words by hannah boyle
photograph by sarrah danziger
There are some voices that exist to be heard and absorbed, that resonate long after the last note is played, like a gentle breeze on a warm night when the world is quiet. Such is the voice of Erin Durant, who sings with a lilt to charm the soul and warm the heart.
Premiered here today is the title track of new record Islands, her debut release on the Keeled Scales label, out June 21st. “For me, Islands is about a convergence of space and time, being in two places at once, and still feeling the ongoing tug from both. It also brings together literary inspiration from Hemingway’s descriptions of the sea and Joan Didion’s seemingly romantic writing on 1960’s air routes like The Golden Gate,” Erin tells us. “Hemingway has this way of being really close to the water and the elements, and Didion has a keen bird’s eye view.”
On the surface, ‘Islands’ is a blissful track with Durant’s voice front and centre, adorned with glittering piano and vibrant, swooning instrumentation, yet delve beyond to find stories of characters caught in the in-between, alive and existing within each of their own tales, tethered to the worlds she has created. “With this record, when I would start a song, I’d have an image in mind of a certain place. I would try to stay close to that image but once I’d get deeper into the song, it sometimes changed or shifted,” Durant says. “The places became like rocks to jump from, touching down on different emotions and stories. With Islands, it’s written from one place, and the people have all been there, or want to be there, but can’t seem to inhabit that place at the same time.”
There is something striking about an artist who sings so wholly of a world that you find yourself transported there, caught in the intricacies of each note, each colour conjured, each tale told; Durant’s voice is full of weight, a gentle sentimentality that carries you forward and return to you the places she sings of, places you don’t yet know and perhaps never will, but ache nostalgically for.
A rhythmic grandeur, ‘Islands’ feels timeless, a stunning single bursting with both light and magic. In Erin’s own words: “It’s like a seance to me.”
Listen below right now and pre-order the ‘Islands‘ LP right here.