Ilona Mahieu was initially a solo project of singer/songwriter Ilona Pointeau until crossing paths with a group of musicians in college. What blossomed into friendship turned into a band as the story goes, as is bound to happen when you have talented musicians around each other for a length of time. A jam is inevitably bound to breakout at some point. Playing an assortment of acoustic performances throughout the U.K. from a young age to eventually the band’s formation, Ilona Mahieu (pronounced ‘i-low-nah mah-yooh’ … thank you Spotify bio) as a full band today represents a re-working of much of Pointeau’s previous acoustic work as a solo artist. As a whole, the band draws inspiration from several genres. You can expect a little prog, a little pop, definitely rock oriented, and Ilona’s vocal delivery is thoroughly emotional, peppered with a bit of vibrato, so dare I say elements of R&B or soul?
The rock roots keep it dark overall however, just how I like it! Particularly with their latest single, “Ribcage.” There are dramatic dynamics that give me the vibe of post-hardcore/emo elements. Similar to My Chemical Romance. The guitar arrangements and heavier parts remind me of CKY. I could say there are similarities to Evanescence, and in many respects if I were to make a recommendation I would certainly say, “yes, if you’re into Evanescence, you are likely going to dig this.” However, I feel like we jump to the Evanescence comparison too quickly, don’t we? Maybe it’s just me and my own little soapbox (jeeze what’s gotten into me today?) I’m just saying that it feels like as soon as people hear a resemblance of a distorted guitar and a well pronounced female vocalist, we have this tendency to go, “Ah! Evanescence!” Not that it’s bad. I like Evanescence. I would be as bold to say that I probably like Ilona Mahieu more though. There’s your hot take of the day. Please forward all angry tweets to me, the band should not be held accountable for my rantings and ravings, haha.
Lyrically, Ilona calls the new single, “an ode to introspection and harmful coping mechanisms.” Man. Wish I didn’t know how to relate to that one. The visual representation, in the form of an accompanying music video, is meant to depict an “intense journey of addiction and denial,” according to the band. My first impressions upon watching the video was that it was very well produced. So much so that I was taken back to learn that it was fully self-funded and produced all the way down to the makeup and body paint. Nice job! Another thing that jumped out at me was the choreography, I thought that was done very well by the person who played the character going back and forth between what I interpreted as an “underworld” of demons and reality. At first, I perceived the demon as a sleep paralysis demon, before the storyboard progressed to where I understood it more as an “inner” demon type of portrayal. Pretty trippy, cool video. Check it out.
Recently, the band has some buzzworthy things happening around this release, including air time on BBC’s “Introducing,” playing a big ol’ release show in celebration of the single’s debut (with Ahsoka, Automatic Panic, and Alex Parsi), and unveiling a new line of merch. Which is quite a bit busy when you consider all the artistic DIY ethos they adhere to. So, what’s next for Ilona Mahieu? In the near future, a couple weeks from now, November 26th, the band will be playing a show in London at The Bread and Roses Theatre. You can get tickets to that via Eventbrite HERE. Best way to keep up with all the happenings is to join their mailing list from their website. Look for the button that says “Down the Rabbit Hole” to keep up to date. I sure did. Cheers!
Don’t forget to support this project and to follow on Instagram, Facebook, Twitter, TikTok, SoundCloud, YouTube, and Spotify. You can also visit their official website. If you enjoy their music and are able to provide monetary support, you might consider downloading it on Bandcamp.
It also helps to stream and share their music; you can obviously find it in the following Playlists: Less Than 1,000 Followers, Fresh Singles, Indie Only, Alterindie State Of Mind, Female Rising Stars, Sickest & Dopest, and Unknown But Essentials!
Remember that you can always find me here AMS Radio for all my social media and collaborations.
P.S. If you enjoy discovering new artists and fresh new music you can subscribe to this blog Less Than 1,000 Followers and follow the Playlist with all the artists that we have presented here!
This coverage was created via Musosoup #sustainablecurator