Stephen Fitzpatrick, Audun Laading and Trevor Engelbrektson killed in road accident on way to gig in California

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Both members of the band Hers from Liverpool have died in a car crash while touring the US, their label confirmed on Thursday evening. Stephen Fitzpatrick and Audun Laading were on their way to a gig in Santa Ana, California, early on Wednesday morning when they were involved in a road accident.

The duo, who described themselves as an international supersonic spectral wave Liverpool band on their social media accounts, were killed alongside their tour manager, Trevor Engelbrektson.

Only days ago, the band had been featured on the BBC Music Introducing programme. Hers were touring North America for the second time, having released their debut album Invitation to Hers, and were playing 19 shows.

Last summer, Hers were mentioned in the Guardians one to watch category, where Emily Mackay described the band as 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 Heist or Hit described them as one of the UKs most loved up and coming bands. We are all heartbroken. Their energy, vibrancy and talent came to define our label. As humans, they were warm, gentle and hilarious, the label said in a statement.

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.

In an Instagram post published on Monday, the two musicians said it was almost home time for the lads after a US tour that had gone swimmingly so far.

Hers had been scheduled to perform at the Gold Sounds Festival 2019 in Leeds on 11 May.

The four members of another promising English band, Viola Beach, died in a car crash in Sweden in 2016 after their vehicle hit a raised section of a bridge and fell into a canal below.

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