Shimmering wonky pop via Greece
Hydra are Irene Skylakaki (vocals, guitar) and Danton Supple (programming, synths), who take the traditional voice/guitar axis and spin it into eerie, ghostly new shapes with the aid of deft programming and electronic wizardry. The results are set to surface on an eponymous debut album scheduled to drop later in 2022. As for the name, Hydra is Greek for water, but it’s also an island off the Peloponnese. Their new single, ‘Pale Grey Suit’, is a tribute to both Leonard Cohen and the island, which was his spiritual (and physical) home during the 1960s.
Skylakaki and Supple both bring an impressive pedigree to the table – the former already a big deal in her native Greece, the latter a London-based producer and engineer with stadium-filling names like Hole, Morrissey and Coldplay, and a member of maverick weird-pop crew ROC. The pair met when Supple travelled to Athens to produce her last solo LP. They were halcyon days, he says. “Irene was supporting Beirut on their dates in Greece, so we were travelling around to places like Thessaloniki. Great gigs and fantastic weather.” The partnership gelled in the studio so easily that a full-on collaboration was the natural outcome.
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Supple says he loves Skylakaki’s knack for penning weird and innovative song structures, but making them sound completely normal. “I’m always getting caught out – Irene will have put in an extra bar somewhere, but I won’t have noticed.” Her lyrics also take a different slant on familiar territory. “The songs are mainly about relationships, but I try to look at them in a different way to the usual love song,” she says. The public has had a few quick glances via the
2021 singles ‘Labyrinth’ and ‘Messenger’, but Skylakaki claims they’ve only seen part of the picture. What she calls “the real Hydra tracks” are set to emerge one by one in 2022.