Lust murder: what’s that exactly? When we sit down for a chat with Peckham-based Slovenlie, she enlightens us. It’s when a murderer gets erotic satisfaction from - well - doing the deed, and the 26-year-old newcomer claims it’s a big influence on her lyrics. “I’ve never told anyone that before,” she says, somewhat shyly. “I think I’m quite a dark person...”
This may not come as a surprise to those already acquainted with her only single to surface so far; ‘Disaster’. The track’s driving beat and electronic soundscape definitely ticks the ‘moody’ box - but going on that alone would belie the ghost of pop perfection that floats above it. Songwriting is clearly a cathartic process for her. “All these crazy passions come out,” she explains with an air of mystery.
Slovenlie’s first forays into music were rather more conventional, however. Her earliest musical memory was aged three, hearing Mendelssohn’s violin concerto at Glastonbury. It made a huge impact. “I thought, I have to learn that,” she says. “Not just learn the instrument, but learn to play that piece.” It laid the groundwork for a prevailing love of Hungarian composer Bartók. But by age 14 she’d been kicked out of school, where she had a musical scholarship playing the violin, and headed to London on her own - something she describes as being a “last chance saloon.”
The push for independence clearly paid off. Slovenlie writes all her songs, playing and arranging them too, and her influences include the likes of Joy Divison, Fever Ray and Nine Inch Nails - although her musical output is affected by an unconventional source. “I have really bad OCD. I like everything in circuits of 12 and eight. I have absolutely no idea why, but it came on when I was about five. It used to be in threes.”
How this plays out in her next release - penciled in for July - has yet to be decided, although she did warn “there is definitely another side to me.” If it’s as enthralling as the ‘Disaster’ side, we’re all ears.
WHERE: Peckham, South London
WHAT: Glitchy, Moderat-esque beats put through a Grimes meat grinder
GET 3 SONGS: ‘Disaster’, ‘Flex’, ‘Ritual’
FACT: “My violin,” is her response to “What is the most important thing to you?”
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Words: Joe Heaney
Photography: Sophie Mayanne