Hildur Victoria
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Hildur Victoria

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF

Minneapolis, Minnesota, United States | SELF
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The best kept secret in music

Press


The lineup for Zoo Animal’s CD release party at 7th St. Entry couldn’t have been more promising, with Hildur Victoria, His and Her Vanities, Red Pens fleshing out the headlining band’s big night. Zoo Animal’s second self-titled album boasts bigger vocals and showcases a darker side than on their debut Young Blood, and the maturity of the album shows it.

Hildur Victoria opened up the night to an almost empty floor, but as Margaret Lane, lead vocalist and guitarist, drove hard into the set, the crowd quickly thickened. Lane, who by now has gained a reputation for her on-stage passion, didn’t disappoint as she belted out the haunting jams from the band’s latest Herringbone E.P., showcasing the sumptuous compositions for which the indie quartet has become known.

In between songs, Lane tuned her guitar and took swigs of beer to sustain her. Always engaging the crowd with personal blips, at one point, after playing an especially aggressive and dramatic song, Lane divulged: “…My mom said, ‘I can’t listen to your music because it makes me want to die’, and I was like, ‘Oh, Momma… that ain’t good, we want you to feel happy”.

Regardless, Hildur Victoria’s music isn’t exactly feel-good, and Lane followed up her statement by introducing a new song, “Ghost”, wherein Lane abandoned the audience and knelt on the stage, alternating between breathing and screaming into the microphone. In an exhibition of stellar vocal power, Lane’s crystalline mezzo-soprano was simultaneously fragile and richly powerful. The band announced they would be recording a new album in a month, and found an audience that had fallen in love with them (either for the first time or all over again). - howwastheshow.com


I recently checked out the relatively new local band Hildur Victoria, thanks to seeing fantastic photos of them over on photographer Meredith Westin’s site (though it should also be noted that Northern Outpost has been on to them from day one as well). The talented quartet plays moody, heavyhearted pop songs that sound like a cleaner-cut, more accessible take on the shoegaze sound of the early nineties. The group is led by vocalist Margaret Lane, whose breathy lyricism set a forlorn tone that is complemented by her backing band’s (which includes Tapes N’ Tapes drummer Jeremy Hanson) deliberately paced rhythms.HV recently released their debut EP, a short collection of four songs that goes by the name Herringbone (on account of the Kevin Russell designed cover). Herringbone starts with “Four Young Son’s” a slow burning tune that carries a great deal of weight in sentiment (made even more so my Lane’s crying the words “too heavy” repeatedly) as well as some bluesy chords from guitarist Joe Clark. The pace is quickened a bit for the EP’s banner track, “Diamond Eyes,” which nonetheless, makes it only slightly less melancholy. Diamond boasts some inspired musicianship and rhythm changes, and Lane’s whispery nature metaphors make excellent dressing. “Pallisades” and “”Wilder-ness” fill the rest of the EP out – in the former a note of disgust creeps into Lane’s vocals as she cries about walls (you keep yours/I keep mine/you build yours up/I build mine higher) and in the latter she wails loudly over musicianship that builds to a wildly agressive climax.Even if Herringbone only has a short number of songs, it’s evident that Hildur Victoria is a band that could go places. While their music occasionally seems a little too buttoned down, when the band really does open the floodgates their talent obviously shines through. At this point I think that the only thing that could hinder their sound is an attempt to restrain it in an attempt to become more radio friendly. I would love to these these guys really let loose though and look forward to their future work.

– Jon Behm - Reviler Mag


The name conjures a baroque chamber-orchestra vibe, and in its own way, local indie quartet Hildur Victoria does not disappoint. The band’s lush instrumentation—provided by guitarist Joe Clark, bassist Jef Sundquist, and drummer Jeremy Hanson (also of Tapes 'N Tapes)—provides a scenic sonic backdrop for singer Margaret Lane’s sweet mezzo-soprano. Imagine a slowed-down Fleet Foxes fronted by a calmer Tori Amos, and you’re in the right ballpark. The band is set to headline the Varsity Theater tonight as part of La Nouvelle Femme, an interdisciplinary showcase of fashion, art, and music from emerging female artists. The A.V. Club caught up with the quartet to talk about its atmospheric sound, its upcoming record, and the ups and downs of being “female-fronted.”

The A.V. Club: Where did the name Hildur Victoria come from?
Joe Clark: It’s my great-grandmother’s name, her first and middle name. I think we just wanted something that didn’t classify us, something personal that didn’t say, “Oh you’re that category." Just a good classic name.

