♫♪  Colleen - “I’m Kin” (Official Video)

Colleen, a.k.a. Cécile Schott, has always made beguiling, hypnotic, melancholy music, but since the release of her early albums, Schott’s arrangements have grown to become more immediately intricate and complex sounding. With the addition of her vocals, it may appear that she has begun to move toward more conventionally structured songs; but despite the perceived shift, her overall approach to music has remained largely constant throughout the last decade of her career. Schott makes modern experimental music with ancient instrumentation, providing her work with an elemental power that enraptures its listeners as it absorbs them into her world.

“I’m Kin,” off of Schott’s excellent Captain of None, lyrically delves into her spiritual connection with the ancient and natural worlds. In many ways, it strikes me as one side of a coin shared with Julia Holter’s “In the Green Wild.” Although that song’s protagonist finds respite from the incessant distractions of the city in the company of nature, it is in part because she is so far removed from the natural world and doesn’t perceive the chaos, the state of flux, that it’s constantly in. She is a vacationer in a resort town, blind to the locals working diligently to ensure everything plays out like a dream for its guests. With “I’m Kin,” on the other hand, Schott takes us somewhere dark and murky, almost claustrophobic and paints imposing, sometimes violent images that leave us listeners no recourse but to humbly gawk at the awesome forces beyond our control. She is calling from the other side, engaged with the ebbs and flows of time and nature, and we’ve got no choice but to listen and try to stay afloat. The comfort of our living room sublets sounds goddamn divine in the face of such might.

For the track’s music video, director Christophe Thockler complements the power of the music with abstract, stop-motion images of lights, colors, and textures engaged in an intricate dance dictated by Schott’s airy vocals and forceful plucks. He only occasionally permits us to glimpse a defined image — dead leaves, rippling sand, dripping branches — otherwise setting us adrift amid a sea of eerily beautiful impressions. Peep it below.

On a related note, Colleen is about to embark on her first US tour in eight years, and if that don’t excite you, you’re a fool. Check the dates below, and hit up Thrill Jockey for a copy of Colleen’s new album.

06.11.15 - San Francisco, CA - Exploratorium (Resonance Series)
06.13.15 - Seattle, WA - Good Shepherd Chapel (Wayward Music Series)
06.14.15 - Seaview, WA - Sou’Wester
06.17.15 - Portland, OR - Holocene
06.18.15 - Portland, OR - Beacon Sound (instore performance)
06.20.15 - Chicago, IL - Constellation
06.23.15 - New York, NY - Subculture (Wordless Music Series)
06.27.15 - Philadelphia, PA - Fringe Arts

• Colleen: http://colleenplays.org
• Christophe Thockler: http://www.christophethockler.com
• Thrill Jockey: http://www.thrilljockey.com

Chocolate Grinder

CHOCOLATE GRINDER is our audio/visual section, with an emphasis on the lesser heard and lesser known. We aim to dig deep, but we’ll post any song or video we find interesting, big or small.

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