Charlotte Valentine has delivered caustic indie rock as No Home since 2016. Hello, this is exploitation distinguishes itself — both from previous No Home projects and their peers — with a newly unrefined sound and a self-described grossness.
Hello… is a wilful confrontation. A mosaic of shoegaze by way of Tonetta; dissonant, deadened, quasi-trip-hop; ceremony, invocations; the wavering delicacy of tremolo guitars. And all this packed into three brief tracks.
There's some neat production, like the mournful choir of '[A] Lullaby', but this release largely eschews meddling and elaboration. Valentine has dropped the techniques that previously softened their sound. The result is a bare, forthright and proud release.
Its prickly edges provide a much-needed antidote to the usual lo-fi schtick. There's no place here for the knockabout, happy-go-lucky charm favoured by Girlysound or Mac Demarco. The sincerity of Hello, this is exploitation unsettles rather than relaxes.
It's telling that Valentine would list Nina Simone among their influences. The two artists' work shares some rawness and clarity of purpose. And both seem somehow unknowable, yet too close and too candid to ignore.
Hello, this is exploitation is available for streaming and purchase here.
Words by Andrew O’Keefe