There is something haunting and chilling about the new release ‘Halo’ from esteemed composer and solo artist John Lemke that captures an Arctic chill and yet is antithetically warm and organic. It is an achingly beautiful piece filled with layers of moving, ambulant sound. It is utterly moving and affecting: the strings weeping and crying with emotion over arpeggiated guitars and syncopation. We are honoured to premiere this single due out on 29 April 2022 through Denovali Records:
The piece comes from Lemke’s forthcoming third solo album ‘Thawlines’, due out on 27 May 2022, which was informed and influenced by Lemke’s stay in Finland during winter and a residency within the Arctic Circle. Pre-orders for this work are available here from May.
Lemke, born in Berlin but now based in Glasgow, has an esteemed history in soundtracks for TV and film as well as form as a solo artist. His experience in developing music for visual imagery surely bleeds into his solo compositions: displaying an ability to evoke detailed imagery and visuals purely through the music.
Abandoning the rather electronic feel of People Do (2013) and Nomad Frequencies (2015) for a more band oriented sound, Lemke has enlisted the help of some of his favourite musicians in the form of Pete Harvey (Modern Studies) on cello, Clive Deamer (Portishead, Radiohead, Robert Plant) on drums and harpist Urška Preis (rogue-ah) to realise his vision. Lemke says:
The music somehow needed to run through the hands of others, which gave a sense of catharsis after such a drawn out, solitary process. It was exactly what was needed to bring the journey full circle.
Based on the magnificence of ‘Halo’, this is something to look forward to.
Feature Photograph: Stephen Gilmour