In 2003 London-based singer-songwriter Helena Costas began a correspondence with a producer by the name of Danger Mouse, then standing on the cusp of bigger things himself. Throughout their to-and-fro, he embellished Costas’ home recordings with a bolder instrumentation and polish, no doubt intrigued by the array of contrasting styles and techniques being thrown at him. The end-result is the appositely titled The Last Laugh LP, which sees the light of day over here in June via Domino imprint Double Six, and has been picked up in the States by the New York-based, Conor Oberst-originated Team Love label. Also featuring horns courtesy of Neutral Milk Hotel’s Scott Spillane, first impressions imply a skittering, lush tapestry of numerous styles, from pastoral folk through trippy blues and shimmering, beat-inflected soundscapes, all anchored by Costas’ expressive, ethereal tones. The diversity in which she revels is discernible in album taster ‘Worm’s Head’, a delightfully fluid spread of strings, keys and acoustica that acts as a fine showcase for her talents. It’s the kind of pop music you might not necessarily “get” straight away, instead unfolding its charms in a manner gradually hypnotic. Greek-Cypriot by origin, she studied classical violin from seven years of age, writing and self-teaching since then and recently taking up the bouzouki, a traditional instrument that dates back as far as Greek mythology. Her exploration of this heritage – as well as Arthurian legend and a predilection for all things culinary – makes for a unique and fascinating proposition. James Skinner
Joker's Daughter releases debut single 'Worm's Head' on June 1st via Double Six. Her album The Last Laugh drops two weeks later on June 15th. No live dates at present.