The musical project for Italy born, London-based, multidisciplinary artist Francesca Brierley, heka has been exploring the indie music world for quite a few years now.
She debuted with a series of double-singles releases in late 2017 , then released her debut ep other drugs via Juicy Records in 2019, and delivered the standalone single “redwoods (a few interesting facts about sequoias)” .
Francesca/heka is the latest signing to a new label based in the North West of England, Balloon Machine Records, founded by Paddy Kinsella and Philip Moss in 2020. To date, the label has released the music of Bristol based herbal tea (the project of Helena Eve Walker) and London artist Laura Fell.
Heka forthcoming EP, the first for Balloon Machine Records, will be titled (a) and will contain the lead single (a) wall, which was released in March featuring Jemima Coulter’s trumpets , and the new song (a) dab.
What She Says: “My name is Francesca, in art heka; I’m from Italy, grew up near Florence, but I’ve been living in London for the past few years, working, studying and making music. I’ve got an EP coming out on May 19th with Balloon Machine, it’s called (a). I co-produced the first single – (a) wall – with Ed Tullett, featuring Jemima Coulter on the trumpet, it came out in March. The second single, (a) dab, is also out.
The music I make likes to move in between sounds and genres so the mixtape I put together is also kinda doing that I guess. These are some of the songs I’ve listened to on repeat at different times in my life and it was really hard to narrow it down to these 10, but here it goes!
Quintus Project – Night Flight
Ok so this is the most amazing track in the world. My friend Damien was showing off his record collection and played it on this insanely hot summer day in Berlin so it always reminds me of the holidays and good times. It’s one of those awesomely satisfying tunes that make it physically impossible not to go off on an air piano solo and in all honesty what more can you ask for? I want this energy and this groove all the time. Perfect.
Lee Moses – Bad Girl Pt.1 & 2
Like a lot of the music I’ve found through the years, this was played in a movie I watched – called L’Apollonide (Souvenirs de la maison close). Simply put, it is a timeless tune. It’s unforgettable, powerful, beautiful, and all the other good -fuls. The perfect track for a mellow dance in your room, if you ask me. The sounddddd ugh so good.
Mitski – A Burning Hill
This song has these incredible lyrics, so smart in their simplicity, and the music complements them perfectly: I love how vivid a picture it paints. Sometimes you listen to a song and you feel like the writer plucked the thoughts right out of your mind and wrote them down for you to find. So much is said with so little. Gorgeous and poignant and forever an important one for me.
Laura Marling – Night After Night
I was pretty obsessed with Laura Marling for some time and this song was one of my all time favourites. Gorgeous songwriting, gorgeous music. It has this slightly medieval quality to it which I love, and what wonderful skill in her storytelling.I worked at Whole Foods for a few months a while back and one day she came into the shop and at my very till. All I remember is that she bought kohlrabi. I don’t know how I contained myself, but I stood as calmly as I could and just told her with all the nonchalance I could muster how much I loved her work, as I scanned her vegetables.
Aldous Harding – The Barrel
I love this woman and everything she touches turns to gold. This song is so smart and beautiful and the video is eccentric, funny, weird, fantastic. Class act. Poetry, really. Listen to all of her stuff honestly, it was so hard to choose one.
Unknown Mortal Orchestra – Multi-Love
Fell maaadly in love with this song when I first heard it and will always remind me of a special time in my life. You know when you find a track you love so much that you can’t wait til people leave you alone so you can go and listen to it uninterruptedly for another hundred times? I mean, everything about it is incredible, the sound, the melody, the words, and this video !!
Jockstrap – City Hell ($TAYLA$ CLUB MIX)
Jockstrap were the best thing to happen to 2020. Their EP, Wicked City, is groundbreaking, irreverent, smart, beautiful, fresh, exciting and I love everything about it. Love the hybridity of the sound, how gorgeous melodies get chopped up, saturated, corrupted and distorted. Playful and ingenious and iconic. This mix of City Hell literally played on repeat for a whole day when I discovered it.
Metric – The Police and the Private
Basically grew up on Metric and Emily Haines. I visited my friend Alice in Paris when I was 13 on my first trip abroad without my parents and it was a pretty exciting, life-changing time. This friend, who is also the reason I started playing guitar in the first place, introduced me to Metric’s song Combat Baby and that first album, Old World Underground, Where Are You Now?quickly became the soundtrack to that summer.It was really hard to choose a song of theirs because I listened to so much of their music and their first five albums just absolutely rock, but I picked The Police and The Private because I can distinctly remember where I was when I fell in love with it and the feeling I had when I used to listen to it, just blissful and great: that feeling of freedom and possibility that beautiful things give you when you’re just growing up, dreaming up this image of a world that you’re about to enter and that promises to be so amazing and wonderful and I guess this is why this particular song means so much to me.
CocoRosie – By Your Side
This song combines found sound and incredible melodies and perfect lyrics in this beautiful, powerful, melancholic gem. I love love love the sound, the different quality of each instrument and the distorted saturation of these disparate elements all coming together to tell a story. Genius lyrics too. Instant classic in my books.
Nils Frahm – Says
One of the most amazing live recordings ever? The build up, the release, the atmosphere: crescendo as an art form. You wanna be listening to this song while you do absolutely nothing else. Just lay down or sit or stand or whatever but just listen, you can thank me later. Oh, and to top it all off, the video is a masterpiece too.
“(a) wall” and “(a) dab” are out now on Balloon Machine records.
Look HERE for more information on heka.
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