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Sarah Neufeld Shares New Single & Video ‘With Love And Blindness’

March 23, 2021
Jason Lewis

Sarah Neufeld

‘Detritus’ released May 14th via One Little Independent Records

Single ‘With Love And Blindness’ out now alongside new video

‘Detritus’, the third solo LP by Juno Award winning, violinist, composer, long-time member of Arcade Fire and founding member of Bell Orchestre, Sarah Neufeld, confronts anguish with beauty, turmoil with grace, gliding through the present like a dancer mid-motion, reaching through space ’til she’s caught. New single and video ‘With Love And Blindness’ perfectly captures this; a rhythmic, atmospheric soundscape comprised of looped violin, dusted with mesmeric melody recall and distant, otherworldly vocals. 

“The video for With Love and Blindness came together through a long-time collaboration between myself and videographer Jason Last” Sarah discusses, “I knew that Jason and I would work together again on some visual aspect for my third solo release, and it so happened that before I even began recording the album, we were presented with the opportunity to do a mini residence on Corsica with Providenza; an amazing collective with a farm, cultural laboratory, festival and residency program.I was doing a short solo tour in Europe in the summer of 2019 in order to re-work some of the pieces from the dance collaboration to begin to find a shape for the album that was to be recorded in the Fall. In the middle of that tour, Jason and I travelled to Corsica for several days (graced once again with a suitcase containing Esteban Cortazar’s unique and beautiful creations).Besides performing in Providenza’s outdoor amphitheater, we were immersed in nature, literally staying in a treehouse perched on the side of a mountain, overlooking the dramatic coastline.I found that the pulse of the landscape resonated with the essence of the music, especially With Love and Blindness; a sense of rawness, of sensuality, of a strange gravity intensified by the hypnotic summer heat and the general otherworldliness of the place.”

Director Jason Last continues; “My ongoing creative collaboration with Sarah has always been an instinctive process. Because we know each other so well, and have worked together for so long, there is a lot of knowledge and trust that goes into the inspiration. The video is an exploration of our time there, surrounded by the rugged nature of this Mediterranean island that lends so well to the energy behind her music. Somewhere between documentation and fantasy, we captured Sarah in these environments, which later came together to visualize this powerful song from her new record.”

Dramatic twists and ties run their course throughout this absolutely stunning ensemble.

New LP ‘Detritus’ originated with a collaboration: in 2015, Neufeld was invited to appear on stage with the legendary dancer/choreographer Peggy Baker. Baker had prepared a solo piece based on work from Neufeld’s album, ‘The Ridge’, to which Neufeld added an original lyrical prelude. The live result was an incendiary duet, almost a sort of face-off, which left each artist unsatiated. They agreed to reunite for a more extended collaboration – a full-length show with Baker’s company, where Neufeld would write to (and perform music alongside) Baker’s choreography. 

It was a fertile partnership, uniting the two women’s intense, curious, ferocious sensibilities across an age difference of 29 years. Baker had conceived the show around the title of Neufeld’s prelude, “Who We Are In The Dark“, exploring themes of loss, betrayal and the emptiness of space; Neufeld was herself in crisis mode, reacting to a specific, earthbound kind of grief (including the end of a relationship). Making work together, they drew on these raw feelings – insistent, urgent darkness but also something that was, for Neufeld at least, much more unexpected: a romantic, tender-hearted love, inspired by the movements of the dancers before her. 

The work premiered in February 2019. Even before Neufeld and Peggy Baker Dance Projects set off on tour, she had the intuition that this music might take another form: as a distilled set of songs, refined and developed beyond the versions performed on stage. Starting that summer, she began arranging this lush and soloistic material – work that eventually became ‘Detritus’ – and performed some of these experiments at her own solo gigs. Neufeld worked throughout the process with her Arcade Fire bandmate Jeremy Gara, whose drums, synths and ambient electronics co-anchored the Peggy Baker shows and helped shape the reimagined album versions. She would go on to add her signature foot pedal bass synth and ethereal vocalizations, bringing in Bell Orchestre compatriot Pietro Amato’s sonorous French Horn swells, and woodwind wizard Stuart Bogie as a one man flute ensemble, layering clusters of chords atop Neufeld’s luminous compositions. 

Completed just weeks before COVID lockdown – and as “Who We Are In The Dark” capped off its year of touring – ‘Detritus’ offers a patient, gorgeous evolution of Neufeld’s sound: a soft and open-hearted musical landscape, where the sound is abiding and reflective. Neufeld – who trained in various dance modalities throughout her youth – brings her customary kineticism to these pastorals, like the song of shapes in motion. Yet the movements are different than they have ever been: inward-turning and outward-facing, deliberate and generous, acknowledging the world with a love that will not flinch, and never flags.

Neufeld’s influences range from Bartok, to Arthur Russell, to Aphex Twin. ‘Detritus’ follows her acclaimed debut album ‘Hero Brother’ which was produced by Nils Frahm. In 2015 Neufeld released Juno award winning ‘Never Were The Way She Was’ with celebrated saxophonist and collaborator Colin Stetson, and in 2016 Neufeld released her second solo album, ‘The Ridge’.

Pre-Order

Tracklist:

  1. Stories
  2. Unreflected
  3. With Love And Blindess
  4. The Top
  5. Tumble Down The Undecided
  6. Shed Your Dear Heart
  7. Detritus 

http://sarahneufeldmusic.com/

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