There’s something very inconspicuous in the music of Florence Besch. While the songs of her recently released debut album Hi Now Hello often feel and sound like everyday life observations, there is a deeper existential notion to many of them, something that only unravels once you give this lovely indie-pop record a few spins. It’s that special love for the ordinary that continues to inspire the Luxembourgian artist who resided in Düsseldorf a few years ago. “Everyday life is something we can relate to, something that connects us,” she explains. “I find a lot of beauty in everyday basics.”

In the opening track Sleepy Ant Song Florence reflects: “I try to see the sun / I’m working on fun / I try to see what’s wrong and I will go on” and that works pretty well as a moment of confidence and motivation to make it through everyday depression and despair in the craziness of post-modern late capitalism. Music can soothe, make you think, send you on a trip,” Florence tells me. “I think that playing with sounds and atmospheres while reflecting on problems offers new ways of thinking.” And it’s especially enjoyable that the music is so soothing and easygoing in a song like The Screaming Lady while the track lyrically sees Florence Besch screaming out all her frustrations in a backyard. What might feel like a contradiction first might not be attended to be one as she makes clear.

“I feel they go hand in hand. Dreaming and reflecting, longing and embracing. Life is not only one thing, neither is music to me.”

Hi Now Hello became a very personal debut album, starting with its charming title. Florence was listening to old tapes she recorded as a kid and in one song she was singing the line ‘Hi Now Hello’. “When I heard these words, I felt they were the perfect album title.” On the record, you’ll get twelve wonderfully heart-warming guitar indie-pop gems that perfectly line up with the impending start of spring. Lovers of Stella Donnelly, Julia Jacklin, Snail Mail, and Soccer Mommy should easily fall in love with it and maybe also a few additional lovers will jump on board now.

“I’m Not Focusing On Frustration”

Photo by Nadia Wardi

Florence Besch is facing an existential crisis, patriarchal structures, and general fears with radical softness, honesty, and a soft-focus spirit on the music and imagery. “I’m on a carrousel / Falling down / No return to a safer ground,” she sings in Feeling Sick, which technically sounds like a summery indie-pop anthem but obviously you get the message here. It’s an anthem to carry on against all obstacles as Besch makes clear. I am not focusing on frustration. I go on,” she says, also in the wake of the current difficult climate for up-and-coming artists. “I learn, write new music, connect with people, and share my music.” For Florence moving to Germany a few years ago was a helpful step to achieve that level of freedom. “I just finished school when I left Luxembourg. In Düsseldorf, I lived on my own for the first time and could find out who I was. I went on many adventures, and met lots of interesting and inspiring people.” And it was in those life-defining years that Florence found her voice and the strength to record these songs and present herself in a way she was comfortable with.

“I learned a lot about life, different cultures and attitudes. I started listening to myself, seeing my wants and needs and taking care of myself. I freed the musician inside of me and started my path. It was the best decision I ever took.”

Following a release show at Düsseldorf’s iconic zakk club Florence Besch and her live band will play more shows; plan a tour for autumn and some festivals in the summer. And of course, she continues to write more of these beautiful indie-pop gems that spread hope and comfort in troubled times without shying away from life’s darker moments. “Sometimes it’s hard to stay hopeful but it’s the only choice we have,” Florence sums up her philosophy. “It’s something we need to be reminded of. Other artists go through the same struggles. We are not alone, we can connect, and we can share and grow.” And in that sense Hi Now Hello is indeed an album that longs for connection and offers a safe space for those who listen to its stories. So, what are you waiting for, right?

Hi Now Hello is out now on Unique Records.

Every Monday, the NBHAP staff brings an exciting new artist to your attention alongside a 30-track-strong Introducing Playlist on Spotify. Feel invited to follow the playlist and give these talents a spin.

This time, we curated the playlist together with Florence Besch. Along with tracks from her new album, this week’s update includes Monophona, Ilgen Nur, C’est Karma, and more. Tune in below.