The Paris Review

The Woman of a Thousand Faces

Aldous Harding performing at the Oxford Art Factory on November 21, 2015. Photo: Bruce Baker (CC BY 2.0 (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/2.0)). Via Wikimedia Commons.

is a young singer-songwriter, the kind usually labeled a folk musician, but she’s been more fittingly described as “.” She grew up in Lyttelton, a town near Christchurch, and was discovered while busking in the streets. On her self-titled 2014 debut, she has a high, tremulous voice that’s subtly lisped and bent into an accent, and the tone across songs is uniform—subdued, eerie, a vague mood of, and again on , released at the end of April, her voice splays. Tonally, it might sound as if she’s blowing into a glass bottle at first—every note shored up on warm bass—then she’ll pull some invisible ripcord in the prechorus, and a sustained wail will spring out, cutting through everything like blades on ice.

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