London-based singer/producer Anil Sebastian is unveiling his stunning new single/video entitled ‘Closer’ – lifted from his forthcoming debut album ‘Mesonoxian’.
He’s also announced a huge headline show to celebrate the release of his ‘Mesonoxian’ album, at the ICA, London on 27th October.
Premiering a moment ago on Stereogum, you can now watch the new video for ‘Closer’ below.
Directed by Rino Stefano Tagliafierro – the video features Sian O’Gorman (who also sings on the track) appearing as a figure inspired by the painting “Mermaids” by Gustav Klimt.
“The video is split into two parts, one light and one dark. We often live between these parallel realities sliding below and back. Melancholy and happy, distant and but somehow always ‘Closer’” – explains Anil.
Most certainly for fans of the likes of Active Child, Rhye, and Imogen Heap – on ‘Closer’ Anil Sebastian exquisitely marries together trippy, sparse RnB-tinged electronic instrumentals with angelic vocals turns – all backed by a soaring, powerful string section.
Speaking on the lyrical meaning behind the new single Anil explained: “Closer is about a calm, unspoken erasure of life to depression and to fear. It is the biggest cause of death for the young – but we don’t speak of it – it is our taboo. It is about fear of death – something that dominates and drives so much human life – sometimes to the point where we fear life itself.”
Using improvised layers of zithers, celestas, pianos, EP73s, flutes and even gamelan (traditional ensemble music of Java and Bali in Indonesia, made up predominantly of percussive instruments) which Anil spent hours manipulating and chopping in to tiny micro-layers – Anil and his brother Ingmar produced the track together – and it’s an almighty blend of sounds – incorporating some stunning string work into the equation, too.
“I wanted the strings to be raga-tinged – and capture the intricacy and drama of indian strings” – Anil said. “They were performed by Vince Sipprell who died tragically before the track was completed.”
Speaking on his work with singer Sian O’Gorman on the track, Anil said: “Sian joined London Contemporary Voices choir, the choir I founded with Didier Rochard – the choir we worked together with Alt-J, Active Child and Laura Mvula – and I fell in love with her voice instantly. We always faced the same way musically, so it’s been incredible to have her join the live band and sing on the album.”
Produced by Anil himself, with the help of his brother Ingmar and Jon Hopkins collaborator Cherif Hashizume, debut album ‘Mesonoxian’ (which means “pertaining to the hour of midnight”) is an interplay between intimacy and expanse. Taking cues from Bjork’s “Homogenic” and “Vespertine” as well as from Imogen Heap (who Anil has toured with and is currently collaborating with on other projects); intricate Arca-esque microbes combine with soaring raga-tinged strings and choral motifs – providing a beautifully dark backdrop for Anil’s utterly unique voice.
Leader and founder of The LCV (London Contempary Voices Choir) – Anil is no stranger to the live stage, and his experience in the arrangement of stunning vocal lines shines throughout.
It’s certainly a fascinating approach to songwriting, with a dark, and intense lyrical depth. The musicality is expansive, at times harrowing, but ultimately daring, and wonderfully inventive.
Anil Sebastian’s debut album, ‘Mesonoxian’ is out October 28th, 2016 via Relative State Records.
Catch up with ‘Human’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=A17lyFLBO9M
Catch up with ‘Living’ here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=N0UrwAcb9wQ
Catch up with ‘We Both Know’ here: https://soundcloud.com/anilkamalagharan/anil-sebastian-we-both-know
Anil Sebastian, on Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/Anilmusic
Anil Sebastian, on Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/anil.sebastian/
Anil Sebastian, on Twitter: https://twitter.com/anilsebastianuk