Feature, News, Reviews

Sóley Announces New Concept Album Mother Melancholia & Shares New Single ‘Sunrise Skulls’

October 6, 2021
Photo credit: Sunna Ben

Sóley Announces New Concept Album
Mother Melancholia

Shares New Single ‘Sunrise Skulls’

+ Announces UK & EU Tour Dates

Known for her delicate compositions, soaked in dream-like surrealism, Icelandic musician Sóley has attracted a huge following since launching her solo career back in 2010. Her 2012 single ‘Pretty Face’ went on to generate an enormous amount of buzz, and quickly became a viral sensation. Now, with three solo LPs under her belt, Sóley is preparing to debut a completely new sound via the release of her new concept album, Mother Melancholia, on October 22nd.

Described by the artist as “Nosferatu meets Thelma and Louise in a vampire church under the watchful eye of David Lynch“, Mother Melancholia is the soundtrack to the end of the world as we know it. Having surrounded herself with real-life stories of global warming and patriarchal politics Sóley, a self-confessed news addict, couldn’t shake the feeling that she was going to die. This feeling was so all-encompassing that it sparked the idea for a new project. Could there be a soundtrack for the last days of humans on earth? How would that sound?

Whilst writing the album, which serves as a tongue-in-cheek eulogy to our planet, Sóley began reading about ecofeminism, a branch of feminism that uses the concept of gender to analyze the relationship between humans and the natural world. Ecofeminism emphasizes that both women and nature must be respected but also separated. Since the beginning of time, the natural world has been synonymous with female identity, phrases like Mother Nature are commonplace. “The patriarchy views women as volatile and hysterical. Earth and women are either our saviours or our destroyers,” explains Sóley. “It’s so easy to abuse the earth, like the patriarchy has abused women since the dawn of time, then ask for forgiveness afterwards and promise they will never do it again”.

New single ‘Sunrise Skulls’, one of the most cinematic moments on the album, was inspired by the Me Too and SlutWalk movements and tells the story of a group of women who rise up and fight the patriarchy. The accompanying video is the first instalment of the film Mother Melancholia, inspired by the album.

On the video, director Samatha Shay says “When Sóley first came to me with the subject of the marginalisation of women and femmes and the destruction of the planet, the concept felt massive. I had to bring it to the closer through my own experience, and later through the experience of the performers I collaborated with. This piece became a multilayered portrait of experiences, a constellation of how the personal resounds beyond human experience, yet can somehow point back to something as simple as a childhood memory. What is the relationship between a melting glacier, and a personal trauma? How do we soothe ourselves, discover protest in our bodies, and how is the earth doing that now?”

A powerful, powerful artist. With this new arrangement, Sóley emits so much energy and emotion into the vision, the pain-staking beauty draws you in with the ethereal vocal notes and gentle harmonies. But the understanding of the lyrics and the abrupt realization that the track weaves through this raw, fragile, and uncompromised take on agony, that immediately finds this connection between artist and audience. There are no boundaries, Sóley has a story to tell, a cathartic voyage to explore and the audience is honored to be enveloped amidst this alluring and consuming journey. Using this plethora of organic textures throughout the expressive landscape, this stirring momentum expands when the intensity heightens, and further, brooding and more angular attributes are carefully layered into the ensemble.

To be able to lace your work with this endless array of emotive embellishment, to physically capture a feeling that oozes from your words and your melody, a feeling many can find a relation to, what an impressive talent from this vital musician.

The new album sees Sóley move away from the indie-pop of her previous releases. She began by experimenting with writing songs on the accordion, allowing her a new sense of freedom in her writing. The process allowed her to broaden her horizons even further and experiment with a whole range of new and exciting sounds. “I bought myself a theremin as I was really excited about the unpitched sound and there is no perfect pitch during the end of days,” she laughs. “I also bought a mellotron, my first moog and a cello and taught myself how to play each of them. All of these new instruments are particularly suitable for the kinds of aesthetic inconveniences which I have learned to embrace.” 

Mother Melancholia is the mark of an artist confidently striding into more experimental territory. With a lengthy and successful career behind her, Sóley felt compelled to try something new and express the real her. The music might be shrouded in darkness but it’s a move that fills her with joy and freedom. “I hope that people not only enjoy the new sound, but also that Mother Melancholia might raise some questions in people, particularly women,” she says. “I’m under no illusion that this album will change the world but I hope that people can connect with the idea”. Mother Melancholia is out on October 22nd on digital and limited edition vinyl via ​​Lovitt Records.  

Sóley – Mother Melancholia Tour November 2021

01 Kulturhuset Oceanen – Göteborg, Sweden
02  Hotel Cecil – København K, Denmark
03 Musikhuset Aarhus – Århus, Denmark
05 Kulturkirche Altona – Hamburg, Germany 
06 Passionskirche Kreuzberg – Berlin, Germany 
07 E-Werk Kulturzentrum – Erlangen, Germany 
08 Jazzhaus Freiburg – Freiburg Im Breisgau, Germany 
09 Technikum – München, Germany 
11 Alte Feuerwache – Mannheim, Germany 
12 Paradiso – Amsterdam, Netherlands 
14 Le Botanique – Brussels, Belgium 
15 Point Ephemere – Paris, France 
16 Colours Hoxton – London, United Kingdom 
18 Patterns – Brighton, United Kingdom 
19 Bristol – Beacon Foyer Bristol, United Kingdom 
20 Belgrave Music Hall – Leeds, United Kingdom 
21 CCA – Glasgow, United Kingdom

https://www.soley-music.com/

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