Jojo Orme is a South London-based singer/songwriter, producer and mastermind behind the rapidly rising, goth-inspired post-punk outfit Heartworms. Uniformity plays a huge role with Orme and Heartworms: the metronomic music and meticulous fashion of acts like Interpol and Kraftwerk have been a major influence on the South London-based artist. But she also cites PJ Harvey, whose dark sense of humor and lyrical dexterity permeates her own songwriting.
Orme’s Heartworms debut, “Consistent Dedication” quickly exploded across both the British and international scene: She received nods from the NME 100 and Dork Hype List for 2023, and she received critical applause from The FADER, The Quietus, Loud and Quiet, The Line of Best Fit, So Young Magazine, Clash Magazine and a lengthy list of others. The song was added to BBC Radio 6 Music‘s playlist following airplay from the station’s Chris Hawkins, Steve Lamacq, Lauren Laverne and Tom Ravenscroft. And the song received airplay from Radio X‘s John Kennedy and BBC Radio 1‘s Jack Saunders and Gemma Bradley.
She has also made a name for self on the national live circuit in the past year: She played DIY Magazine and So Young Magazine showcases at The Great Escape. She opened for Lime Garden. And lastly, Sports Team invited her to play their annual Margate bus trip.
Building upon a growing profile, the rising South London-based artist’s debut EP A Comforting Notion is slated for a March 24, 2023 release through Speedy Wunderground. The EP’s latest single “Retributions Of An Awful Life” further cements an uneasy and deeply goth-inspired take on post-punk featuring ambient noise, glistening synth oscillations, skittering beats and slashing guitars paired with Orme’s defiant and swaggering delivery, which seems equally indebted to hip-hop and punk rock. The song reveals a singular artist, crafting something completely new from the familiar, while delving deep into her own psyche.
Directed by Niall Trask and Dan Matthews, the accompanying video for “Retributions Of An Awful Life” is shot in a cinematic yet intimate black and white, and stars Orme, along with Natalia Tonner, Lizzy Walsh, Lizzy Walsh, Pip Smith, Marko Andic, Tom White, Simone Reca and Jazz as a military regiment going through some brutal military training exercises. Throughout we see the members of the miserable regiment, covered in dust and mud, wincing in pain, fighting to continue through the wet and cold. Their suffering is real and difficult to watch yet compelling and symbolic: We all have to figure out some way to push through in the face of terrible suffering — whether from outside forces larger than us or from within — and in face of our own fears.
“The song itself lyrically is deeply unsettling, I wanted it to come alive in action. I had an idea of being kitted up in full militaria of no specific regiments, in black and white, putting my body through cold water and wet mud,” Orme explains. “This was stepping outside my comfort zone because I’m not a skilled swimmer; deep water frightens me immensely, especially when cold and in full military gear.”
She continues: “Not many artists/bands I know have done something this raw. I didn’t want to go for a fancy video with pretty dancers or lovely wallpaper plastered with an airbrush filter – I wanted to imbibe a new pain, bring to life punishment, fight fears while abiding relentlessness with my friends by my side. To have put my body through something I found frightening just for the art… there’s something exhilarating about it.”