Elizabeth Harper, “Brooklyn’s very own Queen of Pop”, Class Actress – whichever moniker you choose to use to address her, Elizabeth Harper’s making some serious pop shaped waves at the minute. Having released the Journal of Ardency EP through Chris Taylor’s (aka CANT aka Grizzly Bear) Terrible Records back in 2010, the songstress was quickly snapped up by Carpark Records, home to the likes of Toro y Moi and Beach House. The beat and spirit of her “Depeche Mode”/80s synth inspired debut album has caught the attention of many of her Brooklyn peers, and she’s about to head to the UK alongside her producer bandmates Mark Richardson and Scott Rosenthal to bring a taste of the Brooklyn bright lights to British shores. We caught up with Class Actress’s Elizabeth Harper for a quick Q & A about the making and release of her debut album Rapprocher.
The Line of Best Fit: Can you tell us a little bit about the making of Rapprocher? Where/when did you do it and who was involved?
Class Actress: “Where is my apartment studio, when was last year and who was Mark Richardson.”
Were the tracks on the record written specifically to be a part of this album, or are there some older songs in there too?
“Everything on Rapprocher was written for the full length. Except ‘All the Saints’ which was written before the EP, but then we just didn’t put it on. I wrote the 5 songs on the Journal EP before, I just felt like I had more to say. Then more songs kept coming and now we have 11 more for you… and 2 new ones I squirreled away for the next record…”
What was the writing process like for the album?
“Mark and I would not see each other for weeks months. And so in that time I would get involved in some emotional upheaval that would result in new songs, then I would call him and ask are you available to record and he would come from Philly and I would show him my new stuff. Then we have coffee, a little heart to heart convo, and get moving.”
What was inspiring you as you were creating the album?
Why did you decide to call the record Rapprocher, and what did you have in mind when you set out to create the album?
“It was based on the psychoanalytical term rapprochement… where you sink or swim… I wanted to express all the frustration and excitement I have toward love and desire.”
A lot of the articles that have been written about you talk about fashion and aesthetics. Is the visual side of being creative something that influences your music too?
“Deeply, I discovered a new designer named Hogan McLaughlin via Daphne Guinness (a style icon of mine for years now) and when I saw his collection which I was just recently lucky to shoot in .. my motive for the shoot was ‘I am a lover from the future and I just came back to get you’. [Behind the scenes shot:]
I read a description of you as ‘Brooklyn’s very own Queen of Pop’, how do you feel about that?
“I think its great. We need more pop in Brooklyn. I am dark and pop. Like a black hole. They are not black actually… black holes are really just the evolutionary end point of massive stars.”
What’s been your favourite part of the Class Actress journey so far?
“The disorientation that one experiences on the road. You build a life around friends and place and then suddenly its all gone… A new home new friends every night. Love it.”
Do you have an artistic philosophy that you live by?
“You know when you know like you know a good melon.”
Where are you hoping this album will take you?
“To a hot tub at the of top of Mt Everest with Richard Branson.”
Anything you’d like to add?
“How many times can you have our heart broken before you realize you’re breaking it yourself ? (Liar!)”
Class Actress’s debut album Rapprocher is available now through Carpark Records, and will also be playing the following UK shows over the coming weeks:
Tue 22 Nov – The Castle, Manchester
Fri 25 Nov – The Forum, London
Tue 29 Nov - Electricity Showrooms, London