The video for Sylver Tongue’s debut single “Something Big” features project mastermind Charlotte Hatherley dancing around a Martian roller rink while wearing a silver bodysuit and a heavy-looking headdress made of small silver pyramids. The tableau brings to mind a discotechque built by the replicants from Blade Runner.
Fans of Hatherley’s three albums of gauzy, Helium-high pop might be somewhat confused by this turn of events. During a break from recording the first Sylver Tongue full-length in the UK, Hatherley admits that part of her inspiration for the project came from the obvious idea that making electronic beats and dancing in videos is a lot of fun. But the real impetus, she says, came from the somewhat contrary, yet obvious idea that dressing up as someone else might be the easiest way to reveal who you really are.
“I wanted a lot of the [Sylver Tongue] look to be quite Mad Max—futuristic, dystopian, apocalyptic world. But actually, the songs are incredibly personal and a lot more honest than anything else I’ve ever written,” she says. “Having a mask to hide behind makes you feel like you can be a bit more honest.
“My last record was all about buildings and shapes and colors, and it was all very…” She sighs. “I mean, there was emotion behind it, but I didn’t think anyone listening to it would really get what I was trying to say or what I was thinking.”
Hatherley first gained a measure of renown in the mid-’90s, when she joined the Irish guitar-pop trio Ash as a second guitar player. [...]