Heavenly Recordings are thrilled to announce the return of Halo Maud who today surprise-releases a new four-track EP titled Pesnopoïka. The EP serves an enticing prelude to a new album which will be released in 2023 via the label. To accompany today’s announcement Maud has shared a mesmerizing, dreamlike video for the ravishing title track.
Writing about the EP and video Halo Maud says: “I am very happy to be sharing my new song Pesnopoïka, accompanied by a video and a bouquet of three additional tracks. I’ve been interested in Bulgarian traditional music for years now. While doing some research on the subject I came across the word pesnopoïka, which I thought sounded beautifully and strangely familiar. I learned that in traditional weddings the vocal part of the music is almost exclusively performed by the women in groups. Except during the most festive moments when a particularly good singer is recognized as pesnopoïka and sings solo accompanied by musicians.
Pesnopoïka is clearly a declaration of love. But I did not want to write a desperate love song, not a woman longing for an absent man. I wanted it to be risky and organic, with a touch of humor. Pesnopoïka is a dance in circles around the feeling of love. Musically, it is a song which assembles several of my obsessions; a long harmonic cycle, an unleashed guitar solo recorded in one take, an acapella section, a rhythm you can dance to. My voice is either isolated, or duplicated, in two or in a multitude, until being a choir of pesnopoïka. She is / I am a split personality somehow, playing with the point of you. She is / I am the voice which asks to be followed, which tells a story, but which never says who she is. She is / I am the pesnopoïka, singing for a traveling lover, and dancing in circles. The vision is blurred, the images overlap, she is / I am in a trance.
The Pesnopoïka video is both an homage to Bulgarian folklore and a blurred portrait of the mysterious pesnopoïka. I was finally able to go to Bulgaria in June 2022, during a series of festive ceremonies celebrating the rose Damascena they are traditionally cultivating. These ceremonies have been beautifully captured by Adrien Selbert, who I had already worked with on the short film Taking Flight in 2021. This time we wanted to focus on the texture of the video, for it to be like a moving painting; the colors melting, the dresses whirling and the dance patterns leading to a visual trance.”
Hailing from the French psychedelic and experimental pop scene that birthed Melody’s Echo Chamber, Moodoïd and cult label La Souterraine, Halo Maud’s memorable first outing Je suis une île was released via Heavenly Recordings in 2018. Its serpentine, virtuoso dream-pop warmed our cockles and began to impose its creator on the Ouija board of modern pop that is international, adventurous and unifying. Ideally supported by a large, flexible band/group, Maud sang intriguing melodies scribbled in real-world languages, psychedelic escalators piercing thick mists of electricity.
Halo Maud writes songs that touch, that grab hold, that astonish, that excite. And in two languages, introspective French and projectile English, which call and respond, which augment each other, endowing each song with two complementary hearts: one centripetal for soliloquy and solitary reverie, the other centrifugal for skill, friendship and fighting. Two languages as clear as can be, with counted words, with tiny steps, two languages that can tell the tale of a stream, a sisterly celebration, worldly patience, the intoxication of dancing. Stay tuned for more info and music to come in 2023!