Dystopian. That’s the first adjective anyone ever used to describe south London auteur Heartworms, after the project was brought to life by its architect Jojo. Heartworms is the conduit for Jojo’s entire identity – her laying down a purposefully discomforting challenge to the outside world but also affirming her own self and passions (Jojo has just taken a volunteering role at The Royal Air Force Museum in Hendon) and the poetry of Pound, Thomas, and Keats.
Backed by a full live band, Heartworms’ performances are a masterclass in poise. Jojo describes the theatre brought to her shows – punctuated by her intense stare – as a kick back against preconceived notions of ‘smallness’ and fragility as a female musician. On stage, her projection is the very antithesis: we see an artist who is big, powerful, in total control. Uniformity plays a huge role in all things Heartworms, too. The metronomic music and meticulous fashion of bands like Interpol and Kraftwerk greatly inspires Jojo, as does PJ Harvey, whose dark sense of humour and lyrical dexterity permeates Heartworms’ songwriting.