ALBUM: Elsa Hewitt – ‘LUPA’

A captivating reflection on her own thought processes and an extended hand to those who are seeking a similar internal transformation, London-based experimental artist & producer Elsa Hewitt has shared her new album LUPA. Following on from her 2020 EP Ghostcats, the record shimmers with more of Hewitt’s magnetic synth loops and soft vocals, showcasing her truly eccentric spirit across nine fluid soundscapes.

“2020 forced me to look at myself on the inside and it helped me let go of some things and turn around negative patterns and understand how your thoughts and mind influence the way you feel,” Hewitt explains, echoing a sentiment many will be familiar with. For Hewitt though, this process of dismantling her own psyche began earlier in 2019 when she was asked to write a song in response to suicide, having lost a number of friends the same way. She confronted her own experiences of anxiety and depression in the process and channelled them into the ambient, reassuring sounds that form the backbone of LUPA.

“It was a long progression and a lot of other things had to happen at the same time and it really made me face things within myself that I hadn’t been willing to face before,” she confesses about the record’s conception. This compassionate nature permeates Hewitt’s album. Her reluctance to face these difficult emotions dissolves over the course of each track, soothing the stings of loss and confusion that informed them. As with many of her previous recordings, she improvised her way through vocals and synth textures on LUPA, often recording things in one continuous take. This method gives her music a lucid, dream-like quality, dipping in and out of consciousness but remaining rooted in the joy of the moment.

Her talent for reflecting mood fluctuations via breathy vocals and magnetic loops feels effortless, with ‘Howl’, ‘Lavender’ and ‘Squirrelx’ being prime examples of these skilled shifts – her delicate vocal delivery ripples with genuine emotion, underscored by ethereal electronics and tentative beats. Hewitt’s playful side emerges on ‘Car In The Sun’, ‘Inhaler’ and ‘Fuzzy Duck’, but these tracks are usually followed up with sentiments like the ones on ‘IFM’, which are underscored by compassion and a tender desire to absolve anxious thoughts.

On LUPA, Hewitt has constructed a woozy, poetic sublime headrush of comforting electronic sound that provides a pleasant distraction from the overwhelming nature of the world right now.

Follow Elsa Hewitt on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

FIVE FAVOURITES: Camila Fuchs

An exploration of the world around us, how we interact with it and the cyclical nature of life, Lisbon-based Mexican/German duo Camila Fuchs are preparing to release their new album, Kids Talk Sun, via Felte Records on 13th November. Formed by Camila De Laborde and Daniel Hermann-Collini in London in 2012, the band create experimental electronic pop with spectral vocals and avant-garde sensibilities. 

We think one of the best ways to get to know a band is by asking what music inspired them to write in the first place. We caught up with Camila to ask about her “Five Favourites” – five songs that have inspired Camila Fuchs’ song-writing techniques. Check out her choices below and scroll down to listen to Camila Fuchs’ latest single ‘Come About’ at the end of this post.

1. Le Tigre – ‘Deceptacon’
I remembered discovering Kathleen Hanna, starting with Bikini Kill, how I felt a massive outburst of energy, how my brain started rewiring and possibilities widen up – abruptly. It was a shock, a great shock. It got me straight into trying new ways of expressing, straight into using words I wouldn’t usually use. It freed me up. It was for me a completely new and necessary female energy to come across. Secure, open, unlimited, gutsy. I was 19 and had just decided to give music a big role in my life so it stirred it right away. It gave me confidence and great times, enjoying her songs, watching live concerts, head banging and foot stomping. It gave me something no one could take away and worked as a key to never go back! I chose this song because it reminds me of those times and makes me feel the same all over again.

2. Maria Minerva – ‘Spirit of the Underground’
Maria Minerva really influenced my first electronic productions, especially my first solo EP Opuntia. I absolutely love her free flow and way of singing. It resonated and inspired me so much. I wished so many elements could form part of what I did, in a really sweet way, I looked up to her. She does electronics and vocals, which was what I always dreamt of doing, and by the time I discovered her I was trying it. There’s still traces of her influence in what I do nowadays. You can hear it on ‘Moon’s Mountain’, a track on our new album Kids Talk Sun. Who sings “did your mamma drop you off to this party?” I love this track and so many more. My favourite full album is Cabaret Cixous though.

