Press your ear to the conch, and if you’re lucky, you may just catch a missive from the unknowable depths — a song from a mythology in which Homer’s Sirens honed their craft in the French psychedelic rock / alt-pop scene of the 2010s. Drawn from the salt-waterlogged pedals of experimentalist, multi-instrumentalist and self-producer Halo Maud, ‘Catch the Wave’ is at once beautiful and uncanny — its irresistible, ethereal vocal elusive as it dances across layers of synth; a mirage in the mist you can never quite catch in your fingers.
In late 2022 Halo Maud shared a ravishing new track Pesnopoïka EP as a first taste of a new album due out later this year via Heavenly Recordings. Today she follows that with a new single, ‘Catch The Wave‘, a track which effortlessly distils That Summer Feeling into 4 minutes and 30 seconds of entrancing sun-kissed psychedelia.
The song emanated from Maud’s “small and nomadic laboratory” in which, using one main synthesiser, she accumulated layers and layers of sound, “crushed with my favourite effects, a chorus and a harmonizer. ‘Catch the Wave’ arose from this waving material, clinging to a strong rhythmic pattern I had found in an old drum machine, and then arranged for proper drum kit and percussion”.
“I love to find the perfect balance between the mystery and magic of the music” she continues, referencing an “attachment to reverse playback, one thing I never tire of playing with”. It is the unexpectedness, the unease of the back-to-front that tips Maud’s music into the eldritch; sublime as her world may be, it is one in which you can’t take for granted that the walls won’t suddenly ripple, or else entirely fall away.
For all its liquidity, ‘Catch the Wave’ also finds footing on dry land; perhaps more than just of the sea, it is fundamentally elemental. “There is a strong idea of being nourished”, says Maud, “kneading a fertile soil, drawing sensuality in it, feeling filled by the power of touching. Fed by movement and travelling too, and by the people met and loved.”
Released digitally, ‘Catch the Wave’ is accompanied by two alternate versions: ‘After the Wave’, the “natural continuation” of the song — “a noisy, bombastic conclusion” that “totally galvanized” Maud during its recording (“like a running athlete who just won a competition and keeps on running after the finish line”) — and its inverse, ‘Catch the Wave (Dawn Version)’, in which the track is stripped all the way back to its most delicate; fishbone and gossamer on an early morning breeze.
Halo Maud has shared in a similarly stripped-back style session.
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