Posts Tagged ‘Helena Deland’

The hopes, misgivings, wariness and vulnerability of a new romance all play out together in Helena Deland’s “Comfort, Edge.” The first seconds of the song take their time coming into focus, with whispers and muffled, low-fi instruments. Then the tempo drags its feet, but the grungy guitar chords push forward; the harmonies climb, but Deland’s vocal maintains its cool, with hints of the melody from John Lennon’s “Jealous Guy.” She sets out her requirements — “You’ll never make a fool of me” is the first — but she doesn’t necessarily expect them to be met. 

Montréal’s Helena Deland opened for Connan Mockasin at the 2019 Montréal Jazz Festival, where Deland’s deft lyricism and sonic edge left a lasting mark. For her debut album, she’s signed to Chris Cantallini’s (of timeless indie blog Gorilla vs. Bear) Luminelle Records, and her dreamy sound slots nicely next to labelmates like Anemone, Hana Vu and Jackie Mendoza. On songs like “Someone New” and the spectacular “Truth Nugget,” Deland expands on themes of interpersonal dynamics and identity in powerful ways. She is undoubtedly one of the best new talents to emerge from the robust Montréal indie scene.

‘Comfort, Edge’, from Helena Deland’s debut album ‘Someone New’ out now.

Montréal’s Helena Deland opened for Connan Mockasin at the 2019 Montréal Jazz Festival, where Deland’s deft lyricism and sonic edge left a lasting mark. For her debut album, she’s signed to Chris Cantallini’s (of timeless indie blog Gorilla vs. Bear) Luminelle Records, and her dreamy sound slots nicely next to label mates like Anemone, Hana Vu and Jackie Mendoza. On songs like “Someone New” and the spectacular “Truth Nugget,” Deland expands on themes of interpersonal dynamics and identity in powerful ways. She is undoubtedly one of the best new talents to emerge from the robust Montréal indie scene.

A unique transformation occurs the moment a lover lays eyes on your bedroom for the first time: the room is suddenly, involuntarily no longer your own. Your curated “you” is subject to the impressions of the other, and you try hard to adopt this filter yourself, wondering what information the objects and their position suggest about you. If, in moments like these, the new gaze seems to almost conjure the room, a desperate question arises: what remains of the room without the other? With no external sources of appraisal or affirmation, where does the stuff of the self reside, and how does it take shape?

These blood-deep paranoias set the stage for Helena Deland’s debut album, Someone New, an exploration of gender, power, time and the “self” that finds Deland in full control of her sound and style, even as she asks whether control is ever possible. The album was written and recorded over a period of two years, beginning with Deland’s guitar and expanding into a lavish sonic sphere that blends elements of hypnagogic pop and classic folk. Deland’s voice ties it all together, sometimes hushed in a whisper, sometimes shrouded in distortion, and sometimes full and clear

New song “Pale’ is about the little space left to the actual self in romantic relationships where idealization comes into play,” says Deland in a press release.

The song is accompanied by a simple visualizer featuring foaming water in a stream, which Deland says “represents the question of control when control is ultimately impossible.”

In July Deland also shared the album’s “Lylz.” Then when the album was announced in August she shared the album’s title track, “Someone New,” via a video that showed Deland posing for the portrait painting which graces the album’s cover. Then she shared another song from it, atmospheric slow-burner “Truth Nugget”,

Helena Deland’s debut album ‘Someone New’ out October 16th via Luminelle Recordings.

Montreal’s Helena Deland has been releasing her music over the last year: methodically, and singularly.

“It’s a happy mix of different years and different contexts,” explains Deland, of her upcoming, five-song EP. The 26-year-old Montrealer began writing songs in high school, and started recording her work three years ago. While the oldest song in this new collection is roughly four years old, they are all loosely linked thematically so that “like stages, weaving in and out of relationships” and is “about wanting to be close with someone.”

The EP won’t be released until October. 19th, but we’re premiering its third single, “Lean on You,” which aptly fits into the descriptor. “It’s about having a crush that you’re kind of resisting because you don’t want to surrender mental space to this. You know?” explains Deland. The woozy track starts simply, with only Deland’s voice and guitar, and expands into a teasing chorus that states, “Cause I don’t need/ I don’t need/ to lean on you, no/ even though/ that’s what other people do.” You can hear whisps of what sounds like Deland’s breath through the lyrics, as her “ah-ah-aahs” march you gently through the song.

Produced by fellow Montrealer Jesse Mac Cormack (who has produced all of Deland’s EPs, encompassing 2016’s Drawing Room and March 2018’s Vol. I & II), Altogether Unaccompanied Vol. III & IV is her second EP to be released on new label Luminelle Records, of which Deland is the first signee.

Helena Deland’s new single ‘Someone New’ out now. Her debut album ‘Someone New’ out October

A wispy and elusive bit of music — part indie-pop under a hazy murk, part dreamy synthscape. As ever, there’s something a little eerie about it all, Deland blending catchiness and ghostliness.” – Stereogum
“After the last notes fade to black, the ghost of Someone New continues to haunt you — it’s an utterly unforgettable record.” – Line of Best Fit
“You’ll be hard-pressed to find a debut album released this year with such rich compositional acumen and creative instincts that orbit the domain of pop.” – The FADER
“I encourage people to listen to it as an album, because it really takes you on a journey.”  – NPR
“Her music feels designed for the sacred space between headphones: private listening to a songwriter’s private battles, in a realm where even the screams are internal.” – New Yorker

It feels like we’ve been waiting forever, but Helena Deland‘s debut album Someone New is finally here! We’re so proud to share this gorgeous project with you today, plus a lovely new animated video for album track “Comfort, Edge.”

Band Members:
Helena – Guitar, vocals
Alexandre – Guitar
Francis – Drums
Agathe – Bass

Album out on Luminelle Recordings and Chivi Chivi October 16th.