Introducing: H.Grimace’s “She’s In a State”

A track premiere, plus an essay by frontwoman Hannah Gledhill.

This track is side A of a 7” which became a really nice project proposed to us by Living Water Records in New York. They had a vision of doing a kind of boutique release, a limited run of two tracks and original collaged sleeves—an ambitious task, I may add! But it was exciting to do something so specific and focus some energy into something new.

We recorded the two tracks on the 7” with an old friend and teacher  called Martin Dupras who I’d met 14 years previously in Bristol. He was the first person who had introduced the idea of sound and concept or creative content to me, long before I’d thought of making music. He now teaches creative music technology in Bath Spa and I’ll always regard him as a real mentor and source of creative support Over the years, I knew that he had built a home recording studio in his garage in Bristol, so I asked him if he would record these ideas there.

“She’s in a State” came about from a jam session with Vivienne Griffin, collaborator on “2.1 Woman” from the debut album. She dropped a one liner into the mix that stuck with me for the whole song: “She’s in a state of permanent bliss,” an impossible notion that mirrors the demands placed on us to achieve the ideal mental or physical state. The song became about the conflicting emotions of life and journeying through those highs and lows. There is quite a lot of self reflection and spoken word in the song, the poling sides of the subject’s personality from almost a confessional in the opening lines to feeling empowered and to being “The Queen” of one’s own mental landscape in the second verse. The first line of the verse is a quote taken from Sylvia Plath’s Ariel poem “The Dew That Flies,” referencing suicidal tendencies and the feeling of wanting to melt or evaporate from that of physical self into one’s surroundings. But the idea of the song was not to wallow in the abyss but to try and move through these states and re-imagine the abject; from banality, to anger and then ultimately into something more optimistic and uplifting.  

We overdubbed the tracks with our producer and old friend Rory Attwell and mixed with new friend Iggy B of Bella Union Studios. Jackson Pope recorded some over dubs with us on those two tracks who’s enthusiasm and name alone is worth a mention. And, of course, big thanks to bandmates, Corin, Marcus, and Diogo.

—Hannah Gledhill

H.Grimace is a London-based post-punk quartet.

Born of a partnership between vocalist/guitarist Hannah Gledhill and guitarist Marcus Browne, the band draws from the dark and enigmatic, occasionally allowing shades of shoegaze and psych to slip through the cracks.

Bassist Corin Johnson and drummer Diogo Gomez provide a driving rhythm to complement Gledhill and Browne’s songwriting; together H. Grimace has drawn comparisons to Savages and Sister-era Sonic Youth.