BOOM! : Flora Hibberd ‘The Absentee’

Born in East London but currently residing in Paris, Flora Hibberd has been described as ‘intelligent and measured…there is a profound intuition in her work’ and her songs as ‘deeply rooted in the timeless lyricism of Dylan and Cohen.’

With influences as diverse as Nick Cave, Joan Baez and Jacques Brel, she moves effortlessly between acoustic folk traditions and the bruised indie of PJ Harvey, Jason Molina and Cat Power. Her powerfully emotive voice, evocative melodies and poetic lyrics combine beautifully to give her songs a deeply haunting and unforgettable quality. Her debut single ‘The Absentee’, produced by J. C. Wright, and is available to stream below. We sent her some Boom! questions to answers to let us know a little more about track and her plans for 2019 …

How long have you been making music?

I started learning guitar and writing songs at fourteen, so nine years ago.

You’re currently living in Paris – how did the move there from London happen?

I first moved here when I was eighteen, mostly because I wanted to see a new city before going to uni, and I was in love with the French chansonniers. Then I went back to London to study – within a year I’d dropped out and moved back to Paris. By now it feels like home.

What artists have influenced your sound?

So many! The classics: Leonard Cohen, Joan Baez, Nina Simone, Tom Waits, Nick Cave and Bob Dylan, of course, and also people like Judee Sill, Anna Calvi, Gillian Welch, Bill Callahan and Jason Molina.

What was the inspiration behind ’The Absentee’?

I wrote it on the train from Paris to London after a messy breakup. I went to a Catholic primary school, so often these religious themes come through when I write. I’m an atheist but the stories and images are so powerful, they’re always floating through my head.

What are your aims and hopes for 2019?

To put out my EP, which is coming soon, then hide away somewhere and get some writing done.

What were your favourite albums of 2018?

L’oiseleur by the French band Feu! Chatterton is amazing. I saw them recently and it was one of the best live gigs I’ve seen. Then there’s Hunter by Anna Calvi, Be The Cowboy by Mitski and The Invisible Comes To Us by Anna & Elizabeth. And Olympic Girls by Tiny Ruins, though technically it came out in 2019.

If you could give one tip to any aspiring bands what would it be?

Keep going!