Track: Julienne Harvey’s ‘Rot’ is an enigmatic and thrilling gothic trip.

Feature Photograph: Keoni Davis & Benjamin Dexter

In her new single ‘Rot’, Sydney artist Julienne Harvey‘s soaring vocals seem aged in a whiskey-soaked barrel, and delivered with added melancholia in some darkened cavern in the early hours of the morning after a night of glorious excess. Influenced by the like of Radiohead and Portishead, it is rather incredible that at the time of posting, Harvey is only 17 years old.

Harvey’s voice is full forward and centre in this track: imbued with a sense of regret and loss and yet empowered and strong. The instrumentation is raw and fragile, serving to provide a soft underbed to the vocals that are breathed with a dreamy languor and emotive strength. According to Harvey, ‘Rot’ is a raw depiction of how thoughts can cycle endlessly when experiencing dark times. There is a bleakness to the words:

now i’m back to this dread
this dreary mopey shed
stuck inside the windowless hut
to rot

And despite the darkness, glimmers of hope and resilience:

almost better
getting better
almost getting getting better

This is quite a mesmerising introduction to Harvey, whose lyrics and delivery recall PJ Harvey and Nick Cave with their gothic inflection, repetitions and rhythm:

‘Rot’ is out now and available through the link above or to stream here.

Feature Photograph: Keoni Davis & Benjamin Dexter

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