Class Actress

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Class Actress
Birth nameElizabeth Vanessa Harper
Born1982 or 1983 (age 40–41)
OriginBrooklyn, New York, US
  • Singer
  • songwriter
  • record producer
Years active2009–present

Elizabeth Vanessa Harper[1] (born 1982 or 1983),[2] known professionally as Class Actress, is an American singer, songwriter, and record producer. Class Actress was originally conceived as a trio, consisting of Harper, Mark Richardson, and Scott Rosenthal.[3][4]


Formation and early years[edit]

Harper majored in drama in college and moved to Los Angeles to pursue a career as an actress, but she was unable to make it work and soon found herself disillusioned by it. After relocating to Brooklyn, she decided to pursue a career in music instead.[5] She formed Elizabeth Harper & the Matinee,[5] and in 2004, Harper's self-titled debut solo album was released by UK label Angular Recording Corporation.[6]

Harper later contacted Philadelphia-based producer Mark Richardson, who had remixed a song from her debut album.[6][7] She preferred Richardson's version to the original, and the two began recording songs at her house,[7][8] trading Harper's previous guitar-based sound for electronic music, which she had long been interested in exploring.[3][5][8] Along with multi-instrumentalist and engineer Scott Rosenthal, Harper and Richardson formed Class Actress—the name being a joke on Harper's original career choice.[5][8]

2009–2012: Journal of Ardency and Rapprocher[edit]

Class Actress released their debut extended play, Journal of Ardency, on February 9, 2010 on Terrible Records, which is run by Grizzly Bear's Chris Taylor.[4] The New York Times described it as "an alluringly precise recapturing of the winning chill of early '80s electro-pop".[9] The EP also drew comparisons to New Order, The Human League, and Depeche Mode, while Harper's vocals were likened to those of Blondie's Debbie Harry and Saint Etienne's Sarah Cracknell.[10]

The trio's debut studio album, Rapprocher, was released on October 18, 2011 by Carpark Records. Harper stated that the title—which means "to come closer" in French[11]—was inspired by "a French lover who broke [her] heart".[12] The album received generally positive reviews from music critics, obtaining a rating of 69 out of 100 based on 16 critics on review aggregate site Metacritic.[13] AllMusic named it one of the best indie pop and rock albums of 2011.[14] Rapprocher reached number 21 on Billboard's Dance/Electronic Albums chart and number 27 on the Heatseekers Albums chart.[15][16] The song "Keep You" was used in an episode of the fifth season of the teen drama television series Gossip Girl.[17]

2013–2015: Movies[edit]

As a solo artist under the moniker Class Actress, Harper signed to Casablanca Records in 2013.[18] That same year, she moved into a bungalow at The Beverly Hills Hotel in order to write and record songs.[19][20] Class Actress premiered the track "More Than You" on May 20, 2015,[21] and on June 2, it was announced that her EP Movies would be released on June 23 via Casablanca and Republic Records.[18] Taking inspiration from "the films of '80s excess, glamor and self-discovery",[18] Harper wanted Movies to tell "a dark story of a woman who explores the glamorous fantasy life of a Hollywood party girl."[22] The EP was executive-produced by Giorgio Moroder and Evan Bogart, and features production by Harper herself, Moroder, Neon Indian, and Mess Kid.[19]

2016–present: New music[edit]

On June 30, 2016, Class Actress premiered a song titled "Glass Ceiling", along with an accompanying music video, through Terrible Records. The track was produced by Mess Kid.[23]


Studio albums[edit]

Title Album details Notes
Track listing[24]
1."Keep You"3:14
2."Love Me Like You Used To"3:51
4."Prove Me Wrong"3:52
5."Need to Know"4:12
7."All the Saints" (omitted from LP edition)4:24
10."Hangin' On"3:16
11."Let Me In"4:54

Extended plays[edit]

Title Album details Notes
Journal of Ardency
  • Released: February 9, 2010[25]
  • Label: Terrible
  • Formats: CD, 10", digital download
Track listing[25]
1."Careful What You Say"5:12
2."Journal of Ardency"3:45
3."Let Me Take You Out"3:18
4."Adolescent Heart"3:16
5."Someone Real"7:32
6."Terminally Chill" (bonus track[26])3:45
Track listing[27]
1."More Than You"4:07
2."The Limit"4:08
3."High on Love"2:59
5."Love My Darkness"4:31

Music videos[edit]

