Ionophore — a trio comprised of multi-instrumentalists Leila Abdul-Rauf, Janek Hendrich, and Ryan Honaker, all of whom have an array of other projects between them — are releasing their moving new record Knells on February 26. The group blends neo-classical and avant-garde sensibilities, with orchestral strings, compelling electronics, and more.
Get a first listen to their new single “Bedim” below!
On “Bedim,” Ionophore — whose members are spread across Oakland, California and London — sound mournful and striking.
The lyric-less and meditative track features plucked guitars and shimmering vibrato strings that flow alongside somber keys, and slow synth thumps also eventually appear in the mix, where they feel like an echo, as if capturing a feeling of listening to rain hitting rooftops.
Although the musical journey moves free from verse-chorus restraints, the track is very melody-centric, and the powerful emotion in the central performances feels rather inescapable. There’s a sense of piercing malaise combined with a kind of creeping solitude, as though the track reflects feelings of sitting alone and feeling chilly isolation no matter what’s actually around in a strictly physical sense.
The track feels like a subtly disorienting emotional fog suddenly arriving in force with sounds that feel rather delicate and largely unassuming but unmistakably stark. There’s a quiet but exploratory persistence in the music as the track moves through its emotional thicket – there’s not really a break in the flow, and there’s not any particular sense of insurmountable instability. Instead, the music moves with quiet resignation, as though exploring some kind of ominously expansive but intriguingly grandiose new surroundings for the first time.
“With its stripped down, neo-classical instrumentation of guitar-violin-piano accented with subtle electronics, ‘Bedim’ captures the somber essence of Knells, from its wistful intro to its chilling climax: crepuscular-lit, and a fitting soundscape for late Winter,” Abdul-Rauf shares.
Featured Image by Nathan A. Verrill
Pre-order Knells at this link.