Bristol, UK songwriter Lande Hekt and independently owned Queer/trans label Get Better Records have released “December,” the latest track to be lifted from the Friday, January 22, 2021 release of Hekt’s debut solo album, Going to Hell (pre-order). Hekt says of its subject matter: “This one is about feeling scared to do anything about it when you like someone. It’s a bit of a self indulgent teenage issue, worrying whether anyone will fall in love with you or not, but I think it’s also trying to work through the worries that go along with realising you’re gay.” Listen to “December” now below.
“December” follows a series of track releases from the forthcoming full-length. “Undone” is full of longing and regret and “Whiskey” is about Hekt’s experience learning how to come to terms with being gay – realizing that pretending you’re not gay can’t go on forever. The accompanying heart-warming music video was masterfully shot by her long-term collaborator Martin Wisniewska (@Gingerdope) and is an intimate portrayal of Hekt’s love with her girlfriend, Lucy. “80 Days of Rain” is also out now and references her learning to get angry about climate change.
Going to Hell was recorded by Hekt’s friend Ben David (from the band The Hard Aches) in the Adelaide Hills in Australia while she was over there for a solo tour with him in February, luckily fitting in the recording and flying home before lockdown kicked in. The intense experience saw Hekt laying down all instruments on the album, with the exception of percussion.
Coming out is a prevalent topic throughout the record with the title track itself being “about how homophobia and heteronormative culture can make you feel isolated and scared of being yourself,” as Hekt herself explains her thoughts and feelings surrounding her sexuality, continuing: “I internalised a lot of that culture for a long time and it wasn’t until I found myself surrounded by Queer and trans people and friends, that I realised I could live happily in a way that felt right. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this and it was other people sharing their experiences with me that helped me out, so I named the album after this song to try and reach people who might want to be reached. It’s also not a dig on all Catholics; it’s just an expression of skepticism from a gay person regarding conservatism.”
Going to Hell sounds like the sum of Hekt’s wide-ranging influences: The Replacements, The Raincoats, Sharon Van Etten, The Slits, Patti Smith, Sacred Paws, Le Tigre, Against Me!, multiplied by her own distinct voice.