El Hardwick is an artist who is fascinated by our relationship to our bodies and the world around us. The London based artist is a full content factory as they write music, take photographs, and create videos and art. El Hardwick then wraps it up in ecology and information and runs Desire Lines as an outlet for it all. Returning with their first single for two years, “Body Memory” is a celestial and haunting piece that is as abstract and tuneful as Bjork’s most recent three albums. The mixture of synths sounds like spacious chimes and El Hardwick’s playful and emotive voice shines as it warps from a singular voice to a vocoder distorted choir. Interwoven throughout this calming eight-minute track is Mabe Fratti’s cello. The song is a beautiful intersection of the electronic and the organic – which I think is part of the point.
Fans of Bjork, Kate Bush Eartheater and possibly Bonobo might enjoy this intelligently quirky vibe.
I don’t often copy/paste direct quotes from musicians but I found this passage from El particularly poetic. On speaking about “Body Memory”, El said “At the end of 2020 I was in a very dark place. Then in January 2021, I went to a park nearby to meet up with my friend Jo for the first time in a couple of years, as he had recently moved to London. The park we met in held a lot of significance around a relationship that had just ended for me, and this heartbreak is a large source of the darkness I was navigating at that time. I hadn’t been back to that park since the breakup as it felt deeply triggering. Connecting with Jo that day, I immediately knew that a very special friendship was beginning, and the old memories of the park were replaced with new hope. As I cycled home, I started singing a melody: “New memory, write over the body memory”. I immediately sat down and started recording. The resulting song looks at creating new memories over old painful ones, and particularly how that relates to my experience of body memory and dysphoria as a trans person. I then asked the hugely talented Mabe Fratti to play cello on the song, and it felt very fitting for Jo to mix it. It was mastered by the wonderful Dominic Clare at Declared Sound.”
Enjoy the beautiful “Body Memory” below, the single is out now. For more information about El Hardwick, visit their website.
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