A really interesting take on folk. We're all over this one.
The Copenhagen-based, Scottish-born composer Clarissa Connelly’s music is evocative of the whimsical and almost child-like, tainted by an undercurrent of dark sensuality, disquietude and existential dread. Characterized by complex arrangements, big compounded chords, as well as a broad array of instruments, effects and sounds, her songs orient the listener towards utopian beauty that lies somewhere between the baroque and the primordial.
+ First 15 orders will receive a very limited art, music and sing-along lyric sheet, with hand-written calligraphy dedication from Clarissa herself.
With an experimental approach to vocal techniques, her voice can manifest benevolent fay-like creatures as easily as banshees and maleficent spirits singing melodies that retain the accessibility typically associated with pop-music.
The compositions are lyrically and aesthetically grounded in Celtic folklore and Scandinavian vitalism. The threshold between the mundane and the fantastical is accentuated in her work, in such a way that the pursuit for – and the ability to recognize – real beauty in the world become anchored in the realm of work, everyday anxiety, motivation, human brilliance and failure.
With forthcoming album The Voyager, Connelly sets out to not only to study the relationship between nature and music but also its relationship with time. She says: “I’ve always been especially excited about times in the north before Christianity came, and how the Pagan culture and Christianity became intertwined in people through rituals and formations in the landscape - burial mounds, passage graves, dolmens, etc.” She continues: “In some way, it’s very difficult to translate nature into an understandable movement of change.
Looking at a mountain I often view a still picture of time – a moment right now – but sometimes, I can look at the mountain and see millions of years of change and movement. I believe that this point of view can be assisted by art and music. In a landscape ornamented with ruined Viking fortresses or ancient burial mounds, I find that I, for whatever reason, seem to be able to perceive time and comprehend history (the history of nature and culture) as a series of changes in a more salient way.”
It is here that The Voyager derives so much of its power. It roots itself in history, mythology, capable of intertwining and unravelling both past and present. Songs such as Holler and The Hills Are Crying – opening and closing tracks on the album, respectively – conjure images of these ancient Danish sites, offering something more than just a fluid, long-forgotten way, and instead of a tangible reverie that can educate, engage and thrill in equal measure.
Connelly explains: “I have the idea, that the mystical and fantastical nature of these olden barrows and ruins can kindle a more dynamic and historically informed perspective. I think that an understanding of time as a movement is articulated when looking at the landscape in this way and can maybe bring us out of our little bell jar, and into a greater experience of life as a whole.”
The Voyager is released in conjunction with an app Vandringen (released 27 September 2020), conceived and created by Clarissa Connelly - along with the contributions of 21 other Danish musicians, painters, sculptures, performers - which highlights special ancient Danish locations, not viewable on Google Maps.
These locations are presented with local knowledge and a number of them are interpreted for the modern-day by the creatives involved. Connelly concludes: “I am very eager to write music that sounds like something that is happening now but has also happened a very long time ago. I have always found it fascinating to view history through changes in the landscapes around us, and therefore I started created this app and wrote this album.”
7. Mother And Daddy
8. The Fallen Land
9. Shallow Water
10. A Grain Of Sand
11. The Hills Are Crying
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Nominated 'Best Independent Retailer' at the Music Week Awards in 2013, 2015, 2016, 2017, 2018, 2019 and 2020.
Nominated "Indie Champions" at the 2015 AIM Awards.