News: Heligoland’s Karen Vogt announces new collaboration with ambient experimental composer Pepo Galán and unveils the glorious single ‘The Dark Opens the Way’


Australian born, Paris-based artist Karen Vogt has blessed these pages in the past with her band, the magnificent Heligoland (see our interview and review of their last album ‘This Quiet Fire’ here). She has now announced a new collaboration with ambient experimental composer Pepo Galán which will see an album entitled ‘The Sweet Wait’ released November 12 , with pre-order available from today.

To celebrate this new collaboration and in anticipation of the album, Galán/Vogt have released the celestial single ‘The Dark Opens The Way’. Vogt’s magical vocals are stunning: naked and exposed over a wash of ambience and a distant piano, with double tracked vocal interludes that are ethereal and ghostly.

The lyrics match the erie tones – a fatalistic look, perhaps, at the inevitability of our demise:

Dark opens the way
The dark opens the way
Don’t be afraid
Open the way

The overall effect is something glittering and beautiful, filled with a deep and rich melancholy that hides within its dark heart a spark of hope and resilience. The accompanying visuals are rich and lush scenes of an aquatic nature with clouds and sky mirrored in the deep impenetrable waters and fauna:

Utterly spellbinding and divine – both the music and the visuals have an hypnotic effect.

According to the duo:

‘The Sweet Wait’ explores themes of patience and surrender. It has elements of dark ambient, dream pop, shoegaze, minimal, ambient/experimental, drone and neo-classical music.

American composer Akira Rabelais contributed works to the album in the form of 2 codas that end side A and B of the vinyl version on the tracks ‘Panacea’ and ‘Above The Aether’. Other guests on the album include Mark Beazley (bass), Jolanda Moletta (backing vocals), Simon McCorry (cello) and Achim Färber (drums).

The album artwork features 2 intriguing photographs by French photographer Aurélie Scouarnec, who is known for beautifully capturing darkness and shadows in her work. She depicts the sacred and considers what is hidden to be as important as what is revealed.

You can get the single and pre-order the album in vinyl through the link below. Based on the single, this album is going to be something quite special.

Pepo Galán is a composer born in Málaga. Working mostly with piano, guitar, electronics and field recordings – he creates elegant, textural soundscapes infused with beauty and sensitivity. He has released ambient, modern-classical and experimental works and appears on Kompakt’s Pop Ambient 2020/2021.

Karen Vogt is an Australian singer/musician based in Paris, France. She co-founded the dream pop group Heligoland in Melbourne, Australia in 1999. Her distinctive vocals are a striking feature of the band’s music, with Robin Guthrie producing Heligoland’s last five releases.

Vogt also released a haunting elegiac solo piece called ‘Heartsease’ earlier this year, which is a shimmering meditative piece of delightful ambience, featuring her enigmatic vocals amongst a celestial wash:

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