Newton Faulkner

Sam Newton Battenberg Faulkner (born 11 January 1985) is an English singer-songwriter and musician from Reigate, Surrey. He is known for his percussive style of guitar playing.[2] In 2007 Faulkner's debut studio album Hand Built by Robots was certified double platinum in the United Kingdom. The album topped the UK Albums Chart in August 2007. It was promoted by three singles, "Dream Catch Me", "I Need Something" and "Teardrop". "Dream Catch Me" reached number seven on the UK Singles Charts.[3]

Newton Faulkner
Faulkner performing in Cambridge in July, 2011
Faulkner performing in Cambridge in July, 2011
Background information
Birth nameSam Newton Battenberg Faulkner
Born (1985-01-11) 11 January 1985 (age 36)
Reigate, Surrey, England
GenresFolk rock, pop rock, indie rock, acoustic
Occupation(s)Musician, songwriter
InstrumentsVocals, guitar, sitar, bass guitar, bass pedals, banjo, mandolin, guzheng, guitarron, piano, kazoo, ukulele
Years active2006–present
LabelsAware Records
Sony BMG
Battenberg Records[1]

Faulkner's second studio album, Rebuilt by Humans, was released in 2009 and charted at number 3 on the UK Albums Chart.[3] After an accident to his right wrist,[4] he said that he had "been put back together again by humans". The first single from the album was "If This Is It".

An EP titled Sketches was released in April 2012, followed by a third studio album Write It On Your Skin, which was released in July 2012 and reached number one on the UK Albums Chart. Faulkner's fourth album, Studio Zoo, was released in 2013 and reached number ten on the chart.[3] His fifth studio album, Human Love, was released in November 2015. Newton's sixth album Hit The Ground Running was released in September 2017 and debuted at number 13 in the UK charts.

In 2016, Faulkner was cast as Johnny in the musical American Idiot,[5] which is based on songs from the band Green Day. He played the role on the UK Tour, and continued in the role when the show returned to the West End at the Arts Theatre in July 2016.[6]

In November and December 2018, Faulkner starred as the Sung Thoughts of the Journalist in the 40th anniversary musical version of Jeff Wayne's War of the Worlds.[citation needed]

On December 10, 2018, Faulkner announced through social media channels the forthcoming release of The Very Best of Newton Faulkner...So Far, featuring 31 songs: selected songs from his six studio albums, three new tracks, and recordings of "all the covers I play live, from 'Bohemian Rhapsody' to ’Send Me On My Way' and a track I promised myself I'd never record!"[7] A new Christmas-themed track called "Wake Up" was previewed on his website to promote the album.[8] A European tour for Spring 2019 was announced at the same time.

Early lifeEdit

Faulkner is the second child of Sally Carolyn (née Battenberg, formerly Evans) and Keith William Faulkner. He has an older brother, Toby William Battenberg Faulkner and a younger sister, Charlotte (Lottie) Elizabeth Battenberg Faulkner. Faulkner attended the Hawthorns School in Bletchingley, Surrey. He began playing guitar at the age of 13 (after a few attempts at the drums and piano) and attended the Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. He grew his trademark red dreadlocks at age 15. He then moved on to the Academy of Contemporary Music in Guildford in 2002, where he spent two years gaining both diploma and the higher diploma award under the tutelage of Eric Roche, amongst others.

His first band was a Green Day cover band, in which he played bass guitar. His experience on the stage grew as he formed 'Half A Guy', a funk rock group, with bandmates Matt Buchanan (credited in Newton's Hand Built by Robots tab book), Dave Elvy and Nicola Crawshaw. 'Half A Guy' recorded two demo CDs and lasted two years before splitting. He then spent time recording and playing gigs under the name Newton Battenberg Faulkner, including the Lapagestock festival on 11 June 2005.

Music careerEdit

Hand Built by Robots (2005–2008)Edit

In 2005, he made a song for the game 'TrackMania Sunrise' called Take Back.

Faulkner made appearances in 2006 on BBC Radio 2 and he secured a Publishing deal with Peermusic UK who asked the Independent on Sunday to tell its readers to "watch this face".[9] Faulkner performed at the 2006 South by Southwest music festival and at Guilfest 2007.

He subsequently signed with Sony BMG records and in July 2007 he released his début album Hand Built By Robots. He supported James Morrison on his February UK tour, Paolo Nutini on his UK tour in April, and John Mayer on his September dates in the UK. He also supported The John Butler Trio on a number of European dates.

