Hayden Silas Anhedönia debuted the stage name Ethel Cain with the breakout release of 2021’s Inbred EP. Anhedönia explains the name as more of a concept, not a character or a persona, but a way to deal with the trauma of her upbringing. Using her art as a means to cope and heal, Anhedönia’s recent debut full length, Preacher’s Daughter, is a deeper exploration of her past.
Inspired by her childhood in a rural Southern Baptist town, the album explores topics like faith, sex and love. Coming in at a whopping 76 minutes, Preacher’s Daughter lacks most sensible pop tendencies but instead leans toward Southern Gothic inspiration. The gloomy atmosphere is heightened by Anhedönia’s haunting vocals and troubled subject matter, and creates an epic of sorts, rather than a collection of pop ditties.
Watch Ethel Cain perform “Crush” and “Thoroughfare” live at WNXP’s Sonic Cathedral.