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.
The slinky, mysterious, cinematic music of Midnight Sister is brought to you by the isolating landscape of the San Fernando Valley - its colors, its diners, its lunatics, its neon lights. The duo of Juliana Giraffe and Ari Balouzian, lifelong residents of this storied valley, have only become more inspired by the area's mythology over the years, it's two-faced magical wonderland and tragic circus.
Giraffe, 23, daughter of an LA disc jockey, was raised almost exclusively on disco and David Bowie. Her lyrics and lyrical melodies were composed gazing out from a tiny retail window on Sunset Boulevard. Her "Rear Window"-like longing allowed her imagination to run wild and cook up the wild narratives that would fill Balouzian's compositions. Balouzian, 27, classically trained and already a go-to arranger for odd-pop names like Tobias Jesso Jr. and Alex Izenberg, is inspired by the immersive, almost visual language of Stravinsky and Ravel as much as the cinematic jeu d'esprit of Altman's "Brewster McCloud" and Paul Thomas Anderson's "Punch Drunk Love." Their shared musical vision of LA is the ominous alley you must enter to have the speakeasy night of your life.
Annie Hardy began her illustrious career as lead singer, songwriter and guitarist of Giant Drag over a decade ago and she returned to the public eye with her critically acclaimed solo debut, Rules, this April. The album features contributions from Don Bolles (The Germs), Stephen McBean (Pink Mountaintops, Black Mountain), Petra Haden (That Dog), DJ Bonebrake (X) and Joe Cardamone (The Icarus Line). Crafted during a period of time during which she lost both her baby to SIDS at 17 days old as well as the baby’s father, her boyfriend Robert Paulson, the record is simultaneously beautiful and tragic. The honesty of the record envelops listeners inviting them to engage with the extreme tragedy in an almost voyeuristic capacity. Today, The Los Angeles Times shares the video for album single “Train”, we encourage you to post & share!
Produced by Joe Cardamone of LA post-hardcore band The Icarus Line, on Rules Annie trades in the grunge-pop grooves of Giant Drag for experimental art-punk, exposing her fragility in a way she never has before. Often compared to bands such as My Bloody Valentine and PJ Harvey, Giant Drag played Coachella and the Reading and Leeds festivals as well as touring with Scissor Sisters, Pretty Girls Make Graves, The Jesus and Mary Chain and many more. After surviving two years of incredible personal loss, Annie Hardy returns to release a powerful poignant solo debut. Stay tuned for more opportunities to catch her live coming soon.