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LISTEN: New Hawthonn
Christian Eede , February 21st, 2018 15:31

As Hawthonn, Layla and Phil Legard explore the feminine and menstruation on their new record

Hawthonn first came to our attention in 2015 via a self-released album made available on Bandcamp, and the Leeds-based duo of Layla and Phil Legard have kept themselves busy both together and with solo projects in the years since.

Their new record, entitled Red Goddess: Of This Men Shall Know Nothing, sees the duo blend synthesised field recordings with themes of the occult as well as ambient music, their subject matter focusing heavily on the idea of feminine energy and menstruation.

Premiering above is 'Eden' from the album. "We began working on Red Goddess during the summer of 2016, still reeling from the shock of Brexit like a bad hangover; the storm-clouds of conservatism, misogyny and populism gathering over Europe and America, but still the prospect of a President Trump a horrifying, but laughable, improbability," says Phil Legard. "While our music often draws on our own irrationalisms - dreams, visions, and other trawlings of the unconscious - the latter days of 2016 seemed like a time of overwhelming collective madness and self-sabotage: understandable given the abuse of the greater populace through the erosion of rights and mobility after decades of exploitative economic programmes.

"With this in mind, it's not so surprising that witchcraft is seeing a revival, and not the palatable mother-goddess-and-crystals variety: magic, and the demonic, have historically given power to the oppressed. As Peter Grey puts it in his manifesto of Apocalyptic Witchcraft: 'If the land is poisoned, the witchcraft must respond.' Can our poisoned, ideologically-choked wastelands be restored? Mugwort - the muse for our album - favours the wastes. It is the flowering symbol of our new Eden: a symbol of visionary irrationality - the Nightside of Eden - set against contagious social-media madness. Take a walk where rationality fails. Where witches hold sway, and the ghosts of an ancient, and resurgent, matriarchy march through the trees."

Red Goddess: Of This Men Shall Know Nothing will be released via Ba Da Bing on March 23. You can pre-order the album here.

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