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Digital Subscriptions > Long Live Vinyl > Jun 2019 - The Stone Roses > The Unbearable Lightness Of being

The Unbearable Lightness Of being

Aldous Harding’s new LP, which mixes gothic psych-folk and catchy pop melodies, looks set to catapult her to a wider audience. She tells Jonathan Wright about its creation

Rocking up to a new situation, yet being fully there and instantly the centre of attention. It’s a performer’s knack, if that’s the right word, and one that Aldous Harding understands how to deploy. As Long Live Vinyl waits for Harding, who’s off having lunch, outside 4AD’s nondescript offices in south west London, the street seems quiet. Then suddenly she arrives as if from nowhere, dressed in flowing black clothes and appraising you with her enormous eyes. How did she do that?

It’s a question you may also find yourself asking of her new album, Designer, a record that, to judge by the size of the venues she’s playing on recently announced dates later this year, is building on the critical and cult-commercial success of its 2017 predecessor, Party. Which is to say Designer is an album where many of the songs, especially those that open the album, are playful and catchy without ever coming across as remotely throwaway or light.

“It’s funny because when I talk about how it really is, it sounds really uninteresting,” says Harding, real name Hannah, once we’re safely ensconced in 4AD’s offices, “but I wrote the songs because I felt like writing them. It was a combination of wanting to write them, knowing I had to write them, wanting to want to write them, and then I saw it taking on a certain form that I was not trying to resist, so there was a lightness to these sounds – not necessarily the content.”

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About Long Live Vinyl

In our cover story, we look back at The Stones Roses' classic 1989 debut album 30 years on from its release. Producer John Leckie takes us inside the making of the record and Peter Hook reveals how he would have made it sound even better. We also count down the 60 greatest debut albums of all time, from Are You Experienced to Unknown Pleasures. Elsewhere, the irrepressible Bobby Gillespie guides us through Primal Scream’s new best-of collection, Maximum Rock ‘N’ Roll, Kevin Morby explains why a concept album about religion might be the best record he’s ever made, and we meet the outrageously talented Aldous Harding to hear about joyful new LP Designer. We also profile the legendary Stiff Records and take an in-depth look at The Cure’s Disintegration – which turns 30 this year as the band prepare to headline Glastonbury. Legendary photographer Norman Seeff recalls shooting Blondie, Fleetwood Mac and The Rolling Stones, and if that's not enough we bring you the widest range of new album, reissue, turntable and accessory reviews anywhere on the newsstand. Long Live Vinyl is THE magazine for vinyl lovers.