Going To Hell is the debut solo LP from Muncie Girls’ Lande Hekt, offering something a little more personal in prose that is both poetic and to the point. This album sees Hekt open up about her journey of coming out and embracing her truth within heteronormative culture.
‘Whiskey’ opens the album with Hekt trying to place her feelings, questioning “is it…” over and over again; a repetitive tone to channel the overwhelming thoughts of questioning oneself. It sets the tone with a stripped back production evoking the feeling of laying it all out bare – opening up about past fears in order to feel a sense of freedom. Steady vocals accompany consistent guitar strumming, channelling to a surge of energy later on in the track – is it the action of coming out, is it pure release or is it anxieties building up? At the very start of the album we find out so much about Hekt, yet everything is left open – leaving a story to be told.
What hits almost immediately with this album is its lyrical charm, which Hekt utilises masterfully in ’80 Days of Rain’ to relate climate change to her missing the very person who opened her eyes to the cause –“there are no fish left in the sea”. Paired with the rest of the lyrics it shows an all encompassing hold that a person can have on you, tying in feelings from a past relationship with details of their passions outside of it. It is so delicately done, yet so noticeable, lightening the tone with clever wordplay.
‘Winter Coat’ works as a metaphor for a relationship growing distant; feelings very much there but just out of reach or shut away. The notion of the coat is pushed further with lyrics about cold weather, hearing the wind and hanging worries around her neck as an accessory to it all. All this paired with an acoustic folk feel adds to the poetic form, which is exaggerated further with the string interlude.
The pace quickens into ‘Undone’ with an attitude of realising one’s wants and needs but not being sure where to place it – opening up yet feeling undone. Though this whole album is a personal account, it has a way of reaching out to people; whether they be in that specific situation or otherwise similar. We get a lot of holding on to things from the past amongst fears of coming out and losing them, as well as a good old dose of home is where the heart is.
Going To Hell finishes with a gentle guitar track, ‘In The Darkness’, which looks more towards politics and potential obstacles, but it comes across uplifting overall. It recognises the battles still to come, but with the confidence and power to take it all on, and this really shines with“We’re so powerful and soon they will know // We’ve got democracy and we’ll never let it go” as the closing statement. Instead of tying it all together with a neat little bow, Hekt leaves the album open, as if ready for the future.
Through all the hardship, this album is easy on the ears and primed for singing along – whether you choose to hum the sweet notes or echo the blunt swearing. It is both soft and angry, and nothing short of encouraging.
Lande Hekt’s debut solo album Going To Hell is out 22 January via Get Better Records.