The Faces of Aldous Harding

Zachary Fine at The Paris Review:

The wonder of Harding is that her performances suggest another language of the face. Her many faces fall between the cracks of recognizable emotions and rarely seem to express turmoil or the felt sentiment buried in the songs. Instead, they supplement the music. She employs her face to present a carefully steered choreography, disjoined from the meanings of words and yet fused to the melodies, driving them into stray and unpredictable emotional registers.

I went to see Harding perform live for the first time in April at Rough Trade, a block from the Brooklyn waterfront. I spent most of the performance slack-jawed. I forgot I was holding a drink for thirty minutes. I’ve been riveted by other faces—faces of musicians like Benjamin Clementine and actors like Gottfried John—but Harding was so unregenerately weird on stage that I felt scalded. The terror-struck eyes, the toothy grimace, the wry smiles, the unswerving conviction and cool—I had never seen a face moved, or composed, like this.

more here.

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