Track Of The Day: Lande Hekt – ‘Whiskey’

A humble, emotive guitar tune about self acceptance and coming to terms with your sexuality, Lande Hekt has shared her latest single ‘Whiskey’. Lifted from her debut album Going To Hell, which is set for release in January 2021 via queer-run independent label Get Better Records, the track is Hekt’s most personal offering to date.

“I’m no stranger to queer punk and queer politics,” Hekt explains. “I’ve always taken a special interest for obvious reasons, but this record is important to me because it’s the first time I’m releasing anything as an outwardly gay person.” This decision has given Hekt the confidence to speak candidly about the anxieties and expectations that coming out can bring on her new record, and on single ‘Whiskey’

“This song is essentially about how there were so many things that didn’t feel right in my life,” says Hekt. “It’s about learning how to come to terms with being gay or, more accurately, realising that pretending you’re not gay can’t go on forever.” Between her raw lyricism and her stripped back guitar sounds, Hekt shows that there’s no need to hide who you are from other people, but gently acknowledges the fear or indecisiveness that can underscore these important realisations.

“I internalised a lot of that [homophobia and heteronormative] culture for a long time,” Heky continues. “It wasn’t until I found myself surrounded by queer and trans people and friends, that I realised I could live happily in a way that felt right. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this and it was other people sharing their experiences with me that helped me out.”

Listen to ‘Whiskey’ below and follow Lande Hekt on bandcamp, Facebook & Spotify for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

INTERVIEW: Amaroun

We were first introduced to the sultry beats of London-based artist Amaroun in 2017, and we’ve been following her ever since. Her personal, instinctive song-writing and her blurring of musical genres has kept us intrigued with each new release. Tash Walker caught up with Amaroun to ask about her latest single, how she’s coping during the current lockdown, and her cathartic song-writing process…

Hello Amaroun, it’s been awhile since we last caught up. How have you been?
I’ve actually been great considering the times we are in. Music is the ultimate escape and it’s been keeping me balanced and grateful just like it always does in hard times.

We’ve been fans of yours here at GIHE for a while now, and we’re loving your new sound! Can you tell us more about the music you’ve started releasing?
I’ve always written music that just follows my instincts and isn’t about over thinking, so I’m taking that attitude with my releases. This new sound is a new found confidence I have in trusting my own decisions, and putting loving what I do at the heart of the creative process.

You’re releasing a track a month this year. Three months in, how’s that going?
I love it! If I had it my way I’d release weekly. I love to capture the feelings of any given moment. Like a musical photograph. It’s an absolute buzz for me to make music and share it as the moment unfolds. It’s deeply cathartic.

We love your track ‘Perish’. Its stripped back style reminds me a bit of Tirzah. What would you say has been influencing this slightly different direction?
Along with trusting the sounds that a pouring out of me is a process of pure experimentation and feeling a vibe.

Your music is very personal, would you say the writing process is almost cathartic?
It it total catharsis. I write for fun, for therapy, for the people I love and it’s actually habitual now.

Can you tell us a bit more about the themes that we can hear in your music and what you draw from your own experiences?
My writing draws from my experiences of growing up in a fiercely religious environment where being queer was not acceptable, and explores the challenges I faced and continue to in establishing what it means to be an out queer black British Jamaican woman. I come from a long lineage of courageous women that have found ways to share their story and I feel very passionate about sharing mine.

Your releases so far have been picked up and played by Radio 1, 6 Music, and you’ve been to a countless number of festivals! How’s that been? Quite the whirlwind?
It’s exactly what brings me joy so it’s been great. I did have a break from the whirlwind over the past couple of years. I went through a process of hibernation and development to get where I am now, the team around me has changed, I have changed and so has the sound. I’m really glad to be back to releasing music, I played a my first sell out gig of the year back in February, and I can’t wait to perform some more once we are out of isolation.

Do you have any particular highlights so far?
My highlight will always be Glastonbury. The energy there is electric. Cant wait for it to make a come back in 2021, and I need to get back there!

We saw the raw version of your latest release ‘Rosey’ on your IGTV (which was beautiful). How did that moment come about?
I met one of my good friends Adam Cleaver (Dyvr) to do a collaboration and catch up. Boris Le Chaixe joined us, who I worked on ‘Rosey’ with. We ended up at Peckham Levels, it used to be a car park, the acoustics are unreal. My girlfriend found the perfect spot and started filming. Adam and I covered ‘Losing You’ by Solange, and Boris and I just felt the vibe and had to let ‘Rosey’ flow out too. The whole thing was really relaxed and natural, I love when things just fall in to place like that.

We’re really looking forward to hearing what’s to come, music is our survival at the moment. How you are feeling about the lockdown situation right now?
It feels music is more important now than ever. Music connects us, it’s how we communicate, it’s how we unite. People all across the music industry are being so heavily impacted, but it’s amazing to see how people are getting around these with live streams and sharing the music they’ve already made. It’s a really tough time for the industry, but seeing how people have responded as reminded me what I love about the spirit of musicians.

For me, it’s really fueled my writing. I’ve channeled all my anxieties and fears into creating, and with extra time on my hands I feel like I’ve been really productive. Being or feeling isolated in one form or another has often pushed me on to a path where I do my best writing. All this being said, my heart goes out to everyone affected by the global crisis. I really hope we can come together and overcome this tough time.

Thanks to Amaroun for answering our questions. Follow her on Spotify & Instagram for more updates.