You may remember Aldous Harding casting herself as heir apparent to Cat Power‘s particular brand of kray when she supported Perfume Genius at Perth Festival a couple of years ago. Well, get set to hear a lot more from the eccentric New Zealand talent, who has joined Australian acts Methyl Ethel and D.D Dumbo on the legendary 4AD label.
To go with the announcement, Harding has released a powerful opening statement with her new song Horizon and its companion video. Check it out below.
Harding’s music is not for the faint of heart. Disarming in its desolate imagery and stark instrumentation, her songs draw from the core facets of life: death, birth, grief and love. There are few happy endings, but the power is in how Harding enters into battle; with a dancer’s grace and a boxer’s stance.
She initially ignited interest with her eponymous debut album released just two years ago. With echoes of folk luminary Linda Perhacs, Harding’s work is one step removed from the modern world, lying in the more savage and dramatic terrain where Kate Bush and Scott Walker reside, wrought with a wry wit and tenacious gall.
For her 4AD debut, Aldous (real name Hannah) Harding has been working with award-winning producer John Parish (PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse), and Horizon offers a preview of that collaboration.
Harding wraps her effortless voice around a simple three-chord skeleton with poise and, at times, near violent intensity. The confrontational accompanying video, directed by Charlotte Evans, and produced by Evie Mackay, features Harding’s own mother performing a transfixing blend of Aikido and physical theatre in the New Zealand hinterland.