Hailing from Kendal and living in London, Woman’s Hour caught ?the attention of critics in 2011 but retreated from the limelight to develop their sound. Now back with debut album Conversations, frontwoman Fiona Burgess explains why.
Why did you decide to return to your high school to film the music video for In Stillness We Remain?
I remembered being at school and performing dance routines with my friends.?It was one of the ways of really engaging with music as a young teenager without caring what I looked like or what people thought of me. The six dancers are seen performing routines devised entirely by themselves. Our only intervention was to record it. Their movements are clumsy and idiosyncratic, but it’s these imperfections that I love. Making this film was a wonderful nostalgia trip: walking along our old school corridors, encountering some of our teachers from back in the day, recalling how self-conscious we all?felt about ourselves and the world.
Is it important to have creative input in all aspects of your music??
Yes. We love to think about the relationship our music can have to its accompanying artwork and videos. It’s all part of the same body of work – they become attached and have a relationship to one another. We realised early on that to be involved in the visual aspect of our work wasn’t expected of us. All we needed to do was make music and other people would do the rest. But we want to resist doing that.
How does art influence your music and your overall image as a band??
I’m fascinated by art and its relationship to thought and language. It’s what keeps me going. We all take inspiration from artists we admire.
You first emerged in 2011 and retreated to develop your sound further. Do you stand by that decision?
Yes, I think it’s hugely important and empowering as an artist to be able to retreat from the limelight. It was a really precious?time where we felt free?to experiment without the pressure of being watched. We’re just about to begin writing again, and we’ll be retreating to a rehearsal space in an old factory just outside of Kendal. I’m sure it will be another fairly remote and solitary experience. We like to hibernate.
Woman’s hour play East Village Loft, Liverpool on 17 Oct.