London-based musician Harriet Zoe Pittard aka Zoee has previously released singles through Ryan Hemworth’s ‘Secret Songs’ imprint and Vegyn’s label Plz Make It Ruins, as well as guesting as a vocalist on tracks with Hot Chip’s Joe Goddard and with hyper-pop collective PC Music. Over the past two years Zoee has taken some time to nurture her voice and her sound. Her debut album ‘Flaw Flower‘ is due on June 25th via Illegal Data.
The first single & video from the record “Microwave” is online now. Speaking about Microwave, Zoee said “it’s a many-sided song about familial dynamics, oppressive domestic settings and the joy found in self validation.”
‘Flaw Flower‘ is an honest and vulnerable glimpse into Zoee’s interior world, a world she creates through marrying her real-life phone notes with imagery taken from modern works of literature such as “The Flowering Corpse” by Djuna Barnes, Sylvia Plath’s “A Winter Ship” and Maggie Nelson’s “Bluets“. Through these 11 new songs, Zoee delves deep into her own emotional life, combining aspects of the everyday with the surreal in order to uncover the beauty found in being flawed.
The record nods to the avant pop of the 80s, an era that Zoee has always been drawn to thanks to the expressive and trailblazing music of women including Anne Clarke, Joan Armatrading, Cyndi Lauper, Rose McDowall and Anna Domino.
The album is characterised by a mix of hi-fi and lo-fi instrumentation. ‘The Loft’ features a free jazz solo from acclaimed experimental saxophonist Ben Vince alongside stock GarageBand synths. ‘Host‘ combines home demo backing vocals with an elaborate baby grand piano solo. Zoee sources foley sounds from YouTube and pulls from her own domestic field recordings, such as a microwave buzzing in ‘Microwave‘ and a shower running in ‘Evening Primrose’, often using these sounds as the starting point for the songs. Maintaining intimate bedroom elements whilst developing a more expansive band sound, felt integral to the project, since that’s where Zoee’s writing process often starts, sat on her bed with her laptop and midi keyboard.
Writing for the album began in October 2018 when Zoee started working closely again with friend and long-term musical collaborator Rowan Martin. As the material for the record began to take shape the writing and recording process also evolved with the addition of bassist Kyrone Oak and keys player Laura Norman, as well as contributions from Ben Vince and London pop artist Saint Torrente.
“I feel like the songs on this album took me deeper into myself, the sad song that I thought was about a boy is still about that but it’s also about loss, about self-determination, about not losing hope, about memory, about domesticity, about detachment, about my dad, about my mum, about change, about feeling incredibly alone, about growing up.”
‘Flaw Flower’ is set for release digitally and on cassette on June 25th via Illegal Data.