in our calendars?

Our album launches at The Cluny on March 8th, 2024 – we will be playing live with a liquid light show akin to many gigs in the 60s.  Records will of course be available on the evening! You can find out more about the evening below:


Lastly, where can fans snag a copy of your record to proudly add to their collection and show off to their friends?

Bandcamp is the place to get a hold of a copy if you like the sound of the project – thank you for reading!

Check out more Press On Spotlight here

Copyright © Press On Vinyl Ltd 2022

Login to your account