In 2007, Faulkner's debut studio album Hand Built by Robots was certified double platinum in the United Kingdom. Hand Built By Robots made No.1 in the UK Album Chart in August 2007. He released three singles from the album, "Dream Catch Me", "I Need Something" and "Teardrop". "Dream Catch Me" was selected Jo Whiley's Pet Sound on her daily Radio 1 show and made No.7 on the UK Singles Charts. This gave the track exposure and was highly commented on by listeners to Jo's show by SMS and e-mail. On 29 July, "Dream Catch Me" reached No. 7 in the UK Singles Chart. His fourth single from the album, a cover of Massive Attack's "Teardrop", was released in December 2007. A new video for "I Need Something" was released in March along with a United States version of the video for "Dream Catch Me".

Faulkner has performed at several major UK summer music festivals. In 2007 and 2008 he played at Glastonbury Festival, V Festival, Connect Music Festival 2007, at Radio 1's Big Weekend 2008, Lollapalooza 2008 in Grant Park Chicago, Oxegen in Ireland and at the Isle of Wight Festival 2008.[10]

Rebuilt by Humans (2009–2011)Edit

Faulkner released his second studio album, Rebuilt by Humans, in 2009, which made No.3 UK Albums Chart. On a video blog streamed live from Newton Faulkner's website on 22 June 2009, he stated that the new album would be called Rebuilt By Humans. The reason for this was that in December 2008, Faulkner slipped on some ice and badly injured his wrist, into which doctors fitted a metal plate. He then said that effectively, he had "been put back together again by humans". The first single from the album was "If This Is It", with the video exclusively shown on Channel 4 and released in September 2009.

In 2009 Faulkner played at Latitude Festival, Cois Fharraige in the Republic of Ireland, and at the Crossing Border Festival in the Netherlands, which was his last performance for the Rebuilt By Humans launch tour.

In 2010, "Dream Catch Me" was featured in the US film, She's Out of My League. In early 2010, Faulkner featured on the Hamish and Andy radio show in Australia, playing "I Hate Mondays" and this song charted at No.1 on the Australian Apple iTunes Store. Faulkner again performed at several UK festivals - Glastonbury Festival 2010, Oxegen Ireland, T in the Park 2010 in Scotland, Latitude Festival 2010, and the Beautiful Days music festival in Devon. In October 2010, he played a surprise set at the ACM Awards show at Indig02 at the O2 Arena in London and in November 2010, he appeared at the 'Christmas Lights switch-on' in Barnstaple.

Faulkner took part in the 2010-2011 Edinburgh New Year's Hogmanay Celebration.[11]

In 2011 he played at "Movistar Summer Experience" in Pinamar, Argentina in February and at the 'Beach Break Live' in Wales. Faulkner headlined the 'Avebury Rocks Charity Concert' in July 2011 and this event raised money for a Cancer Charity the Love Hope Strength Foundation. In July 2011 he played at the Cambridge Folk Festival. In 2011 Faulkner performed at the Bath Forum as a part of the 'International Guitar Foundation'.

In 2011, a portrait of Faulkner painted by British artist Joe Simpson was exhibited around the UK including a solo exhibition at The Royal Albert Hall.[12]

Also in 2011, his track "Over and Out" was covered by the Irish vocal pop group Westlife and was included in the band's second major compilation album and twelfth major overall album Greatest Hits.

Sketches and Write It on Your Skin (2012–2013)Edit

An EP named Sketches was released on 17 April 2012 and contained three new tracks. It was taken off iTunes on 21 April 2012,[13] and was updated and re-released on 21 May 2012.

At several shows on his 2012 tour, Faulkner announced that his third studio album would be titled Write It on Your Skin, and a track called "Clouds" would be the album's first single.[14] In June 2012, "Clouds" received BBC Radio 1 airplay. Write It on Your Skin was released on 9 July 2012 and reached number one on the UK Albums Chart.[3]

Faulkner performed two live gigs at Edinburgh's The Edge Festival in August 2012 with Reverieme. In September he played at Weyfest. In the Autumn of 2012, Newton and his brother Toby co-wrote several tracks with Janet Devlin for her upcoming debut album.[15]

In 2012, Faulkner played a UK wide tour for his album Write It On Your Skin, and in 2013 he toured Australia.

Studio Zoo (2013–2014)Edit

The recording of Faulkner's fourth album Studio Zoo was being streamed live online, 24/7 for five weeks from 11 June 2013, with regular updates on the social networks. His home studio in East London was set up with four cameras, to follow every detail of recording the album..

I am as excited as I am terrified by the prospect of having a house full of cameras film me while trying to record an album. The entire recording process will be streamed live and nothing has been recorded in advance - apart from some particularly good hand claps recorded in Paris. The album will be made before your very eyes, no tricks, no producer and no engineer, just me, a guitar and a few surprise guests.[16]

On 16 June 2013 Faulkner played the main stage at the Isle of Wight Festival 2013 with live streaming as part of the Studio Zoo project. He played "Dream Catch Me", "I Need Something", "Brick by Brick", "Orange Skies" and a cover of Queen's "Bohemian Rhapsody", among others.[17]

The album Studio Zoo was released on 26 August 2013. It debuted at no. 10 at UK Albums Chart, becoming Faulkner's fourth top 10 studio album.

