The mystical alt-pop artist has released two magnetically mysterious singles so far, the dream-like slow build ‘Blood and Wine’ and the synth-washed groover ‘Under My Skin’, the latter of which landed a place in Hidden Herd’s Tracks of the Year 2018.
Ahead of her next jaunt to Brighton, where she’ll support The Vegan Leather for our final Hidden Herd Presents: SPTLGHT show at Green Door Store on Friday 26th April, we spoke to Alexa Povey to further explore the magical world of Circe.
How would you describe Circe to a stranger?
“A dreamy, dramatic, soundtrack of a scared sacred heart. Emotional but empowering – I hope.”
Who are the biggest influences on your sound and why?
“I am influenced by a lot of different art forms when it comes to writing.
Musically, Kate Bush. There is no other musician as truly outrageous as her. She stubbornly sticks to her guns and is determinedly always herself. ‘Hounds Of Love’ is my musical bible.
The TV show Stranger Things massively influenced me. The soundtrack truly shaped a lot of the Circe sound. The mix of ethereal warmness with emotional intensity makes me feel like I am constantly going to bubble over and cry.
I love installation and performance art, particularly works that push the limits of human emotion. Recently I was blown away by a collaboration between The National and Icelandic artist Ragnar Kjartansson entitled ‘A Lot of Sorrow’, where the band played the same song for six hours live. I love the melodrama of that; that level of intensity, and endurance apparent in the performance.
My mental health is probably a bigger influence than I give credit to. I am bipolar, so I’m quite emotionally intense, sabotaging-ly so sometimes. I’m either ecstatic, broken or obsessed with someone when I’m writing. It’s probably why all the songs end in a giant crescendo. If I didn’t write music, I think I would suffer quite a lot – as would my crushes…”
What was the best gig you’ve played so far?
“We played a show at Camden Assembly with the band Mammút (a powerhouse of a band!). The whole venue felt shrouded in a mystical power that night. I created an overgrown forest of sunflowers for my stage also.”
You’re based in London – what’s your local music scene like?
“I love London because it’s not just a ‘music scene’ it’s a performance scene. I see a lot of incredible bands, but also a lot of brilliant performance, art and poetry. I live in Hackney and there is an abundance of amazing venues and theatres that are pushing the boundaries of performance. Wednesday nights seem to be particularly outrageous.”
Who are the THREE other new artists we should listen to right now and why?
“Them Are Us Too are a new band I discovered recently and they are quickly becoming one of my all-time favourites. My heart goes out to everyone in the utterly tragic Ghost Ship warehouse fire in Oakland, in which the band devastatingly lost their beautiful, talented band member Cash Askew. They are still making music which everyone should listen too, as well as the incredible backlog of songs they have.
Makthaverskan are a Swedish post-punk band from Gothenburg who mould heart-wrenching mania into some of the best melodies I have ever heard.
MX World is the solo project of Poppy Tibbets shoes a classically trained vocalist, who writes honest euphoric songs about contemporary loneliness and insightful self-reflection. I always imagine she could break a glass with her voice.”
And finally, what does 2019 hold for Circe?
“Circe is releasing new music this year, starting with a single that is out this February. We are celebrating by putting on a magical show at Paper Dress Vintage on the 13th of February. There will be moons, stars, spells, clouds and a forest all in one room.
Also a music video, which I made in collaboration with my sister Rachel who is a brilliant artist, which is a strange, ethereal tale of Circe in space. An exclusive sneak peek into a Circe spell in the trailer below.”