Hen Hoose – Equaliser

The debut album from songwriting collective Hen Hoose is a terrific advert for Scotland's female and non-binary talent

Album Review by Joe Goggins | 01 Nov 2021
  • Hen Hoose - Equaliser
Album title: Equaliser
Artist: Hen Hoose
Label: Tantrum
Release date: 5 Nov

Here’s a record that proves, in and of its very existence, that the old maxim of “if you want something doing, do it yourself.” Frustrated by a music industry that can so often feel inert at best and oppressive at worst for women, Tamara Schlesinger of MALKA – who herself turned in one of Scotland’s finest pop albums this century last year with I’m Not Your Soldier – assembled an all-star line-up under the Hen Hoose moniker to allow for anything-goes collaboration under an empowering heading.

It’s worked, too; this tremendously diverse debut collection, Equaliser, boasts career-best work at every turn, whether it be undulating synthpop work on the opening one-two from Emma Pollock, Rachael Swinton (Cloth) and Pippa Murphy or the shimmering, maddeningly catchy electronica of The Best Is Yet to Come, a three-way collaboration between Schlesinger, Carla J. Easton and Amandah Wilkinson (Bossy Love).

Elsewhere, Murphy and Sarah Hayes turn in the gorgeous soft anthemics of A Change in the Light, Hayes and Elisabeth Elektra channel the latter’s outstanding debut album to produce a pop stomper in Make It Alright, and Beldina Odenyo (Heir of the Cursed) and Inge Thomson team up for a quietly epic closer, Burn It All. This record is a stirring argument for the art of collaboration, and a terrific advert for the female and non-binary talent fuelling everything good about Scotland’s alternative scene at the minute. Unmissable.

Listen to: The Best Is Yet to Come, Burn it All