An Open Heart.

Metal Hammer (UK) - - Death Gospel -

“If we were male, we would not be com­pared to each other,” Louise says when asked if she thinks there is a new movement. “They’re awe­some, but we are very dif­fer­ent, and in­spired by such dif­fer­ent kinds of mu­sic.”

ne term that has been floated re­cently in an at­tempt to cat­e­gorise these artists is ‘death gospel’. It ar­guably started with Louise: a writer used the term re­view­ing one of her early live shows. She thought that it fit her mu­sic well, so she em­braced it.

“It’s dark and heavy, but it’s still pop,” Louise ex­plains. “I think it’s a good de­scrip­tion, and I don’t feel it puts bound­aries on me.”

It’s also been as­so­ci­ated with A.A.’s mu­sic. “I had to Google ‘death gospel’,” she laughs. “To me, gospel equals truth. So I sup­pose you are look­ing at some­thing that is not nec­es­sar­ily re­li­gious, but is raw, sim­ple and true.”

Is it some­thing that the oth­ers feel an affin­ity with, though? “That’s not a genre ti­tle I’m fond of,” says Emma. “Re­fer­ring to ‘gospel’ feels like a mis­ap­pro­pri­a­tion. Gospel has a com­plex his­tory and evo­lu­tion, cul­tural im­por­tance and is re­li­gious in na­ture – it’s wor­ship mu­sic and to call on it as a de­scrip­tor seems a little friv­o­lous to me.”

“I don’t love putting la­bels on ev­ery­thing, but I can see how some­one might cat­e­gorise my mu­sic that way,” says Chelsea. “In the past I’ve called my mu­sic ‘dark folk’ or ‘ex­per­i­men­tal rock’n’roll’ be­cause as a mu­si­cian you get asked to de­scribe your mu­sic all the time even though you want it to speak for it­self!”

Is the need to la­bel ev­ery­thing just another part of the job?

“I think gen­res are more use­ful for peo­ple who are lis­ten­ing than peo­ple who are cre­at­ing,” says A.A. “It’s a use­ful com­par­i­son for some­body who doesn’t know the mu­sic.”

“Peo­ple have to [la­bel mu­sic] to con­vey it to some­one who hasn’t heard it,” adds Emma. “Whether it’s ‘folk-gaze’, ‘metal folk’, ‘grunge shoegaze acous­tic’, that’s some­thing ev­ery mu­si­cian just has to deal with. It doesn’t bother me: if any­thing

I find it kind of cute or en­ter­tain­ing. I un­der­stand that it serves a pur­pose: I’m not con­cerned with try­ing to control how peo­ple de­scribe my mu­sic.”

lti­mately, it isn’t an ex­act sound that these artists share. In­stead, what links them, along with cap­ti­vat­ing the metal au­di­ence, is their abil­ity to re­ally get un­der their lis­ten­ers’ skin by per­sonal topics in their lyrics and reach­ing out with a raw and of­ten vul­ner­a­ble sound.

“I’ve spent way too long pre­tend­ing not to be raw and vul­ner­a­ble,” says A.A. firmly. “And I thought, ‘Fuck it!’ I just want to do what feels right. And that’s what this is.

“A lot of my mu­sic is look­ing in­ward, and about grap­pling with a mind that doesn’t nec­es­sar­ily do what you want it to do,” she con­tin­ues. “I try to write fairly plainly, I think it’s important to have some­thing that peo­ple feel an affin­ity with. I would say my songs are per­sonal, and come across as quite raw some­times. But not in a harsh way. I don’t want to write mu­sic that you don’t have a per­sonal at­tach­ment to.”

Louise’s mu­sic ex­am­ines one topic in par­tic­u­lar, a sub­ject she de­scribes as “old as hu­man­ity”, and one that every­one can re­late to: heart­break.

“In a way, it is al­most more in­tense than love,” Louise muses. “It’s also

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