In 2014, New Zealand artist Aldous Harding
, real name Hannah Harding, released her debut album which channeled a lot of delicate acoustic folk. Now, she's settling in at 4AD, her new home, and will be releasing her sophomore LP, Party,
on May 19th.
So far, she has released two singles from the forthcoming album, "Imagining My Man" (above) and "Horizon" (below). Both tracks are accompanied by impactful visuals - "Imagining My Man" intimately follows the singer-songwriter as she drives through the city in the backseat of a car and "Horizon" goes back and forth between the evidently tortured singer and a beautiful older woman who dances with a baton. Along with the new album and label comes massive sonic changes, but Harding stays true to her folk roots. It's hard to put this artist in a box, but if you had
to, think of it as folk music but with a slightly dark alternative twist.
Coming out with "Horizon," a single that's essentially the same three piano chords over and over again with no beat, something that is hard for today's listeners to grasp, is a pretty bold move. "Here is your princess / Here is your horizon,"
Harding sings repeatedly. Is she giving us an ultimatum? Is she just stating the plain obvious? Are the two the same? We're not sure, and that's partially the beauty of it - while it acts as stunning imagery, it's up to the listener to interpret what it means.
There's something so eye-catching about Harding. She has the striking appearance of sort of tormented Parisian who cries over ex-lovers and dresses in black and white with slicked back hair as she wanders the city streets with flowers in her hand. Like a darker Laura Marling
or a female Perfume Genius
, she is crossing all of the lines with the combination of theatrics and alt-folk. Although her music may not seem entirely accessible on the surface, it can be interpreted by everyone.