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  • Gretel Hänlyn Premieres New Song “King of Nothing” from New EP “Head Of The Love Club” on BBC Radio 1

  • London-based singer-songwriter Gretel Hänlyn released her sophomore EP “Head Of The Love Club” on March 13, 2023.

    It is her first project since the 2022 debut EP “Slugeye”.
    Th EP comprises 8-track, produced by Gretel Hänlyn, Mura Masa, Eg White, Lloyd Wayne Whittle, Alex Headford, Tom Stafford, Jamie Biles, and Hugo White.
    From the EP, she premiered a new song “King of Nothing” on BBC Radio 1's Future Sounds with Clara Amfo.
    “When I wrote my first EP, Slugeye, I hadn’t done any live shows, I was 18 and learning as I went and you can hear that on the record which is what I love about it,” Gretel Hänlyn said of the EP. “But with Head Of The Love Club, I had a vision of what I knew I wanted to hear from myself, I wrote it as I’d want to hear it as a listener and audience member. I always crave that moment when an artist says something, no matter how simple, that kicks you in the tummy because you completely understand it. The new approach was difficult because it coincided with a time where my heart was very heavy - I was outraged and ended up having some of the most cathartic moments of my life upon listening back and finishing the record. It feels so gothic and kinda frightening at times, and then so funny and tongue in cheek the next moment - the full spectrum of the emotions of a 20-year-old woman.”
  • She continued, “I was inspired by a lot of PJ Harvey’s brutally feminine lyrics but instead of writing from an empowered female perspective, I often leant into the narrative of a naive young girl, infatuated with ‘the head of the love club’, a figure that seems so above her. That’s sort of how I felt at the time.. the fantasies I created in some of the songs were definitely inspired by how I felt in my relationships when writing this.”
    Gretel Hänlyn told Clara Amfo about the EP, “This kind of collection of songs this like theme just kept on cropping up this like twisted love and I think being able to fantasize about that love which was based on like a real life, you know, experience really helped me deal with it. I also hadn't even realized how much it was affecting me until I reflected on all of these songs or these demos that I've written and I've kind of noticed that I've you know, written about it so many times. So obviously it was quite you know, meaningful to me. Anyway, writing EP putting it together really helped me kind of get over it and kind of come to terms with a lot of things.”

  • Gretel Hänlyn explained about some tracks for the EP.

    “I feel so excited by what I’m doing right now musically which I’m taking as a really good sign that I’m doing the right thing and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer in my musical self discovery with each track. I also love how I’m utilising my femininity and then total neutralness in my music, girly creepy singing behind totally genderless music. I’ve been really getting into lyricism as well, again not restraining myself and allowing myself to say things that before I’d perhaps think twice about or think was uncool.”

    “King of Nothing”
    “We're a lot of lines that I'm not holding back on with that song. To be honest. It was I felt mean writing it. I felt mean but there was also like such a sense of liberation being able to make fun of mean things that often men but like a lot of people say it's just so fun kind of making it into a song and it sounds like a joke. You don't need to even take this on board because it sounds like a joke when you say it like that.”

    “I’ve always thought it must be so nice to be a cat, to get massages and compliments and have a nice tail, nothing to do. So that’s pretty much what this song is about. I was inspired a lot by The Smashing Pumpkins / Pixies and their punchy, kinda lazy, not-over thought bangers and knew I wanted to capture that sloppy charisma in this song before I even started writing it about my cat. I wasn’t very far into writing (I’d literally just laid down the baritone guitar/bass line and was getting into the drum sounds) when my mum sent me a photo of Wiggy lying on a bed being adorable and it just fit perfectly to the laid back nature of the song that was forming so I went with it.”

    “Today (Can't Help but Cry)”
    “Sometimes things don’t work out with someone, I had all this loving emotion and nowhere to put it. I was in a studio so close to where the protagonist in this story lives so he was naturally on my mind when I started writing the riff and chords. I ended up writing about what it would be like if the things could just unfurl for once, it was like I was living a totally fantasised relationship vicariously through the song. in the end the initial emotion for the protagonist was outgrown by the emotions i found in the song, but the power of the song overwhelmed and moved me so much that it still forced me to move on and upwards from them. You could say I wrote myself a happy ending in more ways than one! This is probably my favourite song I’ve ever written because it got me out of a position where I felt I was drowning. it’s not easy to word things in a way that’s authentic to your emotions, and somehow also indulgent to your desires, but I did that with this and it really helped me make peace with my reality (rejection). Now when I play it I hear the pain that can come with the beauty of such a positive, pining emotion and the power of a young wandering mind.”

    Photo by Jaspercable Alexander
  • source : BBC Radio 1
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