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, baring her teeth like a Bunraku puppet's gnashing grin.
On 19 May, Aldous Harding’s album Party opens its doors to the world; the invitation finally open after many months on the waiting list.
Party (produced with the award-winning John Parish; PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse) is released in New Zealand on Flying Nun and elsewhere on global indie super-label 4AD (Grimes, Pixies, Cocteau Twins). Having garnered worldwide attention with her eponymous debut album and electrifying lives shows, Aldous Harding has quickly became known for her charismatic combination of talent, tenacity and shrewd wit. The New York Times aptly noted that her US showcase performances "often started with curious audiences and ended with rapt ones". The Guardian noted her as “a folk artist whose performances strike that rare balance between fragility and full-blown possession.”
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, met 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’ 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.
A quick favourite of reviewers in the most illustrious corners of the music industry, Aldous Harding’s 2017 SXSW shows and recent single ‘Imagining My Man’ have courted high praise from the harshest of critics. Gorilla vs. Bear claimed her SXSW set as being “unforgettable”; while NPR praised her steely elegance: "Harding's haunting folk music moves delicately, but never stops baring its teeth.”
Embarking on a worldwide tour certain to see her lights grow brighter still, Aldous Harding is performing three very intimate, sold-out shows at Auckland’s Pah Homestead on 30 June, 1 July and 2 July 2017, bringing her album Party to full live fruition - with full band - in one of Auckland’s most spectacular and unique spaces.
Party is available now on Flying Nun in New Zealand.
Party announces Aldous Harding as an artist of effortless vigour, stirring ambition and near-infinite trajectory. Get there early.
Live at Pah Homestead Auckland
30 June, 1 July, 2 July 2017 (ALL SOLD OUT)
** The vinyl lands in NZ around 30th of May - CD and digital available now