Lande Hekt is set to release her debut album ‘Going to Hell’ via Queer-run independent label Get Better Records on 22 January 2021. This record represents a time when Hekt was coming out as gay. “I’m no stranger to queer punk and queer politics,” she says. “I’ve always taken a special interest for obvious reasons, but this record is important to me because it’s the first time I’m releasing anything as an outwardly gay person.”
‘Going to Hell’ was recorded by Hekt’s friend Ben David (from the band The Hard Aches) in the Adelaide Hills in Australia, whilst she was over there for a solo tour with him in February, luckily fitting in the recording and flying home before lockdown kicked in. The intense experience saw Hekt laying down all instruments on the album, with the exception of percussion.
‘Whiskey’, the first single from ‘Going to Hell’ is out now and is representative of the album’s mood. “This song is essentially about how there were so many things that didn’t feel right in my life,” says Hekt. “It’s about learning how to come to terms with being gay or, more accurately, realising that pretending you’re not gay can’t go on forever.”
Coming out is a prevalent topic throughout the record with the title track itself being “about how homophobia and heteronormative culture can make you feel isolated and scared of being yourself,” as Hekt herself explains her thoughts and feelings surrounding her sexuality, continuing: “I internalised a lot of that culture for a long time and it wasn’t until I found myself surrounded by queer and trans people and friends, that I realised I could live happily in a way that felt right. I know I’m not alone in feeling like this and it was other people sharing their experiences with me that helped me out, so I named the album after this song to try and reach people who might want to be reached. It’s also not a dig on all Catholics; it’s just an expression of scepticism from a gay person regarding conservatism.”
‘Going to Hell’ sounds like the sum of Hekt’s wide-ranging influences - The Replacements, The Raincoats, Sharon Van Etten, The Slits, Patti Smith, Sacred Paws, Le Tigre, Against Me! - multiplied by her own distinct voice.