Fleeting and intimate and profound, Marina Allen's new song sounds like dusk.
"Original Goodness" — premiering below — is the third single off the Los Angeles singer-songwriter's forthcoming debut album, Candlepower, and it's a spare, staggeringly beautiful folk number — the type of song that might make you cry without you even realizing it.
"There's no hiding from this one," Allen says of the track. "The lyrics and melody flooded out one long afternoon. I didn't think I would end up revealing it but I couldn't resist its hold on me."
"Sometimes I hear you / but it's my voice, out of my head," Allen sings in an early verse, her vocals flickering over soft acoustic guitar. "I saw you mouth something from a mountain / How do we go through hell and then just go to bed?"
The song also arrives with a meandering, meditative video — edited by Jonny Sanders, a.k.a. PREHUMAN — that shows Allen staring out her window and walking her dog.
"The video's making had different iterations, each one getting closer to the source of the inspiration behind the song," Allen tells Popdust over email. "Part filmed by a friend in mythical Louisiana, part filmed in my bedroom, part filmed through the neighborhood streets I wander when I'm bored, lonely, or both, this song is about how accepting the distance from someone or something gets you closer, even if you're not sure what you're getting closer to."
For Allen, "Original Goodness" is ultimately about finding hope in that liminal space. "The song explores the understanding that resurrection or self-renewal can begin wherever there is hope, no matter the width or depth of the chasm," she says. "It's in exploring the space between, the often stagnant stillness, that movement happens."
That theme is especially prominent in the last verse. "And I will tell you / how to close a chasm with a clothespin / how it can come undone for good reason / how to renew without a season," Allen sings as the instrumentation fades.
"Through the writing of this song, along with the rest of the album, I was able to start finding things I thought were lost forever," Allen shares. "It just became more and more clear as I continued writing: you want hope, you make hope. You want understanding, you make understanding. You want light, you make light. Expressing impressions, visions, illusions, and heavily armed feelings, I was able to start remembering myself, which got me closer to something I call original goodness, my candlepower."
Marina Allen - Original Goodness (Official Video) www.youtube.com
Allen's debut album, Candlepower, is due June 4 via Fire Records.
"Original Goodness" comes after Allen's previous singles "Oh, Louise" and "Sleeper Train." All three will appear on Candlepower, which arrives June 4 via Fire Records and is available for pre-order here.