words by tom johnson
photograph by ash dye
“‘Finally‘ came to me at a time when I really needed to be honest with myself and make some hard decisions in my life. It can be really easy to bury the truth down, but there will always come a time when it bubbles up to the surface,” says Macie Stewart of her brand new song, ‘Finally‘, unveiled here today alongside the news that her beautiful debut album, Mouth Full Of Glass, will be released this Autumn via Orindal Records.
If Stewart’s name rings a bell, it’s because she’s made her name as one half of the Chicago duo Ohmme, who have released two brilliant albums via the Joyful Noise label. Stewart has also spent a number of years as a string arranger, though, and its that lushness, that care of the small surrounding details, that defines her new work and certainly comes to the fore on ‘Finally‘, where the gently plucked guitar is ordained with colourful, swirling strings.
Consisting of eight new songs, Mouth Full Of Glass was made with the brilliant Vivan McConnell (V.V. Lightbody) as a sounding board, and though intricate and intimate, the album still finds plenty of room to bloom. Aside from the aforementioned strings, there are also gentle waves of synthesisers, which create a dreamlike feel on ‘Golden (For Mark)‘, and even a playful saxophone courtesy of fellow Chicagoan Sen Morimoto.
“This song is meant to be a gentle urge to face yourself, and ultimately face the cumulative white lies we tell ourselves in order to get through all sorts of relationships,” Stewart continues, in her introduction to the new song. “Writing this felt more like a discovery of lightness, rather than a dark absolute. I felt so lucky to have one of my dearest friends and close collaborator Lia Kohl create a video for the song (she also plays cello on the recording). Lia’s video perfectly captures that slow revelation, and helps it evolve into a personal and visual meditation.”
The ‘Finally‘ video is streaming below right now and makes for a striking introduction to both the song and the project as a whole. “The video is an intuitive response to Macie’s lyrics, using superimposed footage of objects in my studio,” Lia Kohl says of her work. “The images are surreal and mostly static – a lily or a hand taped to the wall, a translucent dress hung in the window. Like the lyrics, these images come from an internal, meditative place; they’re a kind of visual poetry to illustrate her internal monologue. Macie and I have talked a lot about searching for our identities – as artists, as women, as particularly responsive and sensitive people. I was trying to evoke the vulnerable, ruminating quality of the song with these dreamy images, giving space for the listener to wonder and struggle as well.”
Ahead of its September release, you can preorder the Mouth Full Of Glass LP via Orindal Records store, and check out its first song and video below right now.
A Music Journal ~ Issue 8
Our Curious Printed Magazine
out now // visit the gfp store