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.