Powerhouse performer Gretel Hänlyn shares the official video of her latest single ‘Drive’. Directed by Ben Brook, the gritty video sees a crazed Hänlyn on a drive through the London suburbs, frenetically edited with cutaway aerial shots. The track launched at the start of this month, instantly hitting the BBC 6Music New Music Fix Playlist, with additional support from Clara Amfo and Jack Saunders on BBC Radio 1. ‘Drive’ follows Gretel’s packed out summer of touring including a sold out debut headline show, performances at Green Man and Wilderness festival, as well as guest appearances at Glastonbury, All Points East and Primavera alongside Mura Masa.
Ushering in a brand new era of self-discovery for the nineteen year old, ‘Drive’, sees Gretel at her most commanding and assured. Written on the road during a period of touring where she was craving fast-paced fun and hysteria in her performances, it’s an experimental departure from the indie-folk textures of her debut EP and an audacious shake up of guitar music from one of the UK’s new female frontrunners. Speaking on the track, Gretel explains: “I feel so excited by what I’m doing right now musically which I’m taking as a really good sign that I’m doing the right thing and I feel like I’m getting closer and closer in my musical self discovery with each track. I also love how I’m utilising my femininity and then total neutralness in my music, girly creepy singing behind totally genderless music. I’ve been really getting into lyricism as well, again not restraining myself and allowing myself to say things that before I’d perhaps think twice about or think was uncool.”
‘Drive’ follows Gretel’s bewitching debut EP Slugeye, released earlier this year, featuring standout singles ‘Slugeye’, the gorgeously cinematic ‘It’s The Future, Baby’, rollicking anthem ‘Motorbike’ as well as ‘Apple Juice’ – a confessional missive that landed her on the B List at BBC 6Music. She was also made BBC Introducing’s Track Of The Week on BBC Radio 1 Playlist and has seen particular championing from Clara Amfo, Jack Saunders, Sian Eleri and Steve Lamacq. The rising artist is also a long-term collaborator of Mura Masa, featuring as the vocalist on his headrush of a single ‘2gether’, now with over 7M streams on Spotify alone.
Over the last six months, Gretel has proven herself to be a formidable live act, with a much talked about debut headline show at Bermondsey Social Club that sold out in 24 hours back in May. Last month, Gretel played an ARTÉ concert in Paris alongside Jehnny Beth (which has racked up over 10K streams in just a week) and she will continue her live ascendency with a string of shows over the Autumn including two landmark performances for Pitchfork London and Paris in November. Full tour dates below.
At just nineteen-years-old, London-based Gretel Hänlyn AKA Maddy Haenlein defies classification, but exudes total star quality. She finds beauty in the grotesque, weaving equal parts light and dark, dystopia and fantasy into her songwriting. Her pseudonym derives from a great aunt, who grew up on a vineyard in Germany and also happens to be Maddy’s ancestral doppelganger. Daughter of a carpenter and an artist, Gretel was constantly surrounded by creativity growing up and her style is inspired by the figures of her formative years: a summation of Nirvana’s angsty approach to alternative-pop songwriting, the vocal qualities of Nico & The Velvet Underground and the narrative storytelling of Nick Cave. The result is her own unique sonic landscape that is magnetic and full of shadowy intrigue. A sorceress who commands a deep voice, Gretel Hänlyn is your latest artist to watch.