Leeds-based creative collective Witch Of The East are proud to announce their second album Savage Beauty, set for release on 29th October 2021 via I’m Not From London Records.
To celebrate the news, the band have revealed a video for lead single Red, Yellow & Black, released on 27th August 2021.
Commenting on the track and video, guitarist/vocalist Aeris Houlihan said: “If you’ve ever wondered what a trip to hell would be like described in celtic poetry form, get involved in some debauchery and earn a ticket for the ride Down Under. The music video stars my lovely friend Camille Alexander from the band A Void. She plays the part of an innocent princess who hasn’t reached womanhood until she eventually goes down the rabbit hole (so to speak) and meets the goddess of fertility (aphrodite).”
“There’s a lot more to it than just that but I don’t wanna spoil the mystery as that’s part of the beauty of this video. It has many layers! I guess it’s also influenced by David Lynch as I was watching Twin Peaks a lot whilst coming up with the concept and filming the scenes for it.”
The pioneering collective were recently awarded a grant from Leeds Inspired & Leeds City Council to host a performance art exhibition in Leeds city centre focused on Protecting Marginalised Genders In Lockdown—the project will be launched at the Belgrave Music Hall, Leeds on 13th October 2021.
On their concept for the exhibition, Houlihan said: “The idea came about due to our concern around the mental health of marginalised communities. For one of our upcoming music videos we placed a call-out on social media asking for people to submit videos of themselves expressing how they were feeling during lockdown. The idea was to help people escape reality for a brief moment, celebrate themselves, and get back to some type of normality and joy.”
“We used the videos that were sent in and overlaid them with a performance expressing the overall tone of the videos, filmed at Leeds School of Performance Art. The exhibition will host a range of brand new submissions from the public in the form of videos, paintings, photography, and live performances from drag acts and artists.”
Completed by bandmates Zera Tønin and Manny, the collective make music that is both visceral and sublime; their cinematic, genre-twisting potency flitting from anthemic alt rock to dark folk, through post-grunge and shoegaze, and even taking in elements of glam and acoustic balladry.
Governed by chief songwriter and self-described trans activist Houlihan, the band are pushing the boundaries of early ’90s guitar music, giving it a much-needed 2021 gut punch. An elevated, dystopian, apocalyptic angst runs through their bones—much of the material is focused on Houlihan’s time serving in the army and ensuing struggles with PTSD, and her often traumatic experiences as a trans woman, delivering a harsh dose of reality which cuts acutely through the dreamlike aura they create around their music.
Mixed at Greenmount Studios (Easy Life, Pulled Apart By Horses, The Cribs, Ellie Goulding) and mastered by Katie Tavini (Nadine Shah, Philharmonic Orchestra), forthcoming second album Savage Beauty updates industrial, experimental melodic pop for the 21st century and takes it to new heights.
Houlihan’s vocal delivery smoulders with a gritty malaise reminiscent of a late ’80s Grace Jones; fiercely stoic and brave. Combined with performance artist Zera Tønin and the angular style of drummer Manny, the sonic heroism that Witch Of The East conjure on the album is no accident.
The band will reveal further details and new music over the coming months.