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Esben & The Witch Share New Single and Video “True Mirror” – Taken From New Album “Hold Sacred” out 12th May via Nostromo Records

March 9, 2023
Photo Credit: Sophie Fox

Esben & The Witch Share New Single and Video “True Mirror”

Taken From New Album “Hold Sacred” out 12th May via Nostromo Records

Esben & The Witch release the second single, “True Mirror” from their stunning new album, Hold Sacred out 12th May 2023 on Nostromo Records. Pre-order album HERE

“Everything’s changed and nothing’s changed,” says vocalist Rachel Davies of their sixth album, Hold Sacred. “This kernel is the purest essence of Esben and the Witch since our inception.” It’s a product of the trio’s deeply important, 14-year-spanning friendship. Together, they shut themselves away to plunge into and search for solace in the depths of exhaustion, depression, anxiety, existential fear – and all beginning long before the world shut down and changed irrevocably. 

“True Mirror” probes at self-loathing, while seeking transcendent love and acceptance. “When the cracks are in the walls, will you still come home? / When you see what lies beneath, will you still love me?” it asks. 

Davies says of the song “Accepting yourself as you truly are, as ugly as that can sometimes be. Recognizing all your self as a whole and questioning what that really is. Allowing this to show to yourself and other people and hoping that they’ll also accept you, when everything is stripped away and just the essence of you is left. No mask, no pretense, no bravado, pure and unfiltered. Vulnerable. Embracing the shadow self.”

Watch the video below for “True Mirror”. A woman in black and white confronts her reflection, seeking the truth in a fog of grey where self-loathing meets self-love.

True Mirror” quickly establishes itself as haunting, the reflective arrangement allows the stirring vocal notes to glide above the volatile atmosphere. Esben and The Witch create this sharp landscape, building on the bleaker tones, building this mellow progression, and placing critical passages, intense peaks, and an array of weaving intricates fusing with the emotional charge.

The track is constantly changing, lacing further brooding layers into the mix. This off-kilter movement brings in some sharper, cleaner sounds, and this dazzling abundance of chiming tones suddenly brings a softer shift to the darker attributes.

Ultimately, this tumultuous world lures the audience into the grittier turns, hooked on this complex ambiance that emphasizes how critical the intimate vocal notes are. There’s a real magnetism to this outfit and their ability to capture that power within their creations.

The album’s stripped back sonics are essential to the songs, letting atmosphere linger and steep, and creating space for Davies’ emotive vocals and storytelling. Though a brave departure from the grand, rock-based songwriting they’d steadily built up across prior albums, it offers the same intensity and passion via a different channel; the songs creep in and envelop you quietly but wholly.

Esben and the Witch – comprising Rachel Davies, Thomas Fisher and Daniel Copeman – began in Brighton in 2008, later decamped to Berlin, and is now split three ways across the UK, Germany and the US. Their winding geographical journey feels representative of their path as a whole. The band have snaked through various scenes and sonic worlds across their 14 years together, while always squirming away from an easy genre classification. Their first two albums, 2011’s Violet Cries and 2013’s Wash the Sins Not Only The Face — both released on Matador Records — offered gothic, electronic-tinged dream pop and post-rock. Beginning with the Steve Albini-produced A New Nature (2014, self-released on their own Nostromo Records), they came to explore heavier post-punk and metal textures, which they intensified through 2016’s Older Terrors and 2018’s Nowhere (both via Marseille-based metal label Season of Mist). 

In the summer of 2019, the band retreated to a villa outside of Rome, with no expectations or pressures but simply the intention to enjoy each other’s company and see what musical inspiration may arise from that. This is where the rough sketches of the songs that would form Hold Sacred came to be. 

The songs that were emerging were different than any previous. They’re brooding, gentle, almost ambient; there are no live drums, and the instrumentals comprise simple, sparse guitar and keys. The band used no outside producers or engineers, keeping the process limited to the three of them from start to finish — harkening back to the spirit of their earliest days when Copeman would record them in his bedroom and bathroom.

“I feel proud of us for staying strong as a trio, as a weird little family that has managed to create something out of the darkness that hopefully shimmers, like a crystal in the mud,” says Davies. “I am proud of not giving up, of maintaining our integrity throughout. This is the sound of three people who love and support each other, navigating the ever present figure of the black dog; and if we can provide help or solace for anyone else, also haunted, then that is value enough.”

Hold Sacred Tracklisting:

The Well

In Ecstasy

Fear Not

Silence, 1801

True Mirror

A Kaleidoscope


The Depths

Petals of Ash


European/UK tour dates

20/04/2023 – NL Utrecht Roadburn Festival
22/05/2023 DE Berlin Cassiopeia
23/05/2023 DE Hamburg Hafenklang
24/05/2023 DE Cologne Gebäude 9 
26/05/2023 DE Darmstadt Oetinger Villa 
27/05/2023 FR Strasbourg La Grenze
28/05/2023 NL Haarlem Patronaat
29/05/2023 FR Paris Le Petit Bain
31/05/2023 CH Zürich Bogen F
01/06/2023 AT Wien Viper Room 
02/06/2023 CZ Prague Kasarna Karlin
03/06/2023 DE Leipzig Moritzbastei
29/09/2023 UK London Studio 9294 


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