Jef Sundquist: And I’m a big fan of grandmothers.

Margaret Lane: It was either that or Herringbone, and that is actually going to be the name of the EP/LP.

AVC: What tipped the scales?

ML: It was a numbers game. I was pushing Herringbone so hard, and it just didn’t win.

Jeremy Hanson: Herringbone reminded me of Fishbone, a kind of ska jam band.

ML: And we didn’t want that. That was the wrong kind of classification! [Laughs.]

AVC: References to grandmas and fish aside, how would you describe your sound?

JC: For some reason, whenever I get asked this question, I always throw the word “psychedelic” in there. It’s not psychedelic, I don’t use any effects pedals, I just want people to get that feeling out of it. I just don’t want to get too specific, because as soon as we get into describing out sound, it all sounds different to you than to other people. I always just say “psychedelic indie rock.”

JS: It is semi-instrumental. There are beautiful vocal parts by Margaret, but we can all hold our own musically. There doesn’t have to be a focal point. It’s not like, “Here’s a hook, here’s a catch.” It’s extremely harmonic.

AVC: How did Brett Bullion from Tarlton end up producing your upcoming EP?

ML: He asked! [Laughs.]

JS: After the first show with me being in the band [at the Turf Club in July], he approached us after the show and said, “You guys sound great playing together. Are you thinking about recording?” And we’re like, “Yeah.” And he was like, “Can I record you guys?” “Sure!” I have a mutual friend who is now playing in Tarlton, so it is this mini-community that has developed. It’s great because you’re friends and you have this creative outlet. It’s just—

ML: Comfortable.

AVC: What’s the story behind this La Nouvelle Femme show?

ML: [Fashion designers] Ashley [Wokasch] and Luci [Kandler] of Calpurnia Peach and a fine artist by the name of Ema Cook and I, we came up with the idea last year. We got this idea to have an event showcasing female artists, not in an overly uppity female-empowerment kind of way, but just a chance to show what we’re doing as young people and emerging artists. So we compiled these different artists and put together this really cohesive event that we had at the Rogue Buddha. We had low expectations, but we worked our asses off and it sold out, so this year we doubled the amount of artists and changed the venue to something larger.

AVC: The Twin Cities have a number of great bands fronted by female vocalists. Do you find that helps to create a sense of community, or is it more competitive?

ML: I don’t think it’s competition; I’ve never really entertained that notion at all. It’s not something I’ve considered because, regardless of gender, it is doing what we love, and I just so happen to be female. I think there is a certain aesthetic that people tie to female artists; it does add a different element to it. It can be good because it can attract some more attention, but it can also be detrimental as people can have difficulty looking past that fact. I’m just one of these dudes, hanging out and writing music, but when you put it in the context of La Nouvelle Femme, it can do brilliant things because we completely inspire each other and we help each other get a leg up. - The Onion AV Club


Discography

"Herringbone EP", Self-Released, December 2009

-Sent out by label Guilt Ridden Pop to 100 radio stations nation-wide. Their single "Diamond Eyes" has received airplay in New York, LA, and throughout colleges and indie stations across the midwest.
Renowned drummer Dave King (The Bad Plus, Happy Apple, Halloween, Alaska) chose to play Hildur Victoria while promoting his newest solo record on 89.3 The Current.

"Hildur Victoria," Self-Titled LP, recorded by Producer/Engineer Brett Bullion. To-be-release on Vinyl early 2011.

Photos

Bio

Minneapolis Indie Quartet Hildur Victoria began as a solo project under the name of writer/vocalist Margaret Lane in 2007. With the addition of dynamic local musicians Jeremy Hanson (Tapes N' Tapes), Joe Clark, and Jef Sundquist, the group began to evolve into a sonorous collective. By early 2009, the quartet started honing in on their distinct amalgam of rock, folk, and ethereal/ambient music.

The band's debut album, "Herringbone EP," was recorded live in the fall of 2009, and self-released soon after in December 2009, and is now available at the Electric Fetus and Treehouse Records.

Their EP is now in rotation on local radio stations 89.3 The Current and Radio K, as well as College/Indie radio stations nation-wide.

Hildur has supported national acts Halloween, Alaska, Dark Dark Dark, Netherfriends, Haley Bonar, and Caroline Smith and the Goodnight sleeps and played at some of the most reputable venues in the Twin Cities.

Hildur Victoria continues to develop and expand their sound as they near completion of their self-titled LP, set to release early 2011 on vinyl and will be available everywhere at www.hildurvictoria.com.