3. Laurie Anderson – ‘Big Science’
I didn’t grow up with much music around me. 3, 4 CDs in the car and that was it. When I moved to London, after high school, I heard a record for the first time, placed a record on a record player for the first time, and it blew my mind obviously. When I went back home to Mexico I asked my mom if she had any records by any chance. She did! In the house! And I never knew! The good thing was she gave me the chance to take some back with me. I picked 3 by the artwork covers. ‘Big Science’ by Laurie Anderson being one of them. I had no chance but to wait to be back in the UK and go to a friends and borrow their turntable. You can imagine the surprise! Can’t believe that record was so close to me my whole life and only then it crossed my path!

I LOVE LAURIE ANDERSON. It’s to date one of the records I play the most at home. I’ve never heard anything like it. She has such a unique relationship to sound. One of the most unique, at least for me. She’s my idol.

4. Lhasa de Sela – ‘El Desierto’
When I mentioned 3 to 4 CDs in the car (because that’s the only place my family played music), La Llorona by Lhasa de Sela was one and ‘El Desierto’ was one of my favourite tracks. My dad used to play it all the time. I registered it but it totally slipped my mind for years, completely. I rediscovered it again when I was in my teens and it brought me so many flashbacks of my childhood. The first time sound took me back like that…unconsciously and then consciously, Lhasa influenced my singing a lot! A singing from the guts. I always thought that was the way it had to be, that you had to feel each word you were singing. You can hear her voice coming deep from within. She also sang in different languages and did it well, something I always admired. I’m not a fan of the instrumentations in general, but the lyrics and voice I hold dear. A sweet song in English I recommend is ‘Small Song’. RIP Lhasa xx

5. Connie Francis – ‘Love Is A Many Splendored Thing’
A recent discovery. What a beautiful voice. I used to have allergic reactions to cheesy songs. I guess it’s slowly crumbling apart. I heard this song, amongst others, lying down in bed and literally felt in love. I feel her influence kicking in. Maybe I’ll end up doing an album with love songs, maybe even more than just one. It is extremely corny, but there’s something about that level of clarity in words that I appreciate. It is what it is, it says what it’s saying, doesn’t go around in circles, straight to the true words. I like that. Enjoy!

Thanks to Camila for sharing her favourite tracks with us. Listen to ‘Come About’ below.

Follow Camila Fuchs on bandcamp, Spotify, Instagram, Twitter & Facebook for more updates.

Photo Credit: Thyra Dragseth

WATCH: Gazelle Twin – ‘Hobby Horse’

A unique artist with razor sharp creativity: Gazelle Twin (aka Elizabeth Bernholz) combines glitchy beats, menacing samples and an uncanny costume in the visuals for single ‘Hobby Horse’. It’s the first track from her forthcoming album, Pastoral, set to be released via her own label Anti-Ghost Moon Ray on 21st September.

The video, directed by long-time collaborator Chris Turner, fearlessly displays the themes of the new record; on which Bernholz “exhumes England’s rotten past” whilst simultaneously bringing “its ever-darkening present into focus”. Her costume – Morris-dancer-meets-football-hooligan – is striking enough, but when paired with Turner’s creative use of lighting, slow-mo and close-ups; the visuals become an enticing but nerve-shredding affair.

Speaking about the new video, Bernholz says: “‘Hobby Horse’ is yet another fun-but-deranged experiment in an ever-growing catalogue of collaborations with director Chris Turner. We have a mutual appreciation for the uncanny – especially the kind tinged with a bit of ultra-violence. It’s great working with someone who knows how to capitalise on every kind of “weird” there is, yet still managing to keep performance at the core”.

Gazelle Twin has been forming her own brand of “weird” since the release of her debut album, The Entire City, in 2001. She released her sophomore record Unflesh in 2014 to critical acclaim, and between Motherhood and curating another two atmospheric records (2016’s Out Of Body & 2017’s audio/visual project Kingdom Come), she’s now ready to release the highly anticipated Pastoral – which she debuted live at Supersonic festival earlier this year.

Alongside the release of the ‘Hobby Horse’ video, Gazelle Twin has announced a string of live dates, including a performance at Rough Trade East on Thursday 27th September. We can’t wait to catch her live again, and we recommend you invest in both her new record & a ticket to one of her upcoming shows. Watch the video for ‘Hobby Horse’ below and follow Gazelle Twin on Facebook for more updates.

Pre-order the album, Pastoral, here.

Gazelle Twin 2018 Live Dates
20 Sep – Vooruit, Gent BE
22 Sep – Station Narva Festival, Narva EE
27 Sep – Rough Trade East instore, London UK – 7pm
3 Oct – New Theatre, Warsaw PL (Kingdom Comeperformance)
5 Oct – Soup Kitchen, Manchester UK
11 Oct – Attenborough Centre for the Creative Arts, Brighton UK (double bill with GAIKA)

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut