PopMatters is moving to WordPress. We will publish a few essays daily while we develop the new site. We hope the beta will be up sometime late next week.
Music

Class Actress Plays the Role of Femme Fatale on Her Latest EP

The synthpop artist's Movies is a concept work, with her native Los Angeles serving as the backdrop.


Class Actress

Movies

Label: Casablanca
US Release Date: 2015-06-23
Amazon
iTunes

For her latest EP titled Movies, Brooklyn, NY-based electropop musician Elizabeth Harper (a.k.a. Class Actress) recorded the music in Los Angeles, which is fitting since it's the city where she's originally from. Harper admits now that she didn't know what was going on when as she was making the record there, since Movies was her debut release for major label subsidiary Casablanca Records—she had previously recorded for indie record companies.

“I was so green,” Harper says. “This guy was sitting next to me with these two dudes and he was trying to say something. And I’m like, 'So am I here to help you work on your album?' And the guy was like, 'No, I'm here to help you.' I didn't even know how it all worked on a major label scale. So I didn't understand what the purpose was at first. You know, I recorded everything in my apartment before. I felt like such a little country bumpkin now that I talk about it. I started doing the L.A. thing, writing sessions, and stuff like that.”

Movies, the follow-up to Class Actress' 2011 full-length album Rapproacher, doesn't sound like it was made by a 'country bumpkin' under DIY conditions. Rather, this six-song electronic dance pop EP is a very sleek, glossy and cinematic-sounding work of infectious beats and swirling soundscapes. With its underpinnings of romance, Movies is reflective of Harper's own personal experiences in Los Angeles with its Hollywood glamour and dark underbelly.

“I don't think that the content of what I’m writing about is really that different from anything I’ve ever written about," she explains, "kind of all the same dark side: love, rejection, am I there yet, desire, how do I get closer. I thought to myself, 'I'm called Class Actress. I think this time around I'm gonna really show people the reason this is my reality'... taking it back home, taking it to Hollywood.' Because this is a story that has been done a hundred times -- it’s like a classic story. It’s not about showing it in a new light. I think it was just about framing it differently.”

Given her background as a synthpop/dance-pop artist, it seemed like a no-brainer that Class Actress would sign with Casablanca, the storied label that put out many of Donna Summer's classic '70s disco hits. With that in mind, it equally made sense that Harper reached out to legendary producer Giorgio Moroder, who collaborated with Summer on those hits. Moroder and Evan Bogart (son of Casablanca's late founder Neil Bogart) executive-produced Movies, with Moroder himself producing the very Euro-styled dance track on the EP called “High on Love”.

Please Donate to Help Save PopMatters

PopMatters have been informed by our current technology and hosting provider that we have less than a month, until November 6, to move PopMatters off their service or we will be shut down. We are moving to WordPress and a new host, but we really need your help to save the site.


Music

Books

Film

Recent
Music

Magick Mountain Are Having a Party But Is the Audience Invited?

Garage rockers Magick Mountain debut with Weird Feelings, an album big on fuzz but light on hooks.

Music

Aalok Bala Revels in Nature and Contradiction on EP 'Sacred Mirror, Vol. 1'

Electronic musician Aalok Bala knows the night is not a simple mirror, "silver and exact"; it phases and echoes back, alive, sacred.

Music

Clipping Take a Stab at Horrorcore with the Fiery 'Visions of Bodies Being Burned'

Clipping's latest album, Visions of Bodies Being Burned, is a terrifying, razor-sharp sequel to their previous ode to the horror film genre.

Music

Call Super's New LP Is a Digital Biosphere of Insectoid and Otherworldly Sounds

Call Super's Every Mouth Teeth Missing is like its own digital biosphere, rife with the sounds of the forest and the sounds of the studio alike.

Music

Laura Veirs Talks to Herself on 'My Echo'

The thematic connections between these 10 Laura Veirs songs and our current situation are somewhat coincidental, or maybe just the result of kismet or karmic or something in the zeitgeist.

Film

15 Classic Horror Films That Just Won't Die

Those lucky enough to be warped by these 15 classic horror films, now available on Blu-ray from The Criterion Collection and Kino Lorber, never got over them.

Music

Sixteen Years Later Wayne Payne Follows Up His Debut

Waylon Payne details a journey from addiction to redemption on Blue Eyes, The Harlot, The Queer, The Pusher & Me, his first album since his 2004 debut.

Music

Every Song on the Phoenix Foundation's 'Friend Ship' Is a Stand-Out

Friend Ship is the Phoenix Foundation's most personal work and also their most engaging since their 2010 classic, Buffalo.

Music

Kevin Morby Gets Back to Basics on 'Sundowner'

On Sundowner, Kevin Morby sings of valleys, broken stars, pale nights, and the midwestern American sun. Most of the time, he's alone with his guitar and a haunting mellotron.

Music

Lydia Loveless Creates Her Most Personal Album with 'Daughter'

Given the turmoil of the era, you might expect Lydia Loveless to lean into the anger, amplifying the electric guitar side of her cowpunk. Instead, she created a personal record with a full range of moods, still full of her typical wit.

Music

Flowers for Hermes: An Interview with Performing Activist André De Shields

From creating the title role in The Wiz to winning an Emmy for Ain't Misbehavin', André De Shields reflects on his roles in more than four decades of iconic musicals, including the GRAMMY and Tony Award-winning Hadestown.

Film

The 13 Greatest Horror Directors of All Time

In honor of Halloween, here are 13 fascinating fright mavens who've made scary movies that much more meaningful.

Music

British Jazz and Soul Artists Interpret the Classics on '​Blue Note Re:imagined'

Blue Note Re:imagined provides an entrance for new audiences to hear what's going on in British jazz today as well as to go back to the past and enjoy old glories.

Film

Bill Murray and Rashida Jones Add Another Shot to 'On the Rocks'

Sofia Coppola's domestic malaise comedy On the Rocks doesn't drown in its sorrows -- it simply pours another round, to which we raise our glass.

Music

​Patrick Cowley Remade Funk and Disco on 'Some Funkettes'

Patrick Cowley's Some Funkettes sports instrumental renditions from between 1975-1977 of songs previously made popular by Donna Summer, Herbie Hancock, the Temptations, and others.

Music

The Top 10 Definitive Breakup Albums

When you feel bombarded with overpriced consumerism disguised as love, here are ten albums that look at love's hangover.

Music

Dustin Laurenzi's Natural Language Digs Deep Into the Jazz Quartet Format with 'A Time and a Place'

Restless tenor saxophonist Dustin Laurenzi runs his four-piece combo through some thrilling jazz excursions on a fascinating new album, A Time and a Place.

Television

How 'Watchmen' and 'The Boys' Deconstruct American Fascism

Superhero media has a history of critiquing the dark side of power, hero worship, and vigilantism, but none have done so as radically as Watchmen and The Boys.


Reviews
Collapse Expand Reviews



Features
Collapse Expand Features

PM Picks
Collapse Expand Pm Picks

© 1999-2020 PopMatters.com. All rights reserved.
PopMatters is wholly independent, women-owned and operated.