I bet someone told you that I’d be a bad wife, I can’t be your mother, I couldn’t do that right, I bet you read Updike and think one of these nights I might drink your gin and drown our baby’ Platonica Eroticaopens her debut single “Marriage Of Convenience” with venomous words, delivered in honeyed, silk-smooth tones, over the pious notes of a church organ. Released on Slow Dance Records on 22nd April 2021, Platonica Erotica, AKA LA born, London-based Hannah Hayden, establishes herself as one of the brightest burning new talents with her first release proper. Though she has spent the past few years immersed in academia whilst completing her art history MA, she accumulated a devout following amongst the London Underground scene, playing live at cult venues like The Windmill in Brixton and being invited to play at The 100 Club by Black Country, New Road, whose special edition mixtape she also contributed to. Her musical stomping-ground has also extended to playing gigs with Matt Maltese, Tiña, The Rhythm Method and Famous. “Marriage Of Convenience'' was announced on Valentine’s Day, along with a flurry of handwritten love letters sent to anyone who signed up for one. Ranging from the bizarre and surreal to simply ridiculous and funny, with imagined ‘platonic’ or ‘erotic’ scenarios described, it’s unlikely any of the recepients will forget who Hannah Hayden is any time soon. You can view these on her website here . The song was written following a long-coming breakup: After spending a few days puking (equal parts heartbreak and hangover) I got to work on the introduction and the middle-eight, which were the first parts to come to mind, because they are angry, adolescent, and confrontational, which was how I was feeling at the time. The more cohesive melodic parts were written in the following days, when I could piece together a catchier narrative and not feel like such a pathetic little shit. Self-described as ‘the Greek god of singing karaoke to your crush (in your imagination)’, she lavishes listeners with cultural references whilst always spooning in a healthy dose of humour, name-dropping John Updike and Socrates. Scarlett O’Hara gets a mention, too - “Melanie” is a quote from Gone With The Wind and the name of the woman who runs into the arms of her former lover. ‘In a fit of pettiness, Scarlett curses both her and their baby together, which I found to be deliciously pathetic and unnecessary’. Her songwriting draws upon influences from Jonathan Richman, Rodgers and Hammerstein, Peggy Lee, Lou Reed, and the adolescent drama of The Shangri-Las. She expertly ricochets from the sweet to the vicious over lush choral harmonies and pea-sweet bedroom production. Both parents being musical theatre actors, Hayden formatively remembers listening to rehearsals and her inspiration comes predominantly from ‘the banality of suburban America, where I grew up, how beautiful and boring and performative it is’. With a brooding beauty in her voice akin to Lana Del Rey, but with a heavy dose of self-awareness and knife-edge wit, Platonica Erotica’s world is seductively romantic and sophisticated. No other artist can make you feel so enamoured and yet so victimised.
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