An Open Heart.
“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