on life, music etc beyond mainstream

2019 27 Apr

Aldous‘ Dance

von: Manafonistas Filed under: Blog | TB | Tags: , 1 Comment


Aldous Harding – „The Barrel“ (Official Video)


As for her singing, Harding seems to have honed her instrument and matured as a performer – the inflections of her voice give shape and color to every line, and her choices never seem forced. Though the songs certainly have more or less traditional structures – they have verses and choruses, after all – they sound more like a series of meditations than they do folk or pop songs. Precisely by opting for simplicity and tautness, the arrangements (both instrumental and vocal) lend a greater depth to her phrasing than a more explicitly experimental approach might have been able to allow. As her voice makes a silky slither toward the higher notes on “Zoo Eyes,” the song lifts to a blissful state, coaxing the listener into a secret garden populated by the ideas Harding has planted there.

(Dylan Mintanari, Spectrum Culture)


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1 Comment

  1. Alex Petridis:

    Comebacks come no more enigmatic than The Barrel, the first single to be taken from Aldous Harding’s third album, and its accompanying video. It featured the New Zealand-born singer-songwriter performing stylised dance moves and giving knowing looks to camera while variously wearing a tall white hat, a white ruff and enormous platform boots; a grotesque blue mask and a T-shirt and white underpants accessorised with a pair of maracas. The lyrics were as puzzling as the video: “I know you have the dove, I’m not getting wet … show the ferret to the egg, I’m not getting led along.”

    Perhaps understandably, what the whole thing was supposed to be about was the subject of considerable online debate. Depending on whose interpretation you plumped for, the video was either a homage to Alejandro Jodorowsky’s surreal 1973 film The Holy Mountain, a nod to the national dress of Wales (where Designer was partly recorded and where Harding currently resides), analogous to the faintly disturbing vision of pregnancy found in Sylvia Plath’s 1960 poem Metaphors, inspired by postmodernist poet Susan Howe’s book Singularities, which surveys the 17th-century First Nation wars in New England, somehow related to menstruation or – a more cynical view – a canny artist doing a load of self-consciously weird stuff on screen with one eye on the end result being GIF-able and meme-worthy.

    Whatever it was, Harding wasn’t letting on: “I feel we’re expected to be able to explain ourselves after we’ve worked the space and have purpose, you know, in a little bag that you carry around everywhere,” she told NPR. “But I don’t necessarily have that in me.”

    (The Guardian, today, on Aldous Harding‘s DESIGNER, album of the week)

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