Aldous Harding makes pastoral folk for when your house is full of cold air in the winter and needs a little warmth. Bringing to mind a whispered version of Sharon Van Etten in vocal melodies and First Aid Kit in the sparse but strangely full instrumental arrangements, her self-titled record is recommended for fans of narratively woven and impressively intricate folk music.
CD £12.23 WOOMECD10
CD on Woo Me!.
Vinyl LP £19.49 FN566LP
Reissue LP on Flying Nun.
Limited Vinyl LP £16.99 WOOMELP010
Limited repress LP on Woo Me!.
- Limited edition
9/10 Martin hewett 11th March 2015
This is a beautiful record. I was tempted to give it 10/10 but very few albums ever made deserve that mark. I think with this record its best to just listen to it without any preconceptions. Her voice is distinctive and its folk of sorts but that alone doesn't tell the story. I never write reviews of music online and my day to day is listening to music for work. This album has woven itself into my ear on a daily basis since I got it. Just listen to it more than once...despite that being a cliche
6/10 Anti-Podean 12th November 2014
Aldous Harding has gained considerable favourable attention here in New Zealand with her haunting voice, fairy-tale imagery, and the mature, delicate touch she displays on her self titled LP. Harding is from Geraldine, a small town in New Zealand's South Island, and while her voice might not surprise quite so much to European ears, locally her sound is strikingly exotic and sophisticated, especially when created by a young woman from a provincial rural backwater. A myth has developed that she was discovered by Anika Moa (a singer/song writer popular within New Zealand) busking in Geraldine, attempting to raise the entrance fee for Moa's concert that evening, but was instead invited by Moa to open for her. Harding was, however, in reality apparently already recording for Lyttelton Records towards this album, and performing with a Lyttleton based country & western band, The Eastern.
Folk music is a genre I rarely stray into, but there is something intriguing about Harding's fragile other-wordly voice that drew me in; there is a disconcerting intimacy to her bleak, somewhat gothic vision. The song "The Hunter" probably best captures this brooding atmosphere, and an evocative video has been made to accompany it. This recording may be little more than a curiosity to those who follow folk music seriously; it is surely "freak folk", but it is that peculiarity that caught my attention. My only point of comparison is Joanna Newsom; like her, Harding's strange voice will make you laugh or cry. I did both.
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