Image via publicist
Art School Girlfriend is pleased to announce a brand new release with the arrival of ‘Helm (Tony Njoku remix)’, released on 7th October through Fiction Records.
Multifaceted London-based musician/producer Tony Njoku adds a spectral, shadowy sheen, coupled with transcendental tones and shades of dark techno to Art School Girlfriend’s original production ‘Helm’, lifted from the forthcoming remix album, ‘Is It Dark Where You Are’; an alternative approach on Polly’s debut record released last year and includes remixes by Baltra, Porij, Giulia Tess, 1-800 Girls and many more.
Tony Njoku adds: “I feel very honoured to have worked on this. Polly’s music already has this euphoric and dance-ready quality to it so it made reworking the music so smooth and fun. Polly’s synth chords and ethereal melodies were my main source of inspiration and as soon as that bassline came together I knew I had something special, I hope people enjoy it.”
‘Is It Light Where You Are’ is the debut album from Art School Girlfriend, moniker of Welsh producer, multi-instrumental musician and songwriter Polly Mackey. Throughout the record, Mackey showcases her ability at translating emotion through sound design. Mostly written over a two-week period of 14-hour solo studio sessions, the bulk of her album is torn straight from a journal kept throughout 2019. Those pages chronicle the end of a US tour, the tumultuous ending of a six-year relationship and Mackey’s journey back to London from Margate, where she lived and co-owned a bookshop with her then girlfriend.
The duality between light and dark is a central theme of the album, she builds tranquil landscapes before crushing them in sound; a constant push-pull in dynamics gives the album a charging momentum over 10 tracks. While the lyrics are autobiographical, the full story can be heard in the album’s sonic relief map. “The main theme is the duality between light and dark, lightness and heaviness. The production sort of mimics human emotions: there’s a lot of beauty buried underneath these uncomfortable-to-listen-to sounds.”
The album headline tour saw Art School Girlfriend headline a packed-out Village Underground in September of last year. Outside of her own artist project, Mackey also lent vocals to Ghostpoet’s album ‘I Grow Tired But Dare Not Fall Asleep’ and scored work such as the BFI’s Shy Radicals film.
Praise for Art School Girlfriend:
“Art School Girlfriend creates a cohesive aural universe of gauzy atmospheric compositions.” – The Quietus
“A sound that feels as if it was directly born from the shadows” – The Line of Best Fit
“A wholly atmospheric synth-driven debut album doused in heartbreak” – DIY
“Entrancing electronic pop that cuts a little deeper” – CLASH
“Otherworldly beats with majestic vocals to match” – Notion
“Your new fave goth pop dream” – i-D
About Art School Girlfriend:
At 18, Mackey co-founded the Welsh shoegaze outfit Deaf Club which brought her from her hometown of Wrexham, North Wales to London. The band would go on to sign with Domino Publishing and release EPs via the Transgressive imprint Kissability before disbanding in 2014. Relocating at first to Peckham, Mackey switched her focus towards her solo work — a more electronic, emotionally-driven project called Art School Girlfriend and her debut ‘Measures’ EP, released on Paul Epworth’s Wolf Tone label. Tired of London and seeking a more sustainable living situation, she moved again with her then-girlfriend to Margate to open a bookshop, Spine Books. Living and working in Margate and its rich creative community, alongside artists like Ghostpoet and Tom Furse of The Horrors, Mackey would pen her acclaimed ‘Into The Blue Hour’ EP; inspired by life’s new, slower pace, pale pink sunsets and dawn beach walks with her dog Captain. Lauded by press like DIY, CLASH Magazine, i-D and London In Stereo, the EP cemented her status as a bold new presence in British music. Following the EP release, Mackey would go on a headline UK tour before joining The Japanese House on her US tour, ending in June 2019More touring and international festival dates followed, as well as dates in Europe and the UK alongside the likes of Marika Hackman, Orlando Weeks and IDER. The debut album ‘Is It Light Where You Are’ was released on 10th September 2021 on Fiction Records and saw Mackey and her band play in packed-out rooms across the UK.
Helm (Tony Njoku) / 7th October
Tracklist: 1 In The Middle Baltra 2 Eyes On You Porij 3 Good As I Wanted Giulia Tess 4 Give Grove 5 Is It Light Where You Are 1-800 GIRLS 6 Softer Side Casually Here 7 Low Light Julia Sophie 8 Helm Tony Njoku 9 Colour Me Blankson 10 Bored Of Myself Lynks