NEW MUSIC: Hannah Moule & The Moulettes
Since their formation at Glastonbury Festival 2002, the ever-evolving collective Moulettes have forged an uncommon course. Over the years, The Moulettes have become an extended family tree, a musical ecosystem with tentacles in London, Manchester, Brighton, Bristol, Berlin, Montreal and more. From the avant-folk of their early albums to cinematic orchestral arrangements and big riffs, this is a band who put creativity at the heart of everything they do.
The Moulettes have had support from all over the world, with praise and appreciation in the parallel worlds of Folk, Prog and Indie. Key supporters include BBC 6 Music, BBC Radio 2, The Independent, MOJO, The Guardian, PROG Magazine, Music Week, Metro & The Evening Standard. As they reinvent and reimagine themselves at every stage with a revolving cast of exceptional musicians, Moulettes music is always distinctively recognisable.
Hannah Moule and The Moulettes return with their 5th studio album and their most ambitious project to date. ‘Xenolalia’, is a collection of 55 pieces of music: 11 songs about communication, told 5 ways. Electric, Strings, A Cappella, Horns and Electronica. Now embarking on the biggest adventure in their career so far, Hannah and the band are pushing all the boundaries for this extraordinary release.
Xenolalia – Part I leads with the electric track, ‘Idiolect’, an exploration of the deeply personal way that we humans communicate and express ourselves; how our patterns are as unique and various as a fingerprint.
“I was thinking about how polarised we have become. It’s a reminder to myself to keep my ears open, a supplication for dialogue and understanding, a call to listening closer and looking deeper, particularly to people I might not agree with.” - Hannah Moule
This first offering from Hannah Moule & The Moulettes is a glittering exposition into what is to come from the full Xenolalia pentalogy. Each interpretation of the song on this EP draws out a different angle - the words and music are re-contextualised. The glitchy Deerhoof stylings of the Electric version lay out the song in its first incarnation, and the string rendering takes over, with nods to Scandinavian folk music and classical orchestration. From the joyful explosive 7/8 time Horns variation through to the imploring primal plea of the A Cappella: “Speak to me… I’m filling in the blanks”, the EP concludes with the Electronica version, a curious exploration of our relationship with sound and the architecture of language featuring Bec Plexus whose latest album has been championed by the likes of David Byrne and The NY Times.
With touring schedules interrupted, the band will present the 55 pieces of music digitally, divided into 11 EPs, released once a month. The Patreon subscribers will decide what goes on vinyl when the band are allowed to start touring again in March 2021. Click here for more information.
Cellist, songwriter and arranger Hannah Moule is leading the project, produced by co-founder Oli Austin and supported by vocalist and guitarist Raevennan Husbandes as constants. Expect some familiar faces from previous Moulette outings as well as some very special guests. All writing and recording from home, overcoming the restrictions of lockdown and galvanising each other to keep creating and collaborating.
The Moulettes created their distinctive music video for the first single during lockdown, calling upon long-term collaborators Stopgap Dance Company, alongside BSL signers, translators and physical performer Florencia Leoni to interpret the song's conceptual message, translate it, and channel it into expressive movement. As a company, Stopgap’s innovative and award-winning work pivots on integrating disabled and non-disabled people through dance. The result is a collage of behavioural choreography overlaid with 8 different animated alphabets: Mandarin, Japanese, Persian, Arabic, Hebrew, Hindi, Bulgarian, and Greek.
The Moulettes were once centered around their Tin Pan Alley 12-bar Club residencies and the community that gathered around it, including such luminaries as Mystery Jets, Noisettes and other left-field acts on the London scene. From within this melting pot of artists, the band gathered momentum, becoming a regular highlight of the festival scene and playing at such diverse gatherings as End of The Road, Shambala, Bestival, Green Man, Beautiful Days and Cropredy and were an instant hit on the Quebec Progressive scene, most memorably playing an electrifying outdoor show at the Montreal Jazz Festival.
The band’s extensive repertoire is demonstrated in the extraordinary roll call of guests on their records- from the legendary Herbie Flowers (Lou Reed, David Bowie) and Arthur Brown (God of Hellfire) to contemporaries Ríoghnach Connolly (BBC Folk singer of the year 2019), The Unthanks and Band of Skulls. As supporting musicians, Moulettes have moonlighted for The Levellers, arranging and recording strings, vocals and percussion in the legendary Abbey Road studio 2. Hannah Moule has been a regular feature in the Alabaster De Plume Ensemble (Giles Peterson collaborator), and members of Moulettes have shared stage and studio with world class players including Nick Cave, Ted Dwane (Mumford and Sons), Christine & The Queens, Kate Tempest and Floating Points.
Hannah Moule & The Moulettes continue to prove to themselves and those who are listening that experimental and original music can be popular. As you can imagine, the story of this unconventional band has not been without tragedies and upheaval. The loss of founding member Robb Skipper, heartbreak, illness and exhaustion culminated in the decision to take time out to recover from burnout. This Album deliberately reflects a growing awareness and dialogue around mental health, race, communication and the environment – life is so often far from stable. Xenolalia is a positive creative reaction and a revised musical dictionary from staunch creative extremists who will not abandon the importance of art to heal, to challenge expectations and better equip us in a tumultuous world.