Laura Winkler, the Austrian-born singer of Berlin jazz-pop outfit Holler My Dear, speaks about the political themes of third album Steady As She Goes before this month’s release party at Kantine am Berghain.
“The album came together while touring internationally thanks to the ‘New Austrian Sound of Music’ cultural programme. We were welcomed very openly everywhere. In Tehran, random people approached us in the streets wanting to show that there’s a gap between people and politics. In workshops, we also met a bunch of open, young people with whom we’d write songs during the day, and at night, they’d drive us around to the best restaurants. That contributed to the political spirit of our album.
It’s also still very Berlin. The city’s open-mindedness, its liberal, colourful and queer spirit, influences us every day. And the song “Afterword” deals with the city’s gentrification problems, and what remains when a beautiful place is suddenly gone. For us, it was a classic story: we were kicked out of our rehearsal room like so many other musicians we know, and what are they building there now? A hostel, of course. And so many bars and clubs we know have had to fight for their survival and lost. We shot a video in one of them before it closed down, and its doorbell inspired the song. However, the album title, which we decided on very early in the process, is a reminder to also welcome change, to ride with the waves and not against them. A ship doesn’t just sail forward in a straight line, it has to find its balance, be flexible and respond to the waves; to find steadiness in the unsteady.
We don’t want to point any fingers, and we don’t want it to be too heavy. We want it to be a fun experience. If the message of a song is important to me, I’ll announce it beforehand. Otherwise, the audience is invited to just go with the flow.”
Holler My Dear album release w/Oko Feb 8, 21:00 Kantine am Berghain; Steady As She Goes (Traumton) out Feb 2