Aldous Harding – Party – Album Review
Aldous Harding confirmed as special guest to Belle and Sebastian @ Iveagh Gardens July 20th
This is Aldous Harding’s second album and her first on 4AD. With this release, the New Zealand singer has made little of the idea of the difficult second album! It was produced by John Parish, who is known for his work with PJ Harvey, among others. It was recorded in a two week period in Parish’s home town of Bristol earlier this year, in what has been described as an intense and immersive experience.
This album shows this strong willed woman making a bold statement of intent. There have already been many comparisons to Kate Bush in her short career, and there is something in her quieter moments that is very reminiscent. The album opens with Blend, which starts with plucked guitar and vocals, before it is built upon with subtle electronic additions to the background.
‘Somewhere, I have a water colour you did’ – Blend
‘Imagining My Man’ is a piano driven song, with guitar and drums, but the vocals take centre stage. The introduction of a group of children shouting lifts the chorus with a brief blast of abandon in this controlled environment. ‘The Party’ is a guitar song about a love affair, which builds to a euphoric chorus exclaiming ‘I was as happy as I have ever been’.
There are guest vocals from Perfume Genius’ Mike Hadreas on Horizon, who had previously toured with Aldous and worked with Parish, so it should come as no real surprise. It is another stand out track that is all about her powerful vocal, with the instruments falling into the background.
‘Here is your princess, here is a horizon’ – Horizon
There is nothing particularly new or innovative in what is collected here, so it is really down to the quality on display and it’s hard not to be impressed. She has a warm and powerful voice and writes with an inner sadness that is easy to respond to.
2. Imagining My Man
3. Living The Classics
5. I’m So Sorry
7. What If Birds Aren’t Singing They’re Screaming
8. The World is Looking for You
9. Swell Does The Skull