London Calling highlight: Heartworms

We live in times of war, tropical storms and forest fires. But you hardly notice that in today’s music. Enter Heartworms! ‘Private’ Jojo Orme crawls through the trenches. Check out this band’s videos. Then you will feel it yourself. This is dystopian music suited to the world in 2023. Finally here’s a band that makes music that is significant. Not noncommittal love songs, navel-gazing or gratuitous hedonism, but truly meaningful noise.

This music oozes the Zeitgeist of war and climate change. Retributions of An Awful Life is the most ominous video of the lot. Our Jojo is no drawing board project created by the marketing department of some major label, but a young woman who has already been through a lot in life. Neglected as a child, running away from home, she has firmly taken life into her own hands.

It’s a pity her singing voice is so softly tuned in the wall of sound at London Calling. The music is a hurricane of doom and post-punk, topped with cool electronics. It has the grim, repetitive and inciting power of a band like Killing Joke at the time of their self-titled debut from 1980. With her new spiky haircut, Jojo is just like the Siouxsie of the new roaring twenties. And that only two weeks after that legend herself was on the same Paradiso stage.

As easily as she grips the venue from the front to the back row from the very first song, she shows that she is built from the stuff stars are made of. A star is born. And she radiates black light.

Words by Robbert Tilli

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