Human Love (2015)Edit

On 15 September 2015, it was announced that Faulkner's fifth studio album, Human Love, would be released on 20 November 2015.[18] A music video for the album's lead single,[19] a cover of Major Lazer's song "Get Free", was released the same day and featured a live take of Newton cutting off the long dreadlocks that had been a part of his instantly recognisable image since his teens. A second single, "Up Up and Away", was subsequently released and accompanied by a video featuring choreographed dance routines performed while Newton jogged along a river bank.[20]

Hit the Ground Running (2017)Edit

Newton's sixth studio album was released on 1 September 2017. While this built on the intricate guitar and percussive guitar work that was a feature of his previous albums, it marked a conscious focus from Newton to push his vocal range to the limits with a strong emphasis also on rhythm, most noticeably on the first, eponymous, single which featured some very high notes and also on another blues-tinged track "Finger Tip", which was released as the third single and the follow up to "All She Needs". As this recording marked the 10th anniversary of Newton's debut album Hand Built by Robots, Hit The Ground Running featured several deliberate references to that record; the opening track "Smoked Ice Cream" (a track that he had played live for years that had no title until a suggestion was shouted out from a crowd at a gig[21]) featured a slowly picked melody building into a rhythmic instrumental played on a single acoustic guitar before the vocals kick in, in a similar way to the instrumental "Intro", which builds on and then segues into "To the Light" at the start of his debut album. The placement of the only instrumental track "Guitar-y Thing" in the middle of Hit the Ground Running is also a nod to "Sitar-Y-Thing", which was an instrumental giving a similar mood to split Hand Built by Robots into two halves. Shortly before the release of Hit The Ground Running, Newton recorded an acoustic version of the full Hand Built by Robots album as a free gift for his fans, putting it out on YouTube as a video album featuring a newly recorded video of him playing each song in a different setting in and around his house[22] with each song seguing into the next in the same way and in the same order as the original record.


Studio albumsEdit

Title Album details Chart positions Certifications
(sales thresholds)
Hand Built by Robots 1 5 50 10 31 96
Rebuilt by Humans
  • Release date: 28 September 2009
  • Label: Ugly Truth
3 5 18
  • BPI: Gold
  • ARIA: Gold
Write It on Your Skin
  • Release date: 9 July 2012
  • Label: Ugly Truth
1 32 25
Studio Zoo
  • Release date: 26 August 2013
  • Label: Ugly Truth
10 51
Human Love
  • Release date: 20 November 2015
  • Label: BMG
41 82
Hit the Ground Running
  • Release date: 1 September 2017
  • Label: Battenberg[1]
Interference (Of Light)
  • Scheduled: 20 August 2021[28]
  • Label: Battenberg
To be released

Compilation albumsEdit

Title Album details Chart positions
The Very Best of Newton Faulkner...So Far
  • Release date: 8 March 2019
  • Label: Battenberg

Extended playsEdit

Title EP details Tracks
Full Fat EP
  • Released: 27 Mar 2006
  • Label: Pressure
  • Formats: CD (later also Digital download)
  1. Full Fat (2:42)
  2. I Need Something (2:45)
  3. To the Light (2:48)
  4. Where Is This Gonna End? (3:25)
  • #1 re-recorded and used as the Hand Built by Robots digital bonus track and on the "All I Got" single.
  • #2 & #3 re-recorded for Hand Built by Robots.
  • #4 live version later appeared on the "Teardrop" single.
  • Released: 2 Dec 2006
  • Label: Ugly Truth
  • Formats: CD (later also Digital download[29])
  1. U.F.O. (2:45)
  2. Feels Like Home (3:12)
  3. Alone Again (3:12)
  4. Teardrop (live version) (2:39)
  5. Lullaby (1:22)
  • #1, #2, #4 & #5 re-recorded for Hand Built by Robots.
Sketches EP
  • Released: 20 May 2012
  • Label: Ugly Truth
  • Formats: Digital download[30]
  1. Write It on Your Skin (3:14)
  2. From the Bars (3:36)
  3. Bricks (acoustic version) (3:26)
  4. Feel (4:40)
  5. [Video] Write It on Your Skin (3.17)
  • Track #3: This 'Brick by Brick' version different than 'Write It On Your Skin' (Deluxe Edition) version.
  • Track #5: Bonus video on some editions only.


