Next Wave #1110: SPIDER

In association with HUGO...

SPIDER spins a web of emotion. Twitching one, honing in on any one element of her music or writing, sets off a clamouring chain reaction through the rest. But the medium she writes in is bolshy, energetic, sharply produced alt-pop with enough of a gritty undertone to tilt her into rock territory – she blends the confessional, intense lyricism with the magnitude of the music, and the end result is a power that doubles down on itself time and time again. 

This is the thread that ties together the artists that SPIDER has grown up with and loves – not any specific sound, as they range from Halsey to PJ Harvey to HOLE to Grimes – but an artistic sense of commitment. “I really love artists who very much stand in the statements they make, what they want to say, and are very vocal about things. They do whatever the fuck they want.” 

Growing up as a young Black artist in Ireland, prior to moving to London, SPIDER shied away from a scene she describes as “very much all boys with guitars. I was avoiding that for a long time. I didn’t want to see a real guitar in my vicinity… I hated it!! But then I found guitar music that made me want to write music [Hole, Squirrel Flower, Snail Mail] and I simply had to put a guitar on every one of my songs.”

In much the same vein, SPIDER has a complex relationship with labelling their music, whether it be crunching guitars or bubbly synths: “I like my labels only for one reason. Because I think it’s a relatively new thing that people of colour, and specifically women of colour can fully exist within space and say, I am an alternative artist. I consider myself to be alternative pop, and that’s the label that I’ve really clung onto with my nails, because I am not anything else. I think it’s important to be a Black woman and be like, I make alternative pop – and I also just enjoy making it really hard for anybody to be like, [this is] R&B and hip-hop.”

Though SPIDER got the lazier comparisons more when she was embracing a more synth-led sound, she’s taking things to a darker peak now. “I split into these bombastic statement songs and me being like, I’m so sad… But I feel quite incapable of making a sad song that isn’t like…” SPIDER breaks into a spiky beat vocalisation and her energy is captured flawlessly. “I’ve really tried to as well, I’ve tried to have a sad riff, but I just need more mental stimulation. Okay, I’m sad, but I don’t want to be bored.”

WHERE: Raised in Dublin, based in London
WHAT: Lawless pop electronica
3 SONGS: ‘America’s Next Top Model’, ‘Water Sign’, ‘Romeo’

FACT: As a teen her strictly religious family banned her from IRL shows.

Words: Ims Taylor
Photography: Bella Howard
Fashion: Sabrina Soormally

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