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Clementine Valentine Share New Single & Video “The Rope” – New Album “The Coin That Broke The Fountain Floor” due August 25th via Flying Nun

July 26, 2023
Photo Credit: PICTVRE


Share new single & video “The Rope”
Album ‘The Coin That Broke The Fountain Floor’ due August 25th via Flying Nun

Aotearoa/New Zealand sisters Clementine Valentine, formerly known as Purple Pilgrims, share another glimpse of their beautiful folk-singer art-pop with new single “The Rope”. The track is taken from their upcoming album ‘The Coin That Broke The Fountain Floor‘, which is due August 25th via Flying Nun. 

With harmonies the coil and unfurl, Clementine and Valentine draw on the essence of their familial musical heritage – the sisters, great-granddaughter of Traveller musician Davie Stewart (recorded by Alan Lomax), come from a long line of folk musicians and storytellers past down over centuries – and like the best folk songs there’s an undertone of darkness to “The Rope”, and an ambiguity that keeps the listener guessing.

Of the song the sisters say The Rope’ acts as a motif to connect us to our ancestors – we wanted it to feel as though it could be both ancient and of now. A feeling we call ‘ancient futurism’ something we’ve been chasing in our songs for years now. We were reaching for a feeling simultaneously sinister and comforting as, to us, so many ancient songs are.

We’ve always listened to a lot of new music, but the core of our creative expression has always come directly from our deep familial folk music traditions. This is something that has not always been easily identifiable perhaps, due to the fact that we’ve never been interested in making ‘folk revival music’ – there’s no finger picking on any of our family records. The folk element in our songs is on a DNA level, stretching back beyond the 1960s wave that folk music is commonly associated with.

Having felt for a long time that pop, and (more importantly to us) lo-fi or bedroom produced music, to now be the true music of the people (accessible to all) – we finally decided we wanted to use more acoustic and ‘traditional’ instrumentation to express this feeling of modernising relics.

Although our personal tradition of using an excess of synthesizers is still very much present all over this album, ‘The Rope’ is very stripped back for us and tells the story of our family music in a way we never have before.”

Produced by Randall Dunn, who’s work with acclaimed folk artists such as Marissa Nader complement the track beautifully. Matt Chamberlain’s expressionistic percussion is a major feature, setting an ancient mood – Chamberlain has worked with some of the folk world’s most legendary figures from Bob Dylan and Leonard Cohen, to contemporary artists such as Laura Marling. 

Clementine Valentine are leading the way with the most emotive, beautiful arrangements. With “The Rope” that touching assertion directs the passages, layering with the intricate tonalities and textures and led with the volatile yet vital vocal harmonies.

The accompanying contrasting visuals are directed by PICTVRE – the creative duo made up of Veronica Crockford-Pound and Joseph Griffen. Inspired by 1960s films, Jean-Luc Godard’s sci-fi/noir classic ‘Alphaville’, and Ingmar Bergman’s psychological drama ‘Persona’.

“The Rope” on other streaming services here: https://ffm.to/clementine-valentine-the-rope

Sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon draw inspiration from their nomadic family heritage, creating music that evokes contrasting moods: ancient and modern, paradise and isolation, beauty and brokenness, ritual and the present moment. 

Having grown up between New Zealand and Hong Kong, the sisters gained experience by performing in unconventional spaces and rogue music venues throughout Hong Kong’s abandoned industrial estates, captivating audiences with their blend of experimental noise and futuristic dream-pop as Purple Pilgrims.

The duo have since toured the world extensively alongside the likes of Ariel Pink, Aldous Harding, John Maus, and Weyes Blood. It’s a lifestyle embedded in their lineage; travelling musicians and performers go back hundreds of years on their maternal side (as documented on recordings such as The Travelling Stewarts, from 1968). As children, the sisters were taught to sing traditional balladry by their grandmother, daughter of revered Traveller musician Davie Stewart (later recorded by Alan Lomax).

While their earlier works were self-produced and released through underground labels, the sisters have honed their skills to create a more fully realised and sophisticated new sound. 

The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor is a pivotal album in the creative evolution of sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon, formerly known as Purple Pilgrims. It finds them leaning further than ever before into collaboration, folklore, poetry, and power. Their intertwined vocals reach for loftier, more operatic heights of pop and myth, heartbreak and desire, suffused with the spirit of storytelling heroines long lost to time. The album title alludes to the tipping point extremes of recent years, coloured by dreams crushing, wishes gathering, and an abundance of hope.The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor sees the duo working alongside NY city producer Randall Dunn (Oneohtrix Point Never, Danny Elfman, Jim Jarmusch) and legendary drummer Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple). Final audio finessing came courtesy of Brooklyn mastering engineer Heba Kadry (Bjork, Beach House, Slowdive). The results are regal and richly layered, softly orchestral yet lithe and shimmering.

The Coin That Broke The Fountain Floor tracklist:
1. Gatekeeper
2. All I See
3. Time and Tide
4. The Understudy
5. Selenelion
6. The Rope
7. Endless Night
8. Actors Tears
9. All Yesterdays Flowers


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