In the past, we’ve noted that Icelandic record label Bedroom Community is “home to some of the most prolific and unique composers and musicians from all over the globe, making it a creative hub of sonic geniuses that continues to evolve and produce incredible work”—and they’ve just added one more to their roster: composer Emily Hall. Amalgamating folk and classical influence to create her hauntingly beautiful sound, the award-winning British artist’s new album Folie à Deux (out July 20) is a transportive sonic experience that’s both an opera and concept album. Folie à Deux’s story goes as follows:
”A woman is struggling to connect with her lover. Their idyllic life on a quiet hillside changes irrevocably as an electricity pylon is constructed outside their house. He starts to believe that the pylon has a special power over him: “If you listen, listen closely…it is saying such wonderful things…” His delusion passes on to his partner, and as the madness takes hold, sparks begin to fly.”
Composed for two singers, the texturally delicate yet tonally rich work is also a collaboration with Icelandic lyricist, writer, and Björk collaborator Sjón. Speaking to their work together, Hall said: “I wanted to write an opera with no recitative, so I wanted to work with a writer with a background in writing lyrics as well as drama and narrative. Sjón came up with the idea of The Pylon as the focus of the delusion; which felt seriously good because of all its sonic and visual possibilities.” She also teamed up with fascinating musician and producer Valgeir Sigurðsson, who co-produced the album with her.
Just as Hall becomes the 10th Bedroom Community artist (along with such talents as Nico Muhly, Ben Frost, Nadia Sirota, etc), we’re more than pleased to premiere “Mantra” a new track off Folie à Deux. The wonderfully-composed song starts off soft and gradually builds in its sweet intensity—adding to the album’s acute emotional understanding and sensory “investigation into love and loneliness within a relationship.” Hear “Mantra” for yourself below, and see Emily Hall at Spitalfields Music Summer Festival 2015 on June 6 & 7 as she curates the Sound Among Sounds event at Rich Mix.