New Zealand is having a rare run with the stature of female artists it is producing at the moment. Lorde is currently filling stadiums around the world and Tiny Ruins has given us an album of the highest quality, and so Aldous Harding has some big shoes to fill. Here, Harding gets her opportunity to make her own waves with her self-titled debut.
Harding hones her craft in the port town of Lyttleton in the North of Christchurch, where she shares her warm tones with wayfarers and loners who stumble into the local bars. She is blessed with a voice that is suited to traditional folk songs, and comforting in a way that is not too dissimilar to Vashti Bunyan.
Harding doesn’t go in for all the bells and whistles on her debut, rather focussing on the simple guitar-and-voice format that has served her so well in local bars. She’s also is in no hurry to churn through her songs with many of them reaching the 5 minute mark. This makes for a considerably more emotive and powerful listen with each spin.
Aldous Harding has put together a debut that is steeped in a musical history that belies her years. It is spectacularly bleak in its outlook with some haunting guitar and harmonies from Simon Gregory thrown in for good measure.