Karen Vogt, the Australian musician and producer based in Paris and part of the dream pop giants Heligoland, has just unveiled her new mini album ‘Losing The Sea’: an atmospheric and delicate ambient delight.
The EP is filled with ethereal sounds that seem to encapsulate desire and longing: waves of sonic fingers caress the ears as ambient presence hovers in the skies above. The themes of the EP are very much about absence. Vogt says the album is:
…about my longing for the sea after spending many years living inland. Growing up in Australia, the sea was always in close proximity and within walking distance of most places I lived. I have been based in Paris for the past fifteen years and it was only recently that I realised how much I feel a sense of loss that the sea is so far away from me now. Each time I go for a trip to the ocean, I want to stay there. I want to sit on the shore and watch the water, the waves and the sky. I really miss it and especially to be able to think things through as I walk along the shore. There is a stirring, a cleansing and an emotional response I feel very strongly when I am there that seems almost impossible to recreate anywhere else.
Vogt has exquisitely captured this sense: witness the layers of ghostly, haunting vocals in ‘Stranded By The Spring Tide’ and ‘Watching the Ninth Wave (featuring Guillaume Eymenier). Vogt says of the album and collaboration with Eymenier:
When I started to write this mini album I used some much loved guitar vignettes that I recorded a few years ago. In fact, I had been thinking of the sea when I wrote them. So I decided to work with this material as a basis for the songs. I re-visited them and added new vocals. I invited French musician/filmmaker Guillaume Eymenier to contribute guitar to some of these songs. I have known Guillaume ever since arriving in France over 15 years ago. I have admired both his solo music and his band Cats Hats Gowns. Guillaume (Coriolis Sounds).
Guillaume has created beautiful videos with his filmmaker partner Irina de Bertier for my band Heligoland, and recently for my duo project Galán/Vogt (with Spanish composer Pepo Gálan). I always wanted to involve Guillaume in a musical project, and this felt like the perfect one for us to start. When I told him that the sea was my theme, he kindly recorded some sea sounds for me and they feature in the track “Searching for Shoals”. Guillaume’s guitar work appears on the title track “Losing The Sea” and “Watching the Ninth Wave”.
This is not an album of compartmentalised, individual songs: it is more a series of emotions, guided by the song titles, that lead you on a journey of loss and longing. It is a sonic representation of yearning delivered across six layers that ebb and flow like the tides and with a magnetic, transfixing pull like the full moon on a starry night. It is an album to immersive yourself in and float across the vibrant surface in a reverie, a veritable ocean of tranquility and repose:
The album is out on Friday, 24 February 2023 (UK time) via the Mare Nostrum Label in digital form and available here but there will be a physical version and accompanying video releases to look forward to in the future.