Lande Hekt

Bristol, UK

Lande Hekt’s voice in music is one that’s socially aware yet often introspective, drawing awareness to serious issues but at the same time baring her soul. Much of Hekt’s compositions act as a personal diary of what’s going on in her life at any given time. This is evident in her discography with Muncie Girls, the band which she formed in her hometown of Exeter as a teenager and have released two critically acclaimed albums to date. This knack of combining her own experiences and feelings whilst highlighting larger socio-economic issues has carried through to her more contemplative solo material, which began life in an EP ‘Gigantic Disappointment’, self-released in 2019. 2021 sees Hekt armed with a debut album ‘Going to Hell’, on which she played all the instruments with the exception of percussion. “Some of these songs have taken me a long time to write,” Hekt says. “As a whole, this album represents a time when I was coming out as gay. I’m no stranger to queer punk and queer politics. I’ve always taken a special interest for obvious reasons, but this record is important to me because it’s the first time I’m releasing anything as an outwardly gay person.” ‘Going to Hell’ was recorded by Hekt’s friend Ben David (from the band The Hard Aches) in the Adelaide Hills in Australia, whilst she was over there for a solo tour with him in February, luckily fitting in the recording and flying home before lockdown kicked in. The album’s title track is also about Hekt’s experiences and feelings coming out as gay. “It’s about how homophobia and heteronormative culture can make you feel isolated and scared of being yourself,” she says. “I internalized a lot of that culture for a long time and it wasn’t until I found myself surrounded by queer and trans people and friends, that I realized I could live happily in a way that felt right. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this and it was other people sharing their experiences with me that helped me out, so I named the album after this song to try and reach people who might want to be reached. It’s also not a dig on all Catholics; it’s just an expression of skepticism from a gay person regarding conservatism.” The song ‘Hannover’ has chorus lyrics lifted directly from Hekt’s diary whilst she was touring Europe totally alone for the very first time. Much of the record was written in the midst of a state of displacement in Hekt’s life, whilst touring, being stuck in Berlin due to visa issues and not really quite knowing where her home was over the past couple of years, being somewhat transient between tours. ‘Going to Hell’ sounds like the sum of Hekt’s wide-ranging influences - The Replacements, The Raincoats, Sharon Van Etten, The Slits, Patti Smith, Sacred Paws, Le Tigre, Against Me! - multiplied by her own distinct voice. Hekt has played events for The Big Issue and the Labour Party amongst numerous solo gigs, touring the globe with artists like Kevin Devine and Ben David, as well as performing with Muncie Girls at the likes of Glastonbury, Reading & Leeds Festivals, Download and SXSW in Austin.
Lande Hekt