words by tom johnson
photograph by holly hall
In some sense, the music of Karima Walker has always been held in a half-dream. Her previous effort, 2017’s Hands In Our Names offered a unique blend of dead-of-night folk songs and glitchy ambient expanses. A truly engrossing record, it finally gets its follow up in the dawn of 2021, with the announcement today that Karima will release Waking the Dreaming Body, a new album, this coming February via the elegant pairing of Orindal Records and Keeled Scales.
Recorded in her own makeshift studio in Tucson, Arizona, the album features eight new song and forty-minutes of music, and moves, once again but with perhaps more intention, between stark strums and barely-there atmospheres that roll on and on without borders or signposts, like the space between awake and sleep.
Due to an illness, and then the subsequent pandemic, Karima ended up not only performing the whole album herself but also engineering it too, throughout lockdown, transforming her Ableton sketches into the record that exists today. “I sought to make arrangements that swell at certain moments and barely hold together at others, moving with my breath and other rhythms connecting my body to the natural world,” Karima says of her new works. “Ultimately, I was seeking to draw myself out, to reconstruct my personal narrative.”
This ebbing tide is presented across the record in a beautifully meditative way, sometimes the music disappearing almost completely, the gentle design leaving the barest of threads to hold itself in place while it meanders off into the ether, elsewhere the mood is far more focused ~ such as the album’s opening track “Reconstellated“, which we’re very pleased to share here alongside the album news.
Settled on a bed of gentle synths, “Reconstellated” is patient and spellbinding, the song touches upon many of the themes that informed the album overall: sleep, and nature, and the strange ways we fit ourselves inside these things. “Don’t we move like water too? Don’t we pick up in the night? What does the mountain think of you?” she questions in the song. “Write it down, tell your friends I know where I am, but I can’t tell if I’m a part of it.”
A mesmerising taster, the track is a subtle weave of song that impresses just a little further with each listen; like the light she sings of so beautifully, like a softness you’re not sure is real or imagined.
Watch the new video below right now.
Waking the Dreaming Body is released February 26th 2021
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