Hydra Lerna review: The future can only be bright for Hydra Lerna and her fantastic sound

Norwich electro/pop harpist Hydra Lerna. Photo: Elliot Franklin

Norwich electro/pop harpist Hydra Lerna. Photo: Elliot Franklin - Credit: Elliot Franklin

Hyrdra Lerna performed a great set at her EP launch at Norwich Arts Centre last night.

Hydra Lerna is a Norwich based singer-songwriter who performs with a harp, manipulated through a loop and multi-FX pedal, combined with a laptop and Novation launch pad. She describes herself as a one girl show who produces everything on stage whilst singing dark and captivating lyrics.

She clearly has incredible talent, layering harp loops over electronic beats and synths, creating ethereal and beautiful music topped with a stunning and powerful singing voice as good as I've ever heard live. It is no surprise to read she has already supported the likes of JP Cooper, Mullally, Billy Lockett, Let's Eat Grandma and Bryde.

The Arts Centre is the perfect venue for Hydra, with the gothic arches and high ceiling providing a chilled, eerie atmosphere. The stage lighting is low, with good use of back lights.

The first song was her magnificent new single Reckless. I've had the pleasure of listening to it many times before and would say it is not just the best piece of locally produced music I've heard this year, it's one of the best pieces of music I've heard anywhere. Somehow live it was even better, and it was fascinating to see how it was constructed on stage, using the harp and various pedals, linked to the electronics, topped with the vocals.

Between songs, during the forty five minute set, she talks candidly about her battle with depression and how she can be a different person from one day to the next. The fact that she performs with such honest emotion shows it is a battle she is winning.

Another song Hydra explains was written in the bitter aftermath of an ended relationship, as she bears her soul and asks whether they realise what they are missing.

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The quality of songs does not drop, and it was nice to hear that some of them have only ever been played live, giving the night a bit of exclusivity. And it's worth mentioning that last night was her 24th birthday, and it was a nice touch to see her provide cake at the bar for the crowd!

The future can only be bright for Hydra Lerna and her fantastic sound that is reminiscent of Jon Hopkins' mellower, melancholic moments, with added harp and an amazing voice. Next time you see her name on a flyer, go and check her out.