If you’re a lover of strings and cheap saws stroked with a bow, Happy Axe‘s Seven Sounds will most likely leave you in a pile of grateful ruins. Piercing, dramatic, and devastating to the heart if you’re feeling vulnerable, Happy Axe’s Emma Kelly delivers a crazed beauty beset with the most lovely of soft violins, taking you deep into a state of bliss should you close your eyes and listen carefully.
Her first single on local boutique label Spirit Level, WildnFree was lucky to experience Happy Axe live in the darkness of Kew Court House last Saturday night, as part of Spirit Level’s Kindred series. For over 45 minutes, the small space of the courthouse was washed in a focused meditative darkness, lit and coloured by Happy Axe’s steady looped movements across the strings and saw. Sitting right at the back with an obstructed view of her instruments, WildnFree could have sworn the wiggy wails and wobbles of the saw were the workings of some mystical Asian antique. “No,” explained Happy Axe in the foyer afterwards. “It’s just a cheap saw from Bunnings.”
Watch it all unfold and transform in this wild, technicolour dreamscape from director Jeff Andersen Jnr.