© 2021 KLCC

136 W 8th Ave
Eugene OR 97401

Contact Us

FCC Applications
Oregon's Willamette Valley seen from Eugene
NPR for Oregonians
Play Live Radio
Next Up:
Available On Air Stations
NPR Music

First Watch: Aldous Harding's Elegant Video For The Haunting 'Horizon'

It's basically three chords banged out on a piano for 4 minutes. No drums, no guitars, no samples. But then: there's her voice. Haunting.

"Here is your princess / here is your horizon" — Aldous Harding repeats the line as a mantra, as a truth, as a reality. It's as if the gift of life is right here, with all its beauty and its limitations. At least that's how I see it.

Aldous told me in an email that "I want the interpretation of 'Horizon' to be left up to the individual. It's for everyone, it's pretty straightforward." The video, directed by Charlotte Evans and produced by Evie Mackay, is equally stark, a grey-haired, beautifully aged woman dressed in white, dancing in a field with a thinned baton, as if it and here were the horizon. Cut to a much younger woman, in black and red eyeliner, emphasizing the desperate look and intensity of what lies ahead of her. The young woman is Harding, a New Zealander. The other woman is her mother.

"I was listening to the demo at mum's place and she just got up and started doing her thing. I was transfixed, actually. I thought about how it might look on film, an older version of myself dancing, with honour, to a song sung by essentially the same face. I asked her how she would feel about being in my video and, at first, she wasn't interested. 'No one wants to see an old woman do improvised stick work darling.' I eventually convinced her that she was indeed still beautiful and was the right fit. We chopped up her dances with shots of me and this is what we were left with."

This single is her first for 4AD, produced by the English producer John Parish, whose name you've likely seen on albums by PJ Harvey, Sparklehorse Rokia Traore and Tracy Chapman.

Harding has some U.K. shows coming up soon, before jumping across the pond for a U.S. tour, starting with SXSW.

Copyright 2021 NPR. To see more, visit https://www.npr.org.