MUSIC

Belau's New Video, "Essence," Reminds Us Bliss Comes From Within

A premiere of the group's new music video, as well as a Q&A with member, Krisztian Buzas

Electronic duo, Peter Kedves and Krisztian Buzas, better known as Belau, have been making music together since they were ten years old.

And that remarkable history and chemistry can be heard in the group's uniquely organic sound. It is rare that you come across an electronic act that can trick the ear into forgetting about the synthesized sounds that go into it. But the song behind Belau's latest video does just that – the duo blends both ethereal and earthen sounds into a hypnotically relaxing soundscape that begs the listener to let go of her daily stresses and be whisked away to a calmer place of introspective bliss. And the video for their latest single, "Essence," which features Sophie Baker (of Zero7 fame) on vocals, captures this sonic transportation perfectly. Belau's Krisztian Buzas kindly agreed to answer a few questions about the "Essence" video, working with Baker, and Belau's origins (as well as their future destinations):

What is the story behind the name, Belau? How do you see it connecting to the group's sound?

Peter and I have been friends since we were 10. We grew up together and have always loved geography. We would browse world maps for hours. However, it took a long time for us to notice that minor country in the middle of the Pacific ocean, Palau. Aboriginal people, however, have a slightly different name for Palau: Belau. The word is indicative of pleasure, being by the sea, and looking within oneself. Just like the music of Belau. We were always driven by the intention of bringing people to another state – where they can redefine themselves and dive inside themselves to find a sense of serenity, which glows just like the sun on the waves of the ocean. However, we have to admit: we have never been to Palau, but want to go so badly.

The video for 'Essence' follows three solitary women who all drink from an apothecary jar of sorts. When they do, they are each doubled and tripled shown, then to be in the company of other versions of themselves, no longer alone in a sense. Can you speak a little bit to the vision behind the video, and how you see the themes connecting to the song (either on a lyrical or sonic level)?

Through the song, we were trying to capture individual milestones of existence – isolation to freedom, solitude to interaction. We were trying to inspire people to discover their lives outside of physical boundaries, by drinking the so-called 'Belau cocktail' when they suddenly start to see more sides of themselves ... things that they did not know before, experiences that they've always wanted to have, and emotions that they want to feel, even if they have never felt them before. The three girls represent the human, who seeks greater truth from within.

Sophie Baker is the guest vocalist on 'Essence'. What was it like to work with her? What was the writing and collaboration process like?

Sophie is a very down-to-earth woman who always welcomes you with a warm heart and a gentle smile. In the middle of the process, she told us that she has some Hungarian ancestors from the city of Esztergom (a wonderful town in northern Hungary). We met in London, where we were playing a symphonic set at St. Covent's Garden. It went very well. We even tried to create the basis of the rough vocal melodies and the lyrical theme for the instrumental [that night]. Afterwards, she sent us some demos, I wrote the lyrics for it, she flew to Budapest to record the song, and we had some great times together. I think it turned out pretty rad.

What can fans expect from Belau moving forward? Any albums in the works? Tours? More videos?

We are working on our second full-length, which will contain "Essence" and "Breath" [a 2018 single] as well, and try to go on with the job what we have already started with "The Odyssey." We are upgrading and improving (both live and in the studio). And yes, we will keep on the touring this summer. Our next big opportunity, for example, will be the Primavera in Barcelona, but we will try to impress the audience this year at Sziget [festival] and at Electric Castle as well. We have some big things coming soon! Get ready!


BELAU / ESSENCE ft. SOPHIE BARKER (OFFICIAL MUSIC VIDEO) www.youtube.com

Music Features

The "Music Industry Black Out”: Why the Music Stops on Tuesday

Is Black Out Tuesday really "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change"?

On Friday, May 29th, as protests ripped across the nation, a message began to circulate through social media, asking that the music industry disconnect from the Internet for a day.

The post called this "an urgent step of action to provoke accountability and change."

This is part of an initiative created by Atlantic Records' Jamila Thomas and Platoon's Brianna Agyemang, who launched it alongside several calls to action. "Tuesday, June 2nd is meant to intentionally disrupt the work week," they wrote. "The music industry is a multi-billion dollar industry. An industry that has profited predominantly from Black art. Our mission is to hold the industry at large, including major corporations + their partners who benefit from the efforts, struggles and successes of Black people accountable. … This is not just a 24-hour initiative. We are and will be in this fight for the long haul. A plan of action will be announced."

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MUSIC

Severine Drops 'Feel The Rain' LP

Dreamy, stirring music from NYC's indie-pop diva.

Indie-pop diva Severine debuts her full-length album Feel The Rain on Popdust.

When Severine was four-years-old, Severine's family moved from New Jersey to France, where she grew up near Versailles. At age six, she began piano, followed by intense studies of classical music and jazz at a music conservatory. In 2011, she moved to NYC, where she played with girl groups and bands. Finally, she realized she needed a singular scope, and went solo.

Her debut single "Not Obsessed" earned over 25,000 streams on Spotify. Severine picked up endorsements with Sennheiser, Mac Cosmetics, GAP, and Abercrombie & Fitch because of her cool, appealing sound, a blend of dream pop, electronic rock, and trip hop.

Feel The Rain is comprised of 10-tracks. Highlights on the album include "Give Up On You," which opens with pulsing synths flowing into an elegant electro-pop tune. As the harmonics ramp up, the song radiates delicious shimmering sparks of color. "Lose Myself" is a sublimely gorgeous tune riding a delicate piano and surfacing synths. Severine's voice bares velvet timbres rife with vulnerability.

"Not Obsessed" remains one of my all-time personal favorites, as surfacing layers of translucent colors merge and gently expand. The track is an amalgamation of dream pop and pop rock, and Severine's exquisite tones attain transcendent opulence. The title track emanates a darker, tense energy, mirroring a sense of emotional collapse. Despite the dread, Severine sings, "Your vision creates your fate."

"Still Alive," the last track on the album, glows with lustrous harmonics and infectious rhythmic pulsations. Severine's voice, suffused with tight, intense potency, bestows a susceptible urgency on the tune.

Feel The Rain is full of elegant sonic patterns, as well as buff harmonic textures, and Severine's hypnotic voice.

Follow