Audun Laading & Stephen Fitzpatrick Dead: Band Her’s Killed in Crash

Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading

Neelam Khan Vela Band members Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading.

Members of Liverpool-based band Her’s died March 27 while on their second North American tour. They had been in the US for three weeks and were planning to return to the UK in a matter of days.

The band was a rising star on the UK scene named as a Ones to Watch by The Guardian in 2018, who called them a “Liverpool duo who make free with the bossa nova heartbreak of Everything But the Girl (pre-Missing era), the spry jangle of early Aztec Camera and the wistful wryness of the Smiths’ Hatful of Hollow.”

Their label Hit or Heist said the band members were voracious consumers of music across styles and eras, and it shows in their mutant retro-futurist sound.

Writing for NME Thomas Smith said the band was “never really fitting into one genre, but somehow nailing whatever they end up doing.”

Her’s was Playing Their Final Tour Dates and Planning to Return to the UK

Audun Laading and Stephen Fitzpatrick, along with their tour manager Trevor Engelbrektson, were on their way to perform in Santa Ana, California on Wednesday, March 27 when they were killed in a car accident. They had finished a performance in Phoenix, Arizona, on Tuesday.

Their label, Heist or Hit, confirmed the news on Facebook, writing of the men:

Their energy, vibrancy and talent came to define our label. As humans, they were warm, gentle and hilarious. Each time they stopped by the office made for an uplifting experience. To say they were close would be an underestimation of a friendship that was genuinely beautiful to witness; they loved one another like brothers. Musically, Her’s were astonishing. An aptitude for melody, fun, and entertainment combined with a complexity that was as sophisticated as it was stylish.

The duo met at the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts. Stephen Fitzpatrick performed vocals and played guitar while Norwegian Audun Laading played bass and sang backing vocals). The duo used a drum machine and toured with a cardboard cutout of Pierce Brosnan.

“We found we had a similar philosophy in regards to music,” Stephen Fitzpatrick told The Skinny. “There was a common ground when it came to particular bands. We’re almost like a product of the bands that we most agree on – we both like The Smiths and Ariel Pink, for example.”


Their label Hit or Heist said, “They were in America playing to thousands of adoring fans. Fans they made a point of meeting and spending time with, such was their passion and humbleness. The world was at their feet.”

Her’s was playing 19 shows on their second tour of North America. They had two dates left, Santa Ana and San Diego, California.

Her’s had Just Recorded a BBC Session at SXSW in Austin

Her’s released their debut album Invitation to Her’s last August. This followed 2017’s collection Songs of Her’s.

“Their Twin Peaks-referencing debut album proper, Invitation to Her’s consolidates their retro charms with pastel-toned production reminiscent of Ariel Pink, the Drums and Jens Lekman on the quizzical likes of Harvey (based on the Jimmy Stewart film about a man who befriends an invisible giant rabbit) and If You Know What’s Right, a warning against settling down too young that has some of Scritti Politti’s sly sweetness,” writes for The Guardian.

Her’s had just recorded a BBC Introducing session at SXSW in Austin.

The band members were aware the apostrophe in their title is grammatically incorrect. They just liked it that way.

READ NEXT: ‘Cheese Challenge’: why are People Throwing Cheese at Babies?