Title Year Director(s)
"Journal of Ardency" 2010 Patrick Cleandenim[28]
"Adolescent Heart" Jessica Lauretti[29]
"Let Me Take You Out" 2011 Brett Haley[30]
"Weekend" Bek Andersen[31]
"Bienvenue" 2012 Clement Gino and Gregory Faure[32]
"Need to Know" Jessica Lauretti[33]
"More Than You" 2015 John Merizalde[34]
"GFE" Rachel Maude and Gabriel Reilich[35]


  1. ^ "Songwriter/Composer: Harper Elizabeth Vanessa". BMI. Archived from the original on December 25, 2016. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  2. ^ Davis, Hays (July 30, 2010). "Remembering First Concerts: Greatest Stories Ever Told". Under the Radar. Retrieved July 9, 2015. Class Actress' Elizabeth Harper: Cocteau Twins (Age 13, 1996, Lollapalooza)
  3. ^ a b Vanessa (November 30, 2010). "EXCLUSIVE INTERVIEW: Elizabeth Harper of Class Actress". The Owl Mag. Archived from the original on 2015-07-11. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  4. ^ a b Deem, Anna (June 16, 2010). "Class Actress: Journal of Ardency EP". PopMatters. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  5. ^ a b c d Baker, Brian (August 15, 2012). "A Class of Her Own". Cincinnati CityBeat. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  6. ^ a b Sia, Nicole (March 8, 2012). "Popping Up: Class Actress". Idolator. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  7. ^ a b Leahey, Andrew. "Class Actress | Biography". AllMusic. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  8. ^ a b c Breihan, Tom (November 10, 2009). "Rising: Class Actress". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  9. ^ "Beyond Popping Corks, the Sounds of the New Year". The New York Times. December 23, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  10. ^ Love, Joshua (February 1, 2010). "Class Actress: Journal of Ardency". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  11. ^ Breihan, Tom (June 27, 2011). "Class Actress Announce Debut Album". Pitchfork. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  12. ^ Smoak, Matt (October 18, 2011). "A Minute With Class Actress' Elizabeth Harper". Elle. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  13. ^ "Reviews for Rapprocher by Class Actress". Metacritic. Retrieved January 14, 2012.
  14. ^ "AllMusic's Favorite Indie Pop and Rock Albums of 2011". AllMusic. December 16, 2011. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  15. ^ "Class Actress – Chart history: Dance/Electronic Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  16. ^ "Class Actress – Chart history: Heatseekers Albums". Billboard. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  17. ^ "Gossip Girl Music | Season 5 – Episode 19". The CW. Archived from the original on June 6, 2012. Retrieved July 17, 2015.
  18. ^ a b c Hampp, Andrew (May 3, 2015). "Class Actress Announces 'Movies' EP, Talks Collaborating With Giorgio Moroder: Exclusive". Billboard. Retrieved May 3, 2015.
  19. ^ a b "Class Actress Made Some 'Movies'… Get Album News & More Here". Republic Records. June 4, 2015. Archived from the original on 2016-03-04. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  20. ^ Rowland, Sarah (June 16, 2015). "class actress used the hollywood illusion to make a very real record". Nylon. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  21. ^ Muller, Marissa G. (May 20, 2015). "Class Actress Premieres "More Than You"". The Fader. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  22. ^ Syme, Rachel (June 22, 2015). "Stream the New EP From Class Actress (With an Assist From the Disco Legend Giorgio Moroder)". T: The New York Times Style Magazine. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  23. ^ "WORLD PREMIERE: Class Actress, "Glass Ceiling"". Terrible Records. June 30, 2016. Retrieved July 13, 2017.
  24. ^ a b Sendra, Tim. "Rapprocher – Class Actress". AllMusic. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  25. ^ a b "Journal of Ardency – EP by Class Actress". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  26. ^ "Journal of Ardency (Bonus Track Version) – EP by Class Actress". iTunes Store (US). Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  27. ^ a b "Movies – EP by Class Actress". iTunes Store (US). 23 June 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  28. ^ "Class Actress release CD + Video". The Deli Magazine. March 4, 2010. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  29. ^ Brandon (April 27, 2010). "Class Actress – "Adolescent Heart" Video (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  30. ^ "Class Actress | Videos". Archived from the original on July 17, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  31. ^ Goble, Corban (October 17, 2011). "Class Actress – "Weekend" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  32. ^ Goble, Corban (January 20, 2012). "Class Actress – "Bienvenue" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  33. ^ Breihan, Tom (November 2, 2012). "Class Actress – "Need To Know" Video (Stereogum Premiere)". Stereogum. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  34. ^ "More Than You – Class Actress". Vevo. June 2, 2015. Retrieved July 9, 2015.
  35. ^ White, Caitlin (September 10, 2015). "Class Actress – "GFE" Video". Stereogum. Retrieved November 27, 2015.

External links[edit]