Unsettling yet somehow sensual, Novaa‘s single ‘Audre’ is a poignant tale of oppression, fatigue and the silencing of black voices. Lifted from her recent album She’s A Rose, the Berlin-based indie singer-songwriter pays homage to American feminist poet and civil rights activist Audre Lorde on her latest track.
Layering placid vocals with lush electronic beats, the rigid strumming of a muted guitar and the serenity of softly played wind instruments, ‘Audre’ is pure poetry. There is something Black Swan-esque about the music video. With a stripped back, grayscale aesthetic and simple, yet jittery dancing movements, Novaa expresses the heavy emotions of the song visually as well as sonically. Like stars, the rhymes stud the underlying darkness of the track with light.
When she sings “It is heavy / to carry these shackles,” Novaa shines a spotlight on the mental and physical exhaustion that comes with fighting an oppressor. The past few years have been somewhat traumatising for many minorities – the Black community in particular – and with the constant bombardment of horrific hate crimes and police brutality on our timelines, it is understandable if people feel beat.
Vaulting off from Audre Lorde’s political message that caring for oneself in troubling times is a radical act of self-preservation, Novaa’s new track powerfully illuminates the painful foundations of activism and reminds us that our fight for equality is far from over.
Photo Credit: Rebecca Kraemer