The cream of female and non-binary Scottish music come together to create a dream collaborative album.
Founded by singer/songwriter Tamara Schlesinger, aka MALKA, the cheekily-named Hen Hoose is a new collective and production house of female and non-binary Scotland-based artists making music for TV, advertising, film, etc in order to redress the gender imbalance which still exists within the music industry today.
From the gorgeous, bittersweet opener ‘Monochrome’, by indie legend Emma Pollock and composer Pippa Murphy, to the gospel-inflected hip hop call for ‘Revolution Retribution’ by Amandah Wilkinson and Jayda Puren, through to Elisabeth Elektra and Susan Bear’s electro pop ‘Hush Hush’ – which initially seems sweet, but is really a spiky plea for autonomy – the album is pretty much flawless.
There is not one weak link, but the best tracks here are when certain artists venture out of their usual sonic comfort zone and collaborate with those who make contrasting sounds. This is evinced by folk queen Karine Polwart teaming up with aforementioned pop goddess Tamara Schlesinger for the jittery folktronica track ‘ These Are The Nights’; Admiral Fallow’s Sarah Hayes and Pippa Murphy’s cinematic ballad ‘A Change In The Light’; and Beldina Odenyo (aka. Heir Of The Cursed) and Inge Thompson’s shivery, absolutely bewitching ‘Burn It All’, a marrying of their respective styles of avant-pop and folk.
With such an assured, accessible debut, Hen Hoose can go anywhere without ruffling too many feathers. It’s a wonderfully eclectic mix of genres and moods.
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