LIVE: HIDE – The Shacklewell Arms, 03.10.19

A primal, urgent, gripping performance: Industrial/electronic duo HIDE unleashed a torrent of brutal sound upon their Dalston crowd as part of their co-headline tour with Kontravoid on Thursday night.

Opening with ‘Chainsaw’, taken from the band’s latest album Hell Is Here (released on Dais Records), vocalist Heather Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher performed their aural exorcisms beneath frantic strobe lights.

The lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are informed by the street harassment Gabel has received in real life. Dressed like a misogynist’s nightmare with her unhinged grin and heavily blackened eyes & lips; she violently screamed the words “Smile! Bitch!”, throwing their abuse back in to the ether with scathing vitriol.

HIDE’s originality as a band lies in their undermining of patriarchal forces through powerful lyrical statements and abrasive noise. The pair transform fear and vulnerability in to distracting industrial tunes, and the impact of their efforts are best appreciated when seen and heard in a live environment.

Gabel’s frenzied, intense performance style perfectly accompanied Sher’s pulverizing beats. Between songs and blackouts, she removed articles of her clothing and continued to dominate the stage with her jagged movements and inescapable stares. By the time the duo performed ‘Raw Dream’, Gabel’s battle cries were fully fleshed – perfect for an anthem that tackles the imbalance of power.

Despite the brevity of their set, the impact of HIDE’s performance is one that lasts long after the strobes have finished flickering. Their thought-provoking, caustic, vital shows are a much needed antidote to the hellish reality they challenge through their art.

Follow HIDE on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@kcbobcut

Track Of The Day: Shari Vari – ‘New York City’

Brooding electronics and moody vocals fuse together on Shari Vari‘s new single ‘New York’, capturing the atmosphere of one of America’s most iconic cities. The track is taken from their new album NOW, recently released via cult label Malka Tuti.

Formed of of Helena Ratka and Sophia Kennedy, the Hamburg-based alt-electronic duo blend elements of performance art, techno, house, pop and jazz to create their dense electronic beats. Speaking about their upcoming album, the band explain:

“Time is ticking and the questions we have regarding time and action is the connecting element of the songs and tracks on NOW. There is mostly a dark connotation in [the] music and lyrics, but not without a joyful outlook, fun twists and a breeze of irony. NOW connects the individual with the social persona, while the tracks take you on a trip from the boiler room next to our studio to a chilly sunday in the park. It’s more a stream of consciousness than a conceptual decision we made”.

Why not join Shari Vari on their journey by listening to ‘New York’ below?

Follow Shari Vari on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

LISTEN: Jenny Hval – ‘High Alice’

A swirling, textured, surreal take on creativity; Norwegian artist Jenny Hval has shared her her latest single ‘High Alice’. Taken from her upcoming album The Practice of Love – set for release via Sacred Bones on 13th September – the song centers around a re-imagined version of the eponymous character from Alice In Wonderland.

“For a while, this song felt like my entire album. I had no idea what the rest of it would be, just a feeling like this song and the title, the two words ‘High Alice,’ would get me there” explains Hval. “My guiding stars at the time were Clarice Lispector’s The Hour of the Star and Kylie Minogue’s ‘Confide In Me.’ Maybe ‘High Alice’ is the narrator of this album. I don’t know how I wrote it, it was automatic. But I found it really funny that I mentioned the sea three times. ‘High Alice’ goes to all the places I have taught myself to avoid, like the four Big Themes: Love, death, life, the ocean…”

A departure from the darkness of her 2016 album Blood Bitch, Hval’s new record seems much lighter in feel and theme, but equally as complex and emotive. The gentle vocals, looped beats, and the narrative featured on ‘High Alice’ demonstrate Hval’s ability to captivate listeners with her intimate musical storytelling. She’s able to navigate the difficulties of love and loss via her ‘High Alice’ moniker with enviable simplicity

Listen to the track below and follow Jenny Hval on Facebook for more updates.

Jenny Hval’s new album The Practice of Love is released via Sacred Bones on 13th September. Pre-order your copy here.

Jenny Hval – The Practice of Love 2019 Performances
Fri. Sept. 20 – Sat. Sept. 21 – Oslo, NO @ Ultima Festival
Sun. Sept. 29 – London, UK @ Milton Court
Wed. Oct. 16 – Frankfurt, DE @ Mousonturm
Wed. Oct. 30 – Paris, FR @ Centre Pompidou
Sat. Nov. 9 – Utrecht, NL @ Le Guess Who? Festival
Sat. Nov. 23 – Katowice, PL @ Ars Cameralis Festival

Photo credit: Lasse Marhaug

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Evvol – ‘Song For The Broken Hearted (Rollin)’

If you’re looking for “bright pop songs” with a “darker tone underneath the surface” – Evvol are the band you’re looking for. Comprised of Julie Chance and Jane Arnison, the Berlin-based duo take their exasperation at the state of the world and turn it in to well-crafted electronic melodies.

‘Song For The Broken Hearted (Rollin)’ is one of four tracks that were written to playfully address the serious dilemmas of contemporary life, and the band’s sheer resentment for the residual status quo. The other three songs – ‘Release Me’, ‘Oceania’ and ‘New Old’ – are equally as bitter sweet as this new offering. Speaking of the collection of songs, the band have said: “These songs were written looking inwardly at how we cope when faced with challenges. They’re about escaping into hedonism and really just running from the mad, fucked up world we live in.”

At the end of 2016, the pair worked on an experimental piece commissioned for Berlin’s Pop-Kultur Festival, performing an immersive sound and visual performance and installation called ‘Human Resonance’. If their video for ‘Song For The Broken Hearted (Rollin)’ is anything to go by, it must have been a sublime artistic experience. Watch the visuals for the new track below and follow Evvol on Facebook for more updates.

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut