Primal Architecture Records‘ latest release, a lone digital single by Meridiane, may just be the perfect track for a lonesome midsummer night. Clocking in at nine minutes, “Deerstalking” is the first taste of a mysterious new project that features contributions from Josh Strachan (Blacklist, Azar Swan, Vain Warr, Vaura), as well as 4AD alumni Pieter Nooten (Clan of Xymox) and Warren Defever (His Name Is Alive). Strap on a pair of headphones, close the curtains, and listen below:
The track begins with a wash of synthesized ambience, quickly built upon with a high cello line performed by Kaily Schenker. Shades of Nooten’s work on Medusa and the insanely underrated Sleeps With the Fishes LP are immediately apparent as the track takes hold. Meanwhile. Defever’s guitar work can be heard gently plucking away in the quiet spaces, adding a bit of organic warmth and texture to the piece. Nearly three minutes in, Strachan’s stark, crooning vocals come in, equal parts Sylvian as they are Walker, aided by throbbing low-end percussion that grounds the track and establishes an unsettling rhythm that builds and peaks in chaotic frenzy before slipping away as gently as it began.
“Deerstalking” is equally engaging as it is tranquil, as easy to lose yourself in at is is to pour over with ferocious intent. Strachan’s lyrics pull from the experience of returning back to his home state of Virginia and seeing animals in the city that were not there previously, an unsettling shift in perception that adds an extra ethereal, yet sinister edge to the track.
bellwethers of corrosion
a history of invasion
adapting to the steel
(the) places they walk have changed
but they still walk
in the same ways
(the) places they run have changed
but the pace and suspension
in flight remains
The piece, in all its beauty, hints at further music to come from Meridiane. The project originally was conceived by Strachan as a way to explore peace and tranquility, channeling uncertainty and unrest into something more haunting and still. Nooten’s contributions began early in the process, a back-and-forth volley with Strachan that found the ex-Clan of Xymox songwriter and synth player embracing the past and tapping into the same electronic framework that make his work stand the test of time. Defever’s contributions come hot on the heels of a series of archival bedroom releases that pre-date His Name Is Alive’s seminal work on 4AD. An underrated guitarist through and through, Defever is a true a chameleon, always channeling an unexpected series of influences through his lens, balancing technique and prowess with mood and texture.
Stay tuned for more from Meridiane, including details about their debut full length LP, To Walk Behind The Sun, due out in late 2021. In the interim, you can find them on Instagram.