London-based new-alt. rocker Gretel Hänlyn has announced her forthcoming EP Head Of The Love Club, which drops on 16th March via VLF Records. Alongside the announcement, Hänlyn has shared a video directed by Ben Brook (beabadoobee, PinkPantheress, Jeshi) for latest single Wiggy, her fastest growing track to date. The rising star will also perform a small run of headline shows in early April in celebration of the EP release.
Hänlyn has spent the last year stamping her ground as one of female guitar music’s new frontrunners, imbued with a singular vision and wickedly unique voice. Inspired by 90s alternative artists like The Pixies, Smashing Pumpkins and Nick Cave, Head Of The Love Club is a suitably contemporary stride forward in the hotly-tipped artist’s sound and marks a definitive departure from the indie-folk textures of her breakthrough debut EP Slugeye. A heady mix of hi-fi grunge, goth-pop and alt/indie ballads, the EP features previous singles Drive, Today (can’t help but cry) and Wiggy alongside five other tracks that candidly display her exceptional storytelling. Listening to Wiggy, it’s hard not to hear the Billy Corgan influence in Hänlyn’s own lush stylings.
Check out the video for Wiggy below:
Speaking on the EP, Hänlyn explains: ”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. 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. 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.”
At just twenty-years-old, London-based Gretel Hänlyn – AKA Maddy Haenlein – defies classification, but exudes total star quality. She finds beauty in the grotesque, weaving equal parts light and dark, dystopia and fantasy into her songwriting. Her pseudonym derives from a great aunt, who grew up on a vineyard in Germany and also happens to be Maddy’s ancestral doppelganger. Daughter of a carpenter and an artist, Hänlyn was constantly surrounded by creativity growing up and her style is inspired by the figures of her formative years: a summation of Nirvana’s angsty approach to alternative-pop songwriting, the vocal qualities of Nico & The Velvet Underground and the narrative storytelling of Nick Cave. The result is her own unique sonic landscape that is magnetic and full of shadowy intrigue. A sorceress who commands a deep voice, Gretel Hänlyn is your latest artist to watch.
Upcoming EU/UK Tour Dates:
4th – Moth Club, London
6th – Yes (Basement), Manchester
8th – Exchange, Bristol
4th – USINA23, Dudelange, Luxembourg
9th – Best Kept Secret, Hilvarenbeek, Netherlands
10th – Syd For Solen, Copenhagen, Denmark
11th – Boardmasters Festival, Newquay, UK
Tickets for the tour are available HERE