French composer Colleen spent a sizable segment of her musical career studying the viola da gamba, a Renaissance-era stringed instrument that she recorded and reoriented in the context of electronic editing and dub-influenced effects and mixes. She’s by no means the first to combine two such contradictory elements, but she managed to always find a new way to present them. Yet she’s since kept the instrument in its case in recent years, on her new single “Gazing at Taurus – Santa Eulalia” instead opting for a hypnotic, dense yet seemingly lighter-than-air arrangement of organ and analog drum machine that approaches something like D.I.Y. kosmische or Suicide after a blissful meditation. It’s warm, soothing, with a sense of movement and joy that solitary music so often leaves behind.
The song’s title is taken from a statue in Barcelona, her newly adopted home, that she could see from her apartment window. It represented a beacon of hope in an era of radical change and personal setbacks, a reminder of her own personal progress. Her warm drones of organ and gentle vocal invocations of Santa Eulalia evoke images of the sun rising through the window, parting the clouds and offering the promise of a new beginning.
From The Tunnel and The Clearing, out May 21 via Thrill Jockey
Jeff Terich is the founder and editor of Treble. He's been writing about music for 20 years and has been published at American Songwriter, Bandcamp Daily, Reverb, Spin, Stereogum, uDiscoverMusic, VinylMePlease and some others that he's forgetting right now. He's still not tired of it.