Title Year Peak chart positions Album
"I Need Something" 2007 107 Hand Built by Robots
"Dream Catch Me" 7 5 39 46 38
"All I Got" 2008 59
"Teardrop" 57
"I Need Something" (re-release) 70
"Gone in the Morning" 83
"If This Is It" 2009 56 29 Rebuilt by Humans
"Over and Out"
"Let's Get Together"
"I Hate Mondays" 2010 8 Non-album single
"Write It on Your Skin" 2012 54 Write It on Your Skin
"Clouds" 68
"Losing Ground" 2013 Studio Zoo
"Get Free"[31] 2015 Human Love
"Hit the Ground Running" 2017 Hit the Ground Running
"All She Needs"
"Finger Tips"
"Wish I Could Wake Up" 2018 Non-album single

Music videosEdit

Year Song Album Director(s)
2006 "To The Light" full fat EP Colin Munro, Quirky Motion


  • 2010: Relentless Boardmasters (TV-series)
  • 2011: You Instead
  • 2018: Terminal


  1. ^ a b "Hit the Ground Running". Retrieved 27 August 2017.
  2. ^ Bliss, Karen. "Newton Faulkner:UK Folkie Brings his Unique Guitar Chops to Canada". Ur magazine. Rogers.
  3. ^ a b c d e f g "NEWTON FAULKNER | full Official Chart History". Official Charts Company. Retrieved 15 September 2015.
  4. ^ Gray, Robert (18 September 2009). "Newton Faulkner: 'Limitation Opens Up Other Bits Of Your Brain'". Archived from the original on 1 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  5. ^ "Casting News: Newton Faulkner announced as 'Johnny'". 10 March 2016. Archived from the original on 31 March 2016. Retrieved 29 March 2016.
  6. ^ "American Idiot at the Arts Theatre". London theatre tickets. Retrieved 18 June 2016.
  7. ^ "Newton Faulkner". Retrieved 10 December 2018.
  8. ^ "Newton Faulkner". Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  9. ^ "Watch this face: Newton Faulkner". Independent on Sunday (London). 8 January 2006. p. 19; Features.
  10. ^ Newton Faulkner at Bonnaroo 2008, 24 March 2008 (Retrieved: 24 March 2008)
  11. ^ "Edinburgh's Hogmanay 2011- The World's Best New Year Celebrations!". Archived from the original on 26 July 2011. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  12. ^ NME "Musician Portraits - Joe Simpson's paintings of rock stars" "2011"
  13. ^ "EP Update". Archived from the original on 14 July 2014. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  14. ^ "Write It on Your Skin tracklisting revealed". Archived from the original on 30 January 2013. Retrieved 4 June 2012.
  15. ^ Corner, Lewis (19 October 2012). "Janet Devlin interview: 'I felt lost after The X Factor'". Digital Spy. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  16. ^ "Newton Faulkner New Album 'Studio Zoo' Out On August 26th 2013 Plus Recording To Be Filmed 24/7 In His East London Home". Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  17. ^ "Newton Faulkner: Live music". Absolute Radio. Archived from the original on 29 August 2013. Retrieved 5 August 2013.
  18. ^ Baines, Huw. "Newton Faulkner Confirms November Release For 'Human Love' And UK Tour - Stereoboard".
  19. ^ NewtonFaulknerVEVO, Newton Faulkner - Get Free (Official Video), retrieved 11 December 2018
  20. ^ NewtonFaulknerVEVO, Newton Faulkner - Up Up And Away (Official Video), retrieved 11 December 2018
  21. ^ "Newton Faulkner pens track-by-track for new album Hit The Ground Running". The Independent. 1 September 2017. Retrieved 11 December 2018.
  22. ^ Newton Faulkner, Newton Faulkner - 10 Year Anniversary vid of Hand Built By Robots, retrieved 11 December 2018
  23. ^ a b "Newton Faulkner - Australian Charts". Hung Medien.
  24. ^ a b "Newton Faulkner - German Charts". Hung Medien.
  25. ^ a b "Newton Faulkner - Irish Charts". Hung Medien.
  26. ^ a b "Newton Faulkner - New Zealand Charts".
  27. ^ "Newton Faulkner - Swiss Charts". Hung Medien.
  28. ^ Millar, Mark (1 April 2021). "NEWTON FAULKNER announces new album INTERFERENCE (OF LIGHT) will be released on 20 August". XSNoize. Retrieved 6 April 2021.
  29. ^ "UFO EP: Newton Faulkner: MP3 Downloads". 19 April 2013. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013.
  30. ^ "Sketches EP [+video]: Newton Faulkner: MP3 Downloads". 19 April 2013. Archived from the original on 19 April 2013.
  31. ^ "Newton Faulkner announces new album Human Love and full UK tour". HMV. 15 September 2015. Retrieved 15 September 2015.

External linksEdit