INTERVIEW: ARXX on their new single, Not Alone But With You
After making a big grungy splash with their latest single DEEP back in March, Brighton alt-pop duo Hanni Pidduck and Clara Townsend - aka ARXX - return with a brand new track: Not Alone But With You.
Not Alone But Not With You is a product of enforced reflection, as a result of pandemic-induced social isolation. And as you'd expect from ARXX, it’s fully-loaded with unapologetic honesty that might just touch a nerve.
"You know that sadness or guilt you feel when you’re surrounded by people you love but you are just missing that other person?" asks Hanni. "Maybe it’s a loved one you’ve lost, maybe it’s a friend, maybe it’s a partner. This last year has been different for everyone but we’ve all had people we’ve missed."
Brimming with melancholy and 80s synth-tinged nostalgia, the track is propelled into the modern-day with crunchy, upbeat drums, authentically emotive vocals, and a relentlessly optimistic bassline. Despite its buoyant, catchy nature, Not Alone But Not With You is permeated with an undeniable aura of loneliness - and after the year we've had, it would be hard not to relate. So chuck your headphones on, gaze thoughtfully out of a car window, and be the main character in your own coming of age movie, all courtesy of ARXX.
Forever inspiring us with their innovative songwriting, and eclectic yet infectious sounds, the power duo continue to play with the expectation of what they ‘should’ be as women and as artists (which we obviously love, fuck the patriarchy).
Since forming in 2017, ARXX have received airplay from the likes of BBC Radio 1, Radio X, BBC 6Music and KEXP. In 2020, they were named in the NME top 100, and their most popular track Iron Lung has amassed a whopping 1 million streams on Spotify. They’re a force to be reckoned with live, supporting the likes of Dream Wife, The Hold Steady, and PINS. The pair are set to embark on a headline UK tour in August/September - get your tickets here!
If you can't wait until the end of the month, don't fret - we sat down with Hanni and Clara to find out all the deets about the new track and what's coming up for them!
Hi ARXX! So lovely to speak to you. How have you been doing recently? Hi, lovely to speak to you too! We've been great thank you, really glad to be back together, releasing new music. Congratulations on the release of your new single, Not Alone But Not With You! We love that it's a danceable track about loneliness - was this contrast intentional? Always! We love a happy sad song. This song has a lot more of an alt-pop vibe to it than some of your heavier releases - like Iron Lung - how would you describe your sound at the moment, and is this track more aligned with where you're headed? We never put a limit on what we do creatively, we just see where each song takes us, so who knows where we're heading next! Can we expect any more upcoming releases from you in the near future (or maybe even an album)?
Yes, absolutely, definitely soon.... We really appreciate the sincerity of your lyrics, especially when it comes to subjects that aren't often discussed openly. How important is it to you both that your songs are pushing boundaries? When we write we don't write to try and do something, we just write about what's happening to us and what's important to us, but thank you for those kind words! We're always on the lookout for great new upcoming artists - who are your favourites at the moment? Currls, Fraulein, Ciel. There's so many we love, but here's our top three! How are you feeling about getting back out on tour after the year we've had? You must be excited!
Beyond Excited!! It's our favourite part of being a band.
Thank you so much for chatting to us! We can't wait to catch you on tour.
Aug 19 - Edge Of The Wedge, Portsmouth
Aug 20 - Hope & Ruin, Brighton
Aug 21 - The Lexington, London
Aug 25 - Sunflower Lounge, Birmingham
Sep 2 - Oslo, London (support)
Sep 13 - Little Buildings, Newcastle
Sep 14 - Sneaky Pete's, Edinburgh
Sep 16 - Crofters Rights, Bristol
Sep 18 - Loud Women Festival, London
Sep 25 - The Chambers, Folkestone
Listen to Not Alone But Not With You on Spotify and Apple Music
Review and interview by Courtney Myers
Photography by Jessie Morgan and Bridie Florence Cummings