Aldous Harding’s critical and commercial acclaim really picked up following her last album, Party. She’s following it up with Designer. She recorded the album between Wales and Bristol with John Parish (PJ Harvey) and it includes guest appearances from H Hawkline and Sweet Baboo. LP and CD on 4AD.
Vinyl LP £15.75 4AD0102LP
Black vinyl LP on 4AD.
- Includes download code
CD £10.06 4AD0102CD
CD on 4AD.
Vinyl LP £15.49 4AD0102LPX
Limited edition, indies only gold coloured vinyl LP on 4AD.
- Coloured vinyl
- Indies only
- Includes download code
She's at it again. The unusual thing I noticed about Aldous Harding's previous album Party was that she sings in lots of different voices. It seems she's carried that on into this third album which confuses my brain into thinking there are lots of different singers on the album but it's all her and any guests seem to be there to only provide instrumental accompaniment. Take Zoo Eyes which has a low voiced verse then jumps a register for a high pitched Kate Bush circa Army Dreamers voice in the choruses. It also finishes with the line 'what am I doing I Dubai?' seemingly out of nowhere and completely out of context.
Like a lot of other albums, the first track is the best one. Fixture Picture then is a gorgeous slice of honeyed acoustic pop with gently strummed acoustic guitars and a Laurel Canyon harmonies block of a chorus. Nice on the ears. John Parrish does a good job with the production keeping it simple and spacious allowing Harding's acoustic guitar to lead simple band dynamics. Subtle strings and horns are added where necessary but never threaten to muddle things up.
I'm still unsure as to what Harding's voice actually is. She perhaps needs to develop a signature style and stick to it because at the moment her mynah bird style of singing means that the listener is left grasping for some authenticity. These songs may need some time to unfurl but fans of her earlier work will lap this up.
10/10 Richard 24th January 2020
Just wonderful. Beautiful gentle vocals over the whole album. Excellent thought provoking lyrics. Better thank Angel Olsen or Agnes Obel, whom I enjoy, in my humble opinion - now investigating her back catalogue. Has barely been off the turntable....
10/10 Phil 4th August 2019
Album of the year. These are real growers - not really a bad song on here. Much lighter and more varied than Party, although equally great. I would say if you want your three purchases so far this year - this, Big Thief and Bill Callahan would lighten your northern summer evenings. Zoo Eyes, The Barrel, Fixture Picture are all classics already. Wonder why the review has to be 500 characters. Oh well, the new Sujfan Stevens single is great too. I like Vampire Weekends new one - but for me I wish that we'd get a new Mogwai LP soon too.
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- Designer by Aldous Harding
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