Watch & Listen

Aldous Harding

An artist of rare calibre, Aldous Harding does more than sing; she conjures a singular intensity. Her body and face a weapon of theatre, Harding dances with steeled fervor, gnashing like a Banraku puppet.

Her debut release with 4AD, "Party"(produced with the award-winning John Parish; PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) introduces a new pulse to the stark and unpopulated dramatic realm where the likes of Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside.

Igniting interest with her eponymous debut album released just two years ago, Aldous Harding quickly became known for her charismatic combination of talent, tenacity and shrewd wit. The album drew attention and accolades from some of the most illustrious corners of the music industry, receiving 4 stars in MOJO and Uncut, while UK blog The 405 hailed her a “toweringly talented song writer”.

Comprising a formidable clutch of songs, 2017’s "Party" sees Harding shape-shift through a variety of roles: chanteuse, folk singer and balladeer - all executed with her twisted touch of humour, hubris and quiet horror. In other words, she’s having a good time. Stretching her limbs with playful cunning; every note, word and arrangement posed with intellect and inventiveness.

Created in Parish’s hometown of Bristol, Party saw Harding depart her New Zealand base in the antipodes for an intensive two-week immersion in the studio. Articulating her ambitions for "Party" to Parish was a galvanizing process for Harding, with stunning results. The pair developed a near non-verbal shorthand, audibly evident in a raft of musical contributions from Parish. Alongside such special guests as Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas (having worked with Parish and toured with Aldous, it only took asking once), there is an exhilarating sense of risk throughout the record as Harding’s muscular wingspan extends. Teased out with inflections of experimental instrumentation and arrangements; Party is always anchored by Aldous’s intimidating command of her own songs.

First single “Horizon” is a lover’s call to arms, powerful for its brutal simplicity and rawness of feeling, love and loathing colliding to devastating effect. “Aldous Harding repeats the line as a mantra, as a truth, as a reality. It's as if the gift of life is right here, with all its beauty and its limitations”, said NPR.

“Imagining My Man” commands an air of delicacy as Aldous explores the curiosity of a lover’s idiosyncrasies; steering listeners into a state of intense intimacy laced with hyperactive shots, dirgey saxophone and Harding’s aching voice. The track is one of two that Perfume Genius Mike Hadreas lends his inimitably sultry vocals to, the other being the intimate Party closer ‘Swell Does The Skull’.

The album’s eponymous single “Party” harks to Aldous’ earlier work; delicately pulling at the threads of a seemingly late-night love affair. Again, it’s not long until the rug is pulled out, with a searing chorus - Harding’s electrifying vocal accompanied by a choir of women and waves of percussive bass clarinet - piercing the balloon of expectations around Harding's new record with effortless vigour.

Renowned for the captivating state of possession she occupies in live performance, Aldous Harding has won crowds the world over playing alongside Deerhunter, Frankie Cosmos and Perfume Genius, as well as to hoards of eager crowds at SXSW, Rolling Stone Weekender, Visions Festival, Golden Plains and more. Aldous’ 2017 touring schedule spans Europe, the US and the United Kingdom for much of the year

Sarah Bethe Nelson

Sarah Bethe Nelson is the constant observer. Having spent the better part of her adult life tending bar at San Francisco’s most well-loved watering holes, she has witnessed thousands of
late nights fights, early morning rants, blackouts, make-outs, and make-ups. Yet she seems to have an eye cast askance at the streetlights outside. For it’s not the drama unfolding inside the
bar that keeps her rapt; it’s the possibility that one night a light will appear outside, a glowing orb with all the answers that she can levitate into, that will rescue her from love-worn ennui, from the violence of misspent youth. What stands out about the songs on her Burger Records debut Fast-Moving Clouds is this sense of waiting, waiting, hoping.

Carletta Sue Kay

The New York Time's has famously called Carletta Sue Kay both "Performance Piece and Elaborate Joke!" Stephin Merritt of The Magnetic Fields with whom Carletta has both performed and recorded, has likened Carletta to Nina Simone, "…without the bitterness!" No matter, when she opens her mouth to sing, lipstick smeared and wig askew, the audience succumbs to her four octave range and powerhouse vocals. Carletta's debut l.p. Incongruent (Kitten Charmer) covers a wide range of subjects from Joy Division to Eleanor Roosevelt. Conjuring ghosts and dreaming of the apocalypse, Carletta's next record will explore the realms of the supernatural, death, two-timing and even Hammer Horror Classics.

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