New Track: t l k – ‘Serenia’

A beautiful, soothing electronic lamentation about the nature of childhood grief and memory, Bristol-based artist t l k has shared their latest single ‘Serenia’. Brimming with emotive vocals, tender lyrics and blissful synths, the track is a poignant exploration of the timeless power of maternal love.

“Deep in a palace of the mind / held by the mother for the last time” muses t l k in the opening line of the track, inviting listeners into a deeply personal space via clear vocals and ambient electronics. Described as a “self-soothing metaphysical landscape”, the artist created ‘Serenia’ by manipulating an improvised vocal take and blending it with analogue synths, before adding percussive textures that were built from the spines of a cactus. The result is an emotive “sound bath” that evokes a sense of solace and serenity each time it’s listened to.

Using music to gently unfold themes of identity, self-hood, and the often incomprehensible depth of human emotion, t l k blends introspection, melancholy and euphoria within their sound, sometimes within the same track. Their debut EP, Strength In Tenderness (2022), was an evocative, rapturous collection of songs that seamlessly fused these two emotional states together, an accomplishment that meant the record made the cut for our Albums & EPs of 2022 feature last year.

t l k’s new single ‘Serenia’ is accompanied by an animated artwork created by graphics pro and visual artist Alfie Dwyer (Adult Swim, Eric Andre, Sad Night Dynamite, Thundercat and Flying Lotus). Dwyer’s work enhances the dreamlike, all encompassing warmth of t l k’s sound.

Watch the video for ‘Serenia’ below.

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Photo Credit: Giulia Spadafora

Kate Crudgington

Track Of The Day: Sea Change – ‘Never Felt’

An intoxicating blur of soft vocals, lush beats and ambient electronics, Norwegian artist & producer Sea Change has shared her latest single ‘Never Felt’. Taken from her upcoming album Mutual Dreaming, which is set for release on 11th February via Shapes Recordings, the track is a heady extension of an improvisation the musician originally created whilst performing live.

“This was the very first song I wrote for the album,” Sea Change aka Ellen A. W. Sunde explains. “It started as an improvised live version first performed at the Oslo release show, but it was in Luft Studio last fall that it really came to life and became what it is now. This slow-paced, feverish track.” This natural evolution and attention to the detail of the moment is mirrored in many tracks on Sea Change’s upcoming record.

Equally as inspired by the club music of LA and Berlin as she is by her current quieter surroundings in the southern coastal town of Kristiansand in Norway, Sea Change’s sounds ebb and flow with a tranquil, yet deeply primal desire to move through an intensity of feeling that sometimes escapes verbal or written articulation. Previous single ‘Night Eyes’ explored the need to separate the body from the mind, but on ‘Never Felt’ the two feel connected, and the result is an altruistic, captivating soundscape.

Listen to ‘Never Felt’ below.

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Photo Credit: Victoria Nevland

Kate Crudgington

LISTEN: Blue Loop – ‘Kodama / Pan’

Inspired by the conflicting states of mind she experienced during 2020’s winter lockdown, London-based producer Blue Loop has shared two new singles, ‘Kodama’ and ‘Pan’. Following on from her debut single ‘Before It Begins‘, the double A-side marks a progression in Blue Loop’s sound, venturing into new sonic territory but retaining her polished and considered approach. Both tracks were mixed by Omni Collective’s Joy Stacey and mastered by Stephen Kerrison at Tall Trees Audio Mastering.

Named after the forest spirits of the Studio Ghibli film Princess Mononoke, ‘Kodama’ is a soothing, graceful composition. The track fuses electronic and orchestral elements together – including clarinet improvisations by Rose Ford – to provide a tranquil tonic for tired minds. Second track ‘Pan’ is designed to awaken and distract, with its Jungle/Drum & Bass inspired beats and choppy, techno synths. Opening with samples of street drummers and cathedral bells which Blue Loop collected in France and Portugal in autumn 2020, the track’s pulsing, driving rhythm is complimented by her use of intermittent atmospheric synth patterns.

Together, ‘Kodama’ and ‘Pan’ represent the duality of experience. Blue Loop explores the space in between “light and dark, motion and stillness, tension and release” through these new soundscapes, and she does so with effortless flair.

Listen to ‘Kodama’ and ‘Pan’ below.


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Kate Crudgington

ALBUM: Elsa Hewitt – ‘LUPA’

A captivating reflection on her own thought processes and an extended hand to those who are seeking a similar internal transformation, London-based experimental artist & producer Elsa Hewitt has shared her new album LUPA. Following on from her 2020 EP Ghostcats, the record shimmers with more of Hewitt’s magnetic synth loops and soft vocals, showcasing her truly eccentric spirit across nine fluid soundscapes.

“2020 forced me to look at myself on the inside and it helped me let go of some things and turn around negative patterns and understand how your thoughts and mind influence the way you feel,” Hewitt explains, echoing a sentiment many will be familiar with. For Hewitt though, this process of dismantling her own psyche began earlier in 2019 when she was asked to write a song in response to suicide, having lost a number of friends the same way. She confronted her own experiences of anxiety and depression in the process and channelled them into the ambient, reassuring sounds that form the backbone of LUPA.

“It was a long progression and a lot of other things had to happen at the same time and it really made me face things within myself that I hadn’t been willing to face before,” she confesses about the record’s conception. This compassionate nature permeates Hewitt’s album. Her reluctance to face these difficult emotions dissolves over the course of each track, soothing the stings of loss and confusion that informed them. As with many of her previous recordings, she improvised her way through vocals and synth textures on LUPA, often recording things in one continuous take. This method gives her music a lucid, dream-like quality, dipping in and out of consciousness but remaining rooted in the joy of the moment.

Her talent for reflecting mood fluctuations via breathy vocals and magnetic loops feels effortless, with ‘Howl’, ‘Lavender’ and ‘Squirrelx’ being prime examples of these skilled shifts – her delicate vocal delivery ripples with genuine emotion, underscored by ethereal electronics and tentative beats. Hewitt’s playful side emerges on ‘Car In The Sun’, ‘Inhaler’ and ‘Fuzzy Duck’, but these tracks are usually followed up with sentiments like the ones on ‘IFM’, which are underscored by compassion and a tender desire to absolve anxious thoughts.

On LUPA, Hewitt has constructed a woozy, poetic sublime headrush of comforting electronic sound that provides a pleasant distraction from the overwhelming nature of the world right now.

Follow Elsa Hewitt on bandcamp, Spotify, Twitter, Instagram & Facebook

Kate Crudgington