A gorgeous contemplation on passing through the motions of life, indie-folk band Koppies have released their new single ‘Hospital Song’. Koppies, the South African-British collective of five long-term friends and collaborators, all musicians with their own acclaim, are finally united on record and the result is utterly captivating.
There is a spaciousness in ‘Hospital Song’. Victoria Hume’s commanding vocal leads the piece, with soft and arpeggiated piano playing accompanying. The effect is beautifully stark, freeing space in both the higher and lower registers that other artists may feel they need to fill. The choice to keep this composition simple is a sign of confidence in the songwriters – an instinct to hold back and preserve the raw emotional core of the song. Later, minimal, droning, synthesizers appear as well as stuttering, driven drums. These later additions create a sense of urgency, pushing the tempo and pace of the music (perhaps reflecting the growing anxiety of hospital visits) – though that sense of space remains. The rhythm sections seem to become the heartbeat of the song, bringing a new sense of life to the music.
Koppies blending of traditional folk instrumentation with synthesizers creates a unique ambiance which is both parts nostalgic and contemporary. This combination beautifully represents memories of the past fusing into present experiences, just like when Hume sings “I think of being twenty-one, we were all stoned, everything blows…”
The vocals are hypnotic and convey a sense of detachment from the music and reality as Hume sings “… a storm broke on your house” with an eerie sense of calm. This creates a beautiful contrast. Though the lyrics are deeply personal, when Hume sings, you may hear your own stories and experiences reflected back at you, providing reassurance.
Of the track, Hume explains: “It’s a pretty literal song about a period of time when my mother was unwell, and the strangeness of driving to and from the hospital along these beautiful Dorset roads that I’ve driven since I was a teenager, heading out to see friends.”
Once you give ‘Hospital Song‘ a listen and inevitably want to hear more, don’t worry – you won’t have to wait long! Koppies’ self-titled debut EP is set for release on 2nd July via Lost Map Records.
Photo Credit: Jacqui van Staden