Electronic music artist Lana Del Rabies has emerged from a brief hiatus to offer a glimpse of her forthcoming album, STREGA BEATA, heralded by her dreamlike latest single, “Hallowed is the Earth.”
The track is an avant-garde “sonic elegy lamenting the wounded world,” suffused with echoes of trip-hop, early experimental post-punk in the vein of Fad Gadget and John Foxx; the eerie mystery of Delia Derbyshire’s experiments for the BBC, a whiff of Karlheinz Stockhausen, and the atmospheric noise collages of Puce Mary. The resulting hauntingly beautiful soundscape ripples through us with the energies of grief, loss, and despair.
The mesmerizing monochromatic montage conjures the chaotic capitulation of a tormented goddess figure mourning the devastating impact of humanity’s actions on both itself and the natural world. Strega Beata, meaning “blessed witch,” represents the energies of the divine feminine. At once embodying the three guises of Maiden, Mother, and Crone, this figure writhes about in agony and mourning in response to the rampant destruction of the planet and our souls.
For this powerful Expressionist film, Lana Del Rabies (Sam An) and artist Louise Saafi collaborated with cinematographer M. Dean Bridges to blast the viewers with nightmarish, fragmented images of the land, water, and different incarnations of this figure. The visions are woven together into a spellbinding experience of destruction and control, evoking a sense of wonder and awe that echoes and haunts us long afterward.
Watch the video for “Hallowed is The Earth” below:
Lana Del Rabies transcends conventional categorization, conjured from the inner world of Phoenix-based musician, producer, and multimedia artist Sam An. A masterful blending of gothic noise and metal influences with experimental sounds, darkwave, and ambient elements, the project spirits listeners off to an otherworldly realm by tapping into the unseen spaces between dreams and evoking a sense of wonder and magic that pervades the aural experience.
STREGA BEATA is an apocalyptic myth that is dense, textural, and deeply moving, with a title fitting its existential, cathartic, and otherworldly themes. Lana Del Rabies tells the story through the perspective of a cryptic and obscure “Mother” creator figure, vocalized through her eerie harmonies, spoken words, pleading howls, and frenetic screams aimed towards another archetype, the chosen one.
“There is a specific type of grief that comes from witnessing the brutality of what humans are capable of towards each other. If that grief goes unprocessed, it is doomed to also manifest as brutality,” says Sam An. “There have been many moments while writing this record that I was grieving through an event that was personal or worldwide, and then another sudden, tragic event would happen. I needed to re-evaluate what I wanted to say because my world and perspective had shifted again. Trying to keep up with tragedy can make one feel helpless, and one way to feel in control is through acts of destruction. My personal impulse towards destruction nearly ended this project.”
STREGA BEATA, set for release March 17th, 2023, will be available on 2XLP/CD and streaming through Gilgongo Records.
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