Whether you’re talking about the sonic or visual aspects of her work, New Zealand musician Aldous Harding is a unique proposition.
“Imagining My Man” is as good an entry point as any into her world as any. Set against a delicate melodic backdrop that loops and bobs like an empty carnival carousel left running well past closing hour, Aldous’ vocal shape-shifts from a deep smoky croon to an excited yelp, as she muses on the intricate idiosyncrasies of love and lovers.
Of late, critics have been comparing her work to the neo-psychedelia of US alt-rockers Mazzy Star, which given her gradual shift from spare bed-sit folk music to something stranger and more stretched, and recent signing to legendary British record label 4AD is an acceptable reference point.
Sonics are only one aspect of Aldous Harding’s vision though, as the Charlotte Evans directed video clip for “Imagining My Man” makes abundantly clear. Relaxed in the backseat of a car and dressed in black, Aldous rides through a non-specific city, snacking on chocolates and alternating between present and detached states of being while radiating an intensity equal parts compelling and uncomfortable.
The car drives and drives, but Aldous and her driver never quite arrive anywhere, I suspect it’s more about the journey than the destination.
“Imagining My Man” is taken from Party, due for release on the 19th of May via 4AD/Flying Nun.
Photo: Hannah and Liv