Bristol based, Lankie, released their doubled sided EP – Hide + Tangents – last week – the follow up to December ’19 release, Mates. The West Country songwriter – who’s also got a flair for filmmaking – shot the video for the two songs on VHS. And what with the way the world feels at the moment, Lankie’s brand of bedroom DIY pop is absolutely the ideal antidote.
We caught up with singer, Tilah Haken, who honoured International Women’s Day with a selection of his favourite pieces of art. Here are Tilah’s Sound & Vision picks:
Three Favourite Albums:
1. boygenius EP
When The Avengers came out, it felt like a no-brainer of a movie – all your favourite superheroes in one film, on the same team, fighting for justice! I felt exactly the same when the boygenius EP dropped. When I started writing songs, Julien Baker and Phoebe Bridgers’ debut albums were so influential to me because I found the storytelling in their verses to be equal parts vulnerable and self-deprecating (I believe the direct quote from me was – wow, this is so emo), but as soon as you reach their choruses, there is always an explosion, whether a profound lyric sung softly over keys or a desperate scream drowning in reverb. These moments make a promise to us – to be better, and when these women came together to form boygenius, they sincerely delivered. I think about that it lot. Fav song: Stay Down.
2. Stella Donnelly – Beware of The Dogs
Listening to Stella perform is like dancing in the rain. She has a tongue and cheek way of writing about the real stuff – misogyny, consent, the 1% – but manages to perform her songs with such joy and passion. She’s the kind of artist that sounds just as good unplugged with her guitar as she does with the whole band. I was recommended her EP, Thrush Metal, by my friend Harry Page of Harmer Jays and was instantly so moved by the interesting vibrato quality she has to her voice. The day Beware of The Dogs came out, I was on a plane on my way to Morocco, in the middle of making a big decision about my love life, when the riff from the opener, Old Man, rang out from her chorusey strat and into my Poundland headphones. Needless to say, it made things a lot clearer. Fav song: Allergies.
3. Adrianne Lenker – abysskiss
Quite simply put, Adrianne Lenker is one of the best songwriters of our generation. With a dense catalogue of solo releases, mostly performed on nylon strings with minimal accompaniment, she cannot seem to churn them out quickly enough which is somewhere I really aspire to be as an artist. While her work with her band Big Thief is brilliant in other ways, my heart always comes back to her solo music because of how well she captures a feeling. She’s the kind of artist where you can’t always understand what she’s on about the first few listens because you’re so distracted by her angelic voice – which is a smooth blend of Kim Carnes’ gravel and Kate Bush’s falsetto. If you ever find yourself taking a long walk by yourself or making breakfast for someone you love – you need to listen to Adrianne Lenker. Fav song: blue and red horses.
A book I love: P.S I Love You by Cecelia Ahern
To preface my strange choice – I used to live in the south of Spain when I was around 10 years old and only really cared about skateboarding and goofing around with my mates. I was a bit of a troublemaker, but one time I pushed it a little too far (I cannot remember what the screw up was, so you can choose between 3 of my favourites – cutting off my little brother’s thumb by slamming it shut in the conservatory door, accidentally spray-painting my neighbour’s white transit van a bright fluorescent pink colour because “I thought the lid was on” and setting fire to the kitchen because it looked like someone left the hob on so I turned all the dials the same way to a cool 200 degrees.) So anyway, I’m grounded and bored out of mind mind so I went and stole one of my mum’s books from the bathroom – P.S I Love You. It was the first piece of literature I had ever willingly read, and I remember laughing, crying, just wishing the book would never end really. I’m positive it had an effect on me because I developed a really early understanding of death and grief, which kinda grew with me in the way that I empathise with people and cherish things. Either that, or I just love rom-coms.
A film I love: Lost in Translation by Sofia Coppola
This is the film that made me want to be a filmmaker, period. I was 16 and in the middle of deciding between college and sixth form, trying to grasp what I was gonna do with my life when I first watched it – I had never seen anything like it. I had never related to characters like that before. Coppola did such a beautiful job with taking elements of her personal life and fictionalising it, both visually and on paper. There I was, a horny teenager staring at the film’s opening shot of Scarlett Johansson in her pants with nothing but awe and admiration for the shot’s composition on my mind. I literally sat and watched the whole credits, scribbling down all the filmmaking titles that sounded cool while my girlfriend made a Spotify playlist of the film’s soundtrack – turns out being a Boom Operator isn’t as cool as it sounds – but hey, seven years later I got my degree in Filmmaking and it’s still a big part of my life and my work. If I didn’t get into Coppola back then, I’m not sure I would have taken the leap into film.
A song that’s important: Kate Stapley – Hermit
I had the pleasure of playing a show alongside Kate Stapley and Richard the Fourth last month at the wonderful Friendly Records bar and Kate’s set blew me away. Her lyrics are so honest and funny, but she delivered them with open tunings and a voice that’ll make you melt. The day after that show I picked up my guitar and wrote the beginnings of an open D riff that became Tangents, so… maybe I need to buy her a pint. Fav lyric: ‘I walk in a straight line to your place / you treat me so well / you’ll be my hermit and I’ll be your shell’.