Video Premiere

School is a Battlefield: Post-Punk Hero Heartworms Debuts Video for “24 Hours” from Debut EP “A Comforting Notion”

South London post-punk auteur Heartworms has today shared her debut EP, A Comforting Notion via Speedy Wunderground, alongside a video for the blistering track, “24 Hours”.

Heartworms is a force to be reckoned with, an artist who defies expectations and delivers a powerful, immersive experience both on stage and in the studio. The artist herself exudes poise and intensity, a true embodiment of strength and control. Her piercing, fierce stare defies preconceived notions of fragility and smallness that are often associated with female musicians. If anyone ever underestimated her, their prejudices are immediately shattered with the screaming chorus of album opener “Constant Dedication,” as she channels the warrior queen within to unleash a veritable Pandora’s Box of explosive emotions. The disturbingly beautiful call to arms, “Retributions of An Awful Life”, sounds like early Simple Minds mixed with “Let England Shake”-era PJ Harvey. She makes great use of echoing spoken word throughout, creating an element of delusion and aural hallucination to unsettle the mind.

Uniformity is a key element in Heartworms’ work, taking inspiration from the precision and meticulousness of bands like Interpol and Kraftwerk; her fashion choices are also a cohesive, militaristic visual experience…feeling like a mix of Laibach and Killing Joke, it is clear that one of her great passions is military history, as evidenced by her recent volunteering role at The Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon. Heartworms also channels the poetry of Pound, Thomas, and Keats.

Photo by Gilbert Trejo

“‘24 Hours’ is about general struggles of teenage growth, secondary school and moments of regret,” she says. “I wanted the video to be in a school…Gilbert instantly clicked with the idea I had.”

The intense monochromatic video depicts a teenaged misfit suffering her way through a day in an oppressive scholastic environment. Her bloodied face and thousand-yard stare, reminiscent of shellshock war victims, is juxtaposed with an onstage performance where she has the high ground – and, therefore, total command of the school battlefield. She finally breaks free of the school uniform by trading it in for a quasi-military uniform, harnessing her power onstage, and literally rising above the bullies who make her life miserable.

With this visual, Heartworms lampoons the sassy schoolgirl trope made famous by Britney Spears – and embraces the aesthetic of hip-hop giants Public Enemy, who famously don military uniforms to serve as their own security force. “24 Hours” shows the bleak reality of what it’s like to be at the bottom of the high school henpecking hierarchy, and the ferocious rebellion it takes to burn it all the hell down.

Watch “24 Hours” below:

Heartworms and video director Gilbert Trejo forged their collaboration through Instagram after he followed her and bought a t-shirt. “Gilbert, with kindness and vision for Heartworms, just wanted to help create something special,” she says. “The way he works in favour of the artist, he doesn’t want to take over, he wants to bring to life the small spark that starts in the soul of the artist. He’s a genius.”

“Working with Heartworms has been incredibly natural,” Trejo replies. “Being so singular in her vision and having such a strong voice, she knows exactly what she wants and has the strength as a performer to do anything. This video is one of those rare occasions where everyone came together to shoot exactly what was in our heads from the very beginning.”

A Comforting Notion represents the growth and journey of discovering the sound I was too afraid to portray,” Heartworms says. “For it to be out, is special. It’s a unique EP that I know was worth the hard work and it deserves everything good coming. I believe this immensely.”

A Comforting Notion‘s pummelling singles ‘Retributions Of An Awful Life’ and ‘Consistent Dedication’ were added to the BBC Radio 6 Music playlist . The singles also grabbed spot plays from Radio X’s John Kennedy, and BBC Radio 1’s Jack Saunders and Gemma Bradley. Heartworms last night played a sold-out headline at London’s The Lexington, and has announced her biggest headline show to date at Village Underground on the 21st  of November. Tickets are available HERE.

Listen to A Comforting Notion HERE or stream below:

See Heartworms live in 2023:

  • 22 Mar | Green Door Store, Brighton SOLD OUT
  • 23 Mar | The Lexington, London SOLD OUT
  • 24 Mar | Dead Wax Digbeth, Birmingham SOLD OUT
  • 25 Mar | Yes (Basement), Manchester SOLD OUT
  • 29 Mar | Thekla, Bristol*
  • 1 Apr | Rescue Rooms, Nottingham*
  • 2 Apr | Foundry, Sheffield*
  • 6 Apr | Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff
  • 14 Apr | Motel Mozaique, Rotterdam
  • 5 May | Are You Listening? Festival, Reading
  • 6 May | The Road To The Great Escape, Glasgow
  • 8 May | The Road to The Great Escape, Dublin
  • 11 May | The Great Escape, Brighton
  • 19 May | London Calling, Amsterdam
  • 20 May | Get Together, Sheffield
  • 26 May | Sea Change Festival, South Devon
  • 27 May | Dot To Dot, Bristol
  • 28 May | Dot To Dot, Nottingham
  • 10 Jun | Long Division Festival, Wakefield
  • 30 Jun | Down The Rabbit Hole Festival, Beuningen
  • 16 Jul | Dour Festival, Dour
  • 1 Sep | End Of The Road Festival, Salisbury
  • 2 Sep | Manchester Psych Festival, Manchester
  • 21 Nov | Village Underground, London

*supporting Black Honey

Follow Heartworms:

Alice Teeple

Alice Teeple is a photographer, multidisciplinary artist, and writer. She is not in Tin Machine.

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