Just when you thought singer-songwriters all fitted in to the same sensitive balladeer niche, New Zealander Aldous (real name Hannah) Harding appeared, blowing thoughts of twee, slightly precious folk artists out of the water. Party, the follow-up to her debut eponymous album is seemingly ubiquitous, and with good reason- it’s wonderful.
Produced by John Parish in Bristol,and featuring guest vocals from Mike Hadreas, aka Perfume Genius, it’s swooning, ominous, slinky, wry and hard to pin down, with Harding’s moody voice inviting comparisons with the more esoteric female pop artists like Kate Bush, Vashti Bunyon and Nico. This seems unfair- she is her own unique thing, one eyebrow often raised, and always embodying a different character. Who else could pen a song titled, What If Birds Aren’t Singing They’re Screaming?
She embarks on a massive tour over the summer, including some festivals – superstardom surely awaits, but if not, I am sure she couldn’t care less. Yet another reason to admire her.
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