Willow Shields
Willow Shields

Music photographer and journalist based in South London.

Platonica Erotica is the newest it-girl in town, having just released her first ‘proper’ single ‘Marriage Of Convenience’ – after many well-received low-key releases via Slow Dance’s compilation albums – Hannah aka Platonica Erotica is ready to take the next step with her ventures into solo career success. After spending a good few years playing keys with our dear friend Ellie Bleach, the project of ‘Platonica Erotica’ manifested itself in Hannah Hayden’s head and much to our delight produced many a fruitful baring. 

‘Marriage Of Convenience’ is a rhythmic, bouncing power anthem that defies everything we held in our heads previously about Platonica Erotica is and the music she makes. Where the Slow Dance 20’s ‘ILYSM was a spacey, wavering synth journey, ‘Marriage Of Convenience’ is a clean-cut diary entry. It surprised me when I heard it for sure, it is simply a showcase of Platonica Erotica’s effortless versatility. It’s brilliant. 

My journey to meet Hannah in Islington (her favourite London borough BTW) was surprisingly speedy, I saw her sat on a bike stand next to the phone box opposite the Barclays on Highbury Corner. She was wearing a tweed jacket with a high neckline, very victorian. Underneath was an I-work-an-office-job-but-I’m-still-very-cool a-line dress. With her chicken teddy backpack in hand, we do laps of the park talking about everything from her mother’s new dog to how discrete British people are about the size of their houses. I posed my first question, about where she grew up she answered concisely “I was born in LA but spent most of my childhood in New Jersey.

Since this is all about London – and Hannah’s life inside it – I ask where she starts her day if she were to start it out and about, she says “I’m going to use this space to profess how much I really, really miss diners.” Then a walk perhaps, where would she go then? The answer as follows: “I like to do a loop down to Crouch End from my house in Finsbury Park, and then walk up the very tall hill to get back.” So, if you ever want to go Platonica Erotica spotting, go to Finsbury Park and stand on the very tall hill and wait until you get too tired and go home. Speaking of parks, I’m positively sure you’re desperate to know Platonica Erotica’s favourite patches of wilderness in the big city: “Hampstead Heath. I also really love Victoria Park” she answers with conviction. 

As the sun passed through the trees, we sat on the grass in Highbury Fields, I asked Hannah where she likes to spend her sunny days. She said “Sitting by the water in The Barbican, or on the South Bank.” If you only retain one thing from this piece of writing, make it be that Hannah Hayden loves The Barbican. When I asked her where her favourite hidden gem is… hidden, she struggled to pinpoint one but settled on “The Barbican music library. I don’t know if it’s particularly hidden, but I really love it.” Then, I asked about what now seems like something mythological: the sacred night out. She answeredLockdown arrived at the end of my studenthood, so most of my nights out have been at gigs/ devolved into house parties. If anyone would like to accompany me to the Barbican martini bar, please feel free.”

Favourite Supermarket? “There is a supermarket near me called Green & Glory that has a really good olive bar, and very pungent herbs.

Now, the travel section. I asked her what her favourite tube line is, because I feel like that shows a lot about a person, right? She confidently announced, “DLR forever!” After that answer, it seemed silly to ask, but I posed the question anyway: “Train Bus or Uber?”, unsurprisingly she said “The Train!” I asked her to tell me about somewhere she wants to go but hasn’t been before, suspecting an answer in the region of a specific pub or hotel, I was surprised by Hannah’s answer but nonetheless filled with amusement. She said “A fairground that sells corn dogs. I have never eaten a corn dog, and I find this upsetting. But I don’t want to buy a frozen one or make one myself, it has to be authentic: I have to chance upon it.”    

Maybe the London music scene has a reputation for liking one, two, ten pints now and then but we’re not here to talk about that. We’re here to find out where Platonica Erotica’s favourite beer garden is, and it’s The Crooked Billet. We’re also here to find out where to search for Platonica Erotica at night – in a musical setting, of course, she said “I exclusively watch my close friends at The Windmill, Brixton.” Finally, we do not endorse Wetherspoons as a good business however I, Willow Shields, personally am a fan of seeing all the weird and wonderful buildings and locations that have been overthrown by the evil succubous that is Wetherspoons. Platonica Erotica’s favourite location is “The Half Moon on Mile End Road.


Listen to Platonica Erotica’s “Marriage of Convenience” here: