Best known for her work with Crass founder Steve Ignorant, Huddersfield (UK) based Carol Hodge is a singer and pianist who has spent much of the last few years on keys and BVs touring with Steve’s acoustic project Slice Of Life. She was a lead vocalist in Steve Ignorant’s Last Supper, performing the songs of Crass on a world tour. 2020 sees her revisiting the songs of Crass, singing and playing keys on the Ignorant tour, so far booked for the UK and Europe.
As well as dabbling in anarcho-punk, Carol currently provides live keys and BVs for Texan rockers Ryan Hamilton And The Harlequin Ghosts (signed to Stevie Van Zandt’s Wicked Cool Records), and makes occasional guest appearances on keys with The Membranes and The Ginger Wildheart Band.
On 30th June 2020, Carol will release her second solo studio album, Savage Purge. Produced by Dave Draper (Kerbdog, Dodgy, Ginger Wildheart, The Professionals), the album title was inspired partly by the Post World War II épuration sauvage that took place in France, in which many innocent women were tortured. Lyrical themes include domestic abuse, beauty standards, self love, alcoholism and the dark frontiers of mental health.
“But don’t let that put you off!” says Carol. “It’s an album full of hope, energy, self-discovery and positivity. A lot has happened in my life over the past couple of years that I felt I needed to purge musically. I think everything I do is always tinged with dark humour, and, as with my own daily experience, this album is all about striking the balance between articulating despair and rediscovering a lust for life. Some of the lyrics have proven to be alarmingly prescient of our current lockdown situation.” Musically, the album has thus far drawn comparisons to Courtney Barnett, Stevie Nicks, Regina Spektor, Garbage and Weezer.
The first single from Savage Purge, album opener Stop Worrying Baby, was released on 7th April 2020, accompanied by a music video featuring a familiar face to many, Dominic Brunt, who plays Paddy Kirk in ITV’s Emmerdale. Shot and edited by Mark Richards (Slaves, Wonk Unit, Maid Of Ace), the action is based amidst the beautiful West Yorkshire countryside.
Hot on its heels, the lockdown-inspired single A Song For You was released on 28th April 2020. Aiming to act as a catalyst for processing emotions, the lyrics focus on recent events, sending home a positive message of remembering to be grateful for the little things in life.
Described by Louder Than War as “The Adele for people into radical politics…a UK 2018 equivalent to the Tapestry-era Carole King”, Carol’s debut album Hold On To That Flame was released in 2018 on independent label Chopback, and published by Bomber Music. The album was featured in Louder Than War’s Top 25 list of 2018, and received numerous favourable reviews, as well as extensive independent and online radio play.
Likened variously to Amanda Palmer, St.Vincent, Fiona Apple, Kate Bush and Alex Harvey, Carol’s live performances are an honest and emotional affair, peppered liberally with her between-song Northern English wit. She has toured extensively over the past two years, playing festivals, small venues and living rooms. In August 2019 she supported Los Angeles artist Julia Othmer on a UK tour.
With 2020 touring plans on hold, Carol is focussing on writing new material, live streaming gigs from her home studio and promoting new album Savage Purge. Plus drinking tons of Earl Grey tea and fussing her three cats waaaay more than they are comfortable with.
Pre-order Savage Purge here
All photos – Mike Bennett