Foto-© Jonathan Kope // Cover-Artwork River Cousin

Seitdem die südafrikanische Songwriterin Alice Phoebe Lou ihr Debütalbum Orbit in 2016 veröffentlichte, ist bei der Wahlberlinerin einiges passiert: Tourneen durch Europa, Südafrika, Japan und USA folgten Nominierungen für den VUT Indie Award als „Beste Newcomerin“, sowie für den Preis für Popkultur als „Beste Solokünstlerin“ und als absolutes Highlight auch noch die Aufnahme von She aus dem Soundtrack für den Film Geniale Göttin: Die Geschichte von Hedy Lamarr auf die Shortlist für den Oscar in der Kategorie „Best Original Song“. Kein Wunder also, dass ihr zweites Album Paper Castles, das am 8. März erscheinen wird, mit gehöriger Spannung erwartet wird. Und dieses scheint im besonderen die Traumata der Künstlerin im Bezug auf Sex, Männer und Intimität zu verarbeiten. Denn nachdem schon die erste Single Something Holy versuchte Frauen in dieser Hinsicht mit einem Gefühl der Geborgenheit, Wärme und Unterstützung Mut zuzusprechen, geht es in der neuen Single Skin Crawl über sexuelle Übergriffe und einen Vorfall mit KO-Tropfen. Die Musikerin selbst sagt darüber:

“I was in the heart of Manhattan after taking myself on a solo date to watch Angel Olsen & I was feeling elated. I ended up at a bar, drinking a few drinks with strangers. I felt dizzy and left to call a cab. The last thing I remember, I was standing on a corner, unable to comprehend how my phone worked, feeling as though my world was upside down, panicking. A few hours are then lost and I never got them back. Then I’m suddenly in brooklyn and it’s 4am, I’m barely able to walk, with a man I’ve never seen & he’s taking me somewhere. I remember thinking that he must be taking me to safety, cause I was falling over & clearly needed to be in a safe place. Something kicked in & I realised I was in danger. I dropped my jacket & ran as fast as I could. Running & falling & crying & pissing my pants. I’ve never been that afraid. Kind strangers brought me to safety. The next day I was a wreck. Trying to rack my brain & understand how someone slipped something into my drink. But I was lucky. Many people aren’t. 

It took me days to feel ok again. Physically & in my mind. But I realised how important it was for me to not let that moment define me & change something that was so important to me ; the independence of going out alone. So I did it again. Only a few days later. Trying to release the fear & not let it control me. I went to a Fela Kuti night and danced my feet off. But I remember being so acutely aware of the men around me on the dance floor ; how often I was touched in places I didn’t want to be, how many times I was grabbed, told to smile, rubbed up against, you name it. I felt like I had to fend men off like it was some sort of sick game & the circumstances made it so difficult for me to just enjoy myself. I got home full of fire, ready to turn it all on its head, write a song from my perspective about what pisses me off, to get it off my chest, & then set fire to it in my mind so it has no hold on me. It’s about the little things ; the words, the comments, the feeling that ripples through your skin every time you’re told you’re a bitch because you don’t want to give him your number. Because for me, it’s the little things that are the starting point of a broader culture of non consent & sexual aggression. And I guess I needed to write a song that was straight to the point. I find that when dealing with ‘heavy’ subject matter that is important to you it can be a tricky balance trying to get the message across while keeping up the poetry. I usually use humour as a tool to get the message across while letting people know that I don’t take myself too seriously & that we can all have a laugh at the end. 

Feminism and my personal experience as a woman are themes that I am writing more about, because they are relevant to me & my human experience. I went through a lot as a teenager & young woman, experiencing a range of extremely negative & traumatic incidences at the hands of men. This is not to say that I paint men with a single brush. I am lucky to have an incredible community of supportive, sensitive & wonderful men around me, in my band & social life and I am so grateful for them. These are the same men that appear in my music video for ‘Skin Crawl’, close friends who were happy to play a role in a video where I could use them as my objects & my furniture in order to turn things on their head & have a humorous way of telling this story visually. The video was a joy to make; a DIY, low budget, full of love day, with a lot of laughs & so much effort. The song’s intention is to ask that we all work towards a world / community / club environment where we strive to make each other feel comfortable & safe at all times. Cause that’s the dream really. Cosy & safe & equal.” 

Alice Phoebe Lou Tour:
10.04. UT Connewitz, Leipzig
13.04. Faust, Hannover
23.04. Musikbunker, Aachen
29.04. E-Werk, Erlangen
01.05. Jazzhaus, Freiburg
02.05. Ampere, München
04.05. Im Wizemann, Stuttgart
06.05. Kulturkirche, Köln
07.05. Kurz, Mainz
08.05. Pumpe, Kiel
11.05. Columbiahalle, Berlin


Bedroomdisco-Gründer, Redaktions-Chef, Hans in allen Gassen, Golden Leaves Festival Booker, Sammler, Fanboy, Exil-Darmstädter Wahl-Hamburger & happy kid, stuck with the heart of a sad punk - spreading love for great music since '08!

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