Listening Post

Talk about a one-take video – Elle Mary & The Bad Men calmly shaves her head for her new track

'Pretend' is the consuming new song from the Manchester artist

Sudden heartbreak is a powerful force, as Manchester songwriter Elle Mary knows all too well. She was writing folk music until a relationship she was in ended abruptly and things changed.

Afterwards, the songs she began to write – dark, electric, spidery noir-rock – became a sort of view into her subconscious. A way of analysing the feelings she was struggling to articulate otherwise. She gave it a new name, Elle Mary and The Bad Men.

And sometimes a symbolic physical gesture helps put a full stop on a chapter, and a capital letter on the next one. In the video for her new track ‘Pretend’ she picks up some clippers and calmly shaves her head. It’s the kind of video where you’re really only ever going to get one-take. It makes for a transfixing clip.

‘Pretend’ is available available now on all digital platforms via Sideway Saloon/Kartel Music Group.

Elle Mary have some upcoming live shows, you’ll find them here.

Manchester, Soup Kitchen (with Molly Burch) – 31 May

Kendall Calling festival – 27 July