Born in Italy but now London-based, Francesca Brierley – aka heka – emerges with “(a) wall”, the first single from her upcoming EP (a), which arrives on May 19 via Balloon Machine.
Co-produced with Ed Tullet (Novo Amor, Hailaker), “(a) wall” is slow-burning and genre-defying, with a soft and subtle arrangement. heka’s voice is gentle and high, tracked close to the mic, atop dusky keyboards, subterranean drum programming, guitar shimmering in and out and, most notably, Jemima Coulter’s beautifully atmospheric and plangent trumpet.
“Hate is better than none,” she sings, “cos I know sooner or later it’s gone.”
It’s an unusual piece, with unorthodox repeated phrases and an offbeat structure. Each element by rights shouldn’t quite work with the others but somehow it does. heka herself says:
“I guess the song is an ode to anger. Not in an absolute sense but as the cathartic alternative to the numb powerlessness that can take over and swallow every other emotion when we find ourselves in a painful or shocking situation.”