It’s been more than two years since New Zealand-born, goth-folk artist Aldous Harding released her self-titled debut album, as she heads back to the studio to work on the follow-up, this time with Bristol’s own John Parish. Our Holly briefly caught up with Harding, following her haunting headline performance at The Crofters Rights earlier this month.
You performed a lot of new material at your Bristol show. What was it like introducing new songs to the audience this time around on your UK/European tour and how has the response been?
People have really enjoyed the new songs. I certainly feel like they’re stronger.
I particularly enjoyed your ‘front-woman’ style songs, with you as a performer without guitar. What inspired you to perform in this new role?
It just feels nice. I’m able to walk around and shake of a bit of the cobwebs. Loosen up.
Where is your music taking you at the moment?
I’m just going to keep writing music. It’s certainly bolder than my first record. My voice will do whatever I tell it to.
I was intrigued by your song ‘What if the Birds Aren’t Singing, They’re Screaming’. What’s it all about?
A lot of things. Mainly how awful it feels to lose your faith in things. Watching your calm spirit disappear.
Is there a particular creature or imagery that you’re wanting to emulate when you’re performing this way?
Nope, none at all. Just wanted a stronger, cheekier sound.
You’re recording your new album in July here in Bristol with John Parish. How are you feeling about it?
Incredibly grateful I get to work with somebody like John. I’m very focused.
Which songs are you currently most excited about putting on the album, or is it all a bit secret at the moment?
I love all of them equally. They all have their own place.
In your new material, are there any particular lyrics that stand out, resonate for you?
Oho, I couldn’t possibly answer that.
How do you find the music scene in your homeland, NZ? And how does it differ from here in the UK?
I don’t really think about music in that way. Not in a it’s-all-about-the-music-joint-waving way, I just don’t have that sort of brain. It’s all great.
You’ve named Vashti Bunyan as a big influence of your music, is there anyone that has particularly inspired you for your new material?
Scott Walker, Julee Cruise, Harumi.
Have you spent much time in Bristol and, if so, how do you find it?
I loved it. Very becoming. Very charming.
Read our full review of Aldous Harding’s Bristol performance at The Crofters Rights.