Raised on playing in the traditional folk clubs of her rural home county of Co. Tyrone in Northern Ireland, Alana Henderson embarked on her musical career from a young age. Self-releasing her debut EP, ‘Wax and Wane’, in 2014, she added heavyweight pop credentials to her CV when she was asked to join Hozier’s band on cello and vocals.
Her solo career took a back seat as she toured the world for two years, but her writing never ceased. And whilst the acerbic lyricism and intricate arrangement of acoustics on her first release drew comparisons to Joanna Newsome and Fiona Apple, her latest single, ‘Let This Remain’ found Alana wielding a more muscular, monochrome aesthetic. The track was written late at night in a Los Angeles hotel room, and records at an isolated cottage retreat in Connemara. The indie folk timbre of Alana Henderson’s early output has been replaced with distorted and manipulated cello loops. Sweeping analogue synthesisers fuse with sparse electronic percussion. All underpinning her trademark crystalline songwriting to create a nihilistic anti-ballad with an icy pop
‘Let This Remain’ is an icy and unforgiving anti-ballad, fusing an electronic undercurrent to her darkly organic indie-folk.
Alana’s mastery of the cello is a highlight of the track and creates a dramatic atmosphere. Expertly balancing an arrangement that is both haunting and beautiful. Written in L.A. the lyrics reflect on the transient nature of relationships on the road and the emotional detachment that ensues. When no relationship is expected to last, she said, ‘you could be the one I don’t regret…yet”.
Speaking further on the track, she continued to add, “After a period of post-tour decompression the track was recorded at a friend’s isolated Irish cottage with the help of Belfast-based musician/producer Alan Haslam. We used only the most rudimentary equipment; my cello, a Roland Juno-106 synthesiser and a TR-808 drum machine. Along with some improvised acoustic percussion (we snapped a pair of shoe trees together for the snare sound)”