New Zealand’s Aldous Harding’s music is not for the faint of heart. Disarming in its desolate imagery and stark instrumentation, it deals with the raw materials of life: death, birth, grief and love. There are few happy endings, but the power is in how Harding enters into battle; with a dancer’s grace and a boxer’s stance.
Comparisons could be made with contemporaries Marissa Nadler and Mirel Wagner, but perhaps she is more reminiscent of 60s-era folk singers Vashti Bunyan and Linda Perhacs, Harding’s work certainly lies in harsh terrain – piercing the long history of the genre with grit, sincerity and an unflinching eye.
Her self-titled debut album gets a US release on the 30th September and the hauntingly affecting and beautiful Stop Your Tears is well worth a listen.