Berlin-Based Artist Joanna Gemma Auguri Explores the Ephemeral Nature of Romance in Her Video for “What We Call Love”

Berlin-Based Artist Joanna Gemma Auguri Explores the Ephemeral Nature of Romance in Her Video for “What We Call Love”

In the realm of music where emotion intertwines with art, Joanna Gemma Auguri stands out with her latest single, “What We Call Love,” released through Duchess Box Records. This piece serves as the third offering from her eagerly awaited second album, “Hiraeth,” set to be released on June 28th.

“Hiraeth” promises to be a journey through the soul’s landscapes, featuring collaborations with artists of profound depth, including Keeley Foresyth. The album, imbued with the Welsh ethos of a deep longing for a lost or unattainable home, resonates with Auguri’s personal narrative of displacement and yearning.

“What We Call Love” delves into the ephemeral nature of emotions, capturing the transformation from warmth to indifference, a theme that Auguri passionately explores. “It is a painful awakening from a state of projection and dreaming. It is an inevitable fall and yet you remember the magic. I often ask myself what constitutes love in our time and our society, but also through our expectations. The song reflects the beauty and parting of intense encounters in our lives,” Joanna shares, providing insight into the soul of her creation.

The song itself is a masterful blend of sultry tones and seductive melodies, reminiscent of the smoky vocal purrs of Portishead’s Beth Gibbons and the ethereal soundscapes of Cocteau Twins’ Elizabeth Fraser. With its jazzy undertones and a 60s vibe that harks back to the likes of Scott Walker and The Tindersticks, the track weaves a rich tapestry of sound that is both chill-inducing and romantically evocative. The piano and percussion elements, in particular, echo Fraser’s collaboration with Massive Attack, creating a mesmerizing ambiance that softly vibrates the tiny hairs up and down your arms.

The accompanying video for “What We Call Love” is a visual feast, bathed in hues of pink and violet, with soft lighting that envelops the viewer like a cocoon of roses. As two lovers dance within this dreamy landscape, their silhouettes cast soft, intertwining shadows on the wall, embodying the song’s essence of fleeting beauty and the transient nature of love.

Watch the video for “What We Call Love,” directed by Mona Najma, and featuring Emily Howard and Chigdem Karadogan, below:

Joanna Gemma Auguri’s second studio album, “Hiraeth,” is an odyssey that traverses the landscapes of homesickness, nostalgia, and a deep-seated yearning for something irrevocably lost. “Hiraeth,” a Welsh term that evokes a profound sense of longing for a home or a feeling that is beyond reach, perfectly encapsulates the essence of this album. Throughout a year of meticulous songwriting and searching for the right producer, Auguri embarked on a journey that eventually led her to collaborate with Ingo Krauss, a seasoned producer known for his tenure at Conny Plank Studio and his work at Candy Bomber Studios.

It was in the historic halls of Tempelhof airport, transformed into a creative sanctuary, where Auguri and a host of musicians brought the ethereal compositions of “Hiraeth” to life. “I didn’t realise until after I’d finished recording that for me, the album is a longing for integrity and innocence in a world that’s out of balance. It is not only a longing for a lost past but also for a contemporary Utopia. Musically, we move through different landscapes. For me, it’s like a book with different chapters that are interwoven. From sparse and intimate compositions to cinematic soundscapes. Hiraeth is a step to a broader screen,” Joanna reflects on the creation of the album.

Her partnership with Keeley Forsyth, stemming from a serendipitous meeting at a festival, adds a haunting dimension to the album:

“Keely Forsyth and I met in a tiny backstage area at Zemlika, a lovingly curated avant-garde festival in the Latvian countryside, where we both performed in 2022. The affinity for each other was immediate, as was the obvious overlap in melancholy and intimacy in musical preferences. We stayed in touch. Last summer I asked her and her partner Ross Downes to join me on a song for the record and I’m really pleased with the result – it reminds me of a kind of eerie nursery rhyme.”

From the turmoil of martial law in Poland to the artistic vibrancy of Berlin, Joanna Gemma Auguri’s journey is a narrative of resilience, transformation, and the profound impact of music. Her early experiences of uprooting and displacement deeply influence her music, infusing it with themes of sadness, compassion, and a critique of the world’s state. Auguri’s debut album “11,” characterized by its unique use of accordion, zither, and captivating vocals, marked the beginning of her solo career. Her latest work, “Hiraeth,” recorded at Candy Bomber Studios with a plethora of talented musicians, continues to explore the themes of longing and belonging. Auguri’s voice, a distinctive blend of strength and delicacy, rises above the rich tapestry of sounds, from choir to lap steel guitar, drawing listeners into a world where the longing for a home—a place, a feeling, that may never have existed—resonates with every note. “Hiraeth” is a journey into the heart of an artist who sees music as a bridge between the past and a hopeful vision of utopia.

Hiraeth” is out on June 28th, 2024.

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