“I needed a break from the bass guitar after having my public identity wrapped up in it for the past four years.” These are the words of Flossing, aka Heather Elle, the steely bassist of New York City’s The Wants and previously BODEGA. Like most touring musicians, Heather found herself in a bit of a rut when the world shut down in March last year – no gigs, no creative output. However, she quickly devoted herself to her collection of self-described “misfit singles” she’d been neglecting and used quarantine to reconcile her boldest and most private thoughts into her new solo project, Flossing.
“I’ve always known I could stand on my own as an artist,” says Heather. “But I needed to lose myself in a few bands in order to find myself again. Lockdown gave me the time to heal; I’ve had enough material for an LP for years, but I couldn’t give all the songs the attention they deserved [until now].”
Heather’s debut EP ‘Queen of the Mall’ establishes her as a mischievous pop poet with a haunting sound and deep bag of tricks ready for late nights and long mornings after. Its production style is playful (chef’s knives and vibrators make cameo appearances) and its lyrics shift from personal to political. ‘Switch’ explores BDSM with voyeuristic, manic confessions while ‘Add To Cart’ tackles ideas of identity and connection in an unhinged western society. “There’s definitely an underlying lyrical playfulness and disquiet and yearning linking all the tracks together,” says Heather. “I’m absolutely thrilled to finally give these songs life and share more of my personality to the world.”
As the only child of a social psychologist and occupational therapist, Heather is acutely unafraid of exploring all corners of her personality. “I’m naturally more of a feeler, in art and in life,” says Heather. With Flossing, she has pulled the gates to her creative identity wide open. Switching from rhythmic main stayer to empowered frontwoman has made Heather more self-disciplined and aware in her creative work.
But with the world opening up again, what might lie in store for her band work? Heather says: “Flossing will be a life-long project that lets me experiment with all of my absurd identities, ideas, and favourite collaborators. I’m finally entering my creative prime, embracing independence and exploration and I’d rather not answer to anyone but myself. I’m excited for this new chapter of my life.”
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Flossing's new EP is out now.
Words: Jamie Wilde
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