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
@KCBobCut

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
@KCBobCut

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
@KCBobCut

Track Of The Day: Maria BC – ‘Adelaide’

An ambient reflection on disconnecting from the world before finding your way back to it again, Brooklyn-based musician Maria BC has shared their debut single ‘Adelaide’. Taken from their upcoming EP Devil’s Rain, which is set for release on 5th February 2021 via Fear of Missing Out Records, the track is a blissful, lo-fi meditation on breaking introverted thought cycles.

“A friend of mine used to work as a museum guard,” Maria explains about the inspiration behind their new single. “Guests would almost never ask her questions, so she had a lot of downtime. She would spend hours building ‘memory palaces’ which are a mnemonic device that have helped some people to achieve total autobiographical recall. My friend would spend six, seven hours a day making these palaces. When she told me about this, another friend of mine said, ‘Aren’t you worried about getting lost in your interiority?’ And I thought, ‘damn, that’s so true’. I’ve seen that happen to so many people. It’s happened to me many times — this feeling that I’m stuck in the architecture of my own ego. ‘Adelaide’ isn’t about my museum guard friend — it’s a song addressed to a depressed version of myself, or someone who needs a hand to pull them back into the social world.”

Maria’s metaphorical hand is extended via soft guitar sounds and hushed vocals on the single. “I don’t want to tell you this,” Maria tentatively remarks before carefully unfolding their thoughts over four minutes of ambient sounds. Recorded in Maria’s apartment through April and May of 2020, ‘Adelaide’ is an intimate, soothing offering and a revealing insight into what’s to come from this talented emerging artist in 2021.

Listen to ‘Adelaide’ below.

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Photo Credit: Sergio Gutierrez

Kate Crudgington
@KCBobCut