Front cover of Carol Hodge album Savage Purge

CAROL HODGE, SINGER and keyboard player with Slice of Life and vocalist for Steve Ignorant’s live Crass performances, released her second solo album on 30 June.

Produced by Dave Draper, the ten-song Savage Purge is “in the musical ball park of St Vincent, Amanda Palmer, Courtney Barnett, Garbage and Weezer,” Hodge suggests. “Make of this combination what you will!”

The album title was in part inspired by the post WWII épuration sauvage that took place in France, “during which many innocent women were tortured,” Hodge explains. The lyrical themes of Savage Purge see Hodge turn her attention to “domestic abuse, beauty standards, self love, alcoholism, the dark fro­ntiers of mental health” and other sobering matters.

“But don’t let that put you off!” she adds quickly. “It’s an album full of hope, energy, self-discovery and positivity. A lot has happened in my life over the past couple of years that I felt I needed to purge musically. I think everything ­I do is always tinged with dark humour, and with my own daily experience.”

“This album is all about striking the balance between articulating despair and rediscovering a lust for life. ” 

The musical sounds of Savage Purge “flit between the pensive and piano-led, and balls-out rocking bangers,” Hodge suggests. It’s her confidence as a vocalist and as a musician, just at home with restrained and understated songs as she is with belting out rock numbers, that makes Savage Purse such an impressive and assured collection of work.

‘I Still Love Me’ is a soaring pop number, with big guitar sounds and a nifty chorus; ‘In Case of Emergency’ shows Hodge’s ability to craft stunning melodies over deceptively simple piano lines; while ‘Let Gravity Win’ ends the album with a beautifully barbed and acerbic reflection on the ageing process.

The first single from the album Stop Worrying Baby was released on 7 April. Three weeks later the stunning ‘lockdown’ single Song for You premiered.

Savage Purge can be purchased, in a variety of formats (limited edition red vinyl, CD and FLAC download) on Hodge’s own Midnight Stamp Records, direct from Carol Hodge’s site, and from her Bandcamp presence.