Pays : New Zealand Label : 4AD Genres et styles : Alt-Pop / Art Pop / Folk / Pop Année : 2022

Aldous Harding – Warm Chris

· par Luc Marchessault

Warm Chris quietly grows on you, like Aldous Harding’s three previous albums. This comes from various factors, this time. The first of which is Aldous’ voice, which she uses as a protean toy, going from a low tone like Lou Reed’s to a childish one like the singer of Deerhoof. In the ritornello “Passion Babe,” for example, she begins in a doughy, drawling voice a la Lucinda Williams. In “She’ll Be Coming Round the Mountain,” Aldous adopts a nasally, quavering voice as if she’s from Kentucky. Then there are the lyrics and their ambiguous tones: are they ironic, disillusioned, dispirited, desperate? What does Aldous mean when she sings “All I want is an office in the country” in “Tick Tock”? Then there are the sometimes unusual combinations of arrangements and styles: Kurt-Weillian cabaret infused with gothic balladry, forest folk marbled with New York Dolls-style riffs, an acoustic guitar tune that morphs into “Heart of Glass,” or a tune that starts out like “Twisting by the Pool” and whose Hammond organ takes us somewhere else entirely. Let’s add to the above the delicacy and minimalism of the whole. The songs are often based on a simple piano motif, with bits of flugelhorn, tambourine, organ, or saxophone. In short, Warm Chris is a work that is very much like its creator: discreet–not to say secretive–, introspective, intelligent, and surprising. The listener who will take the trouble to respect Aldous Harding’s modus operandi and personality will be entitled to an incursion into her world. A brave new world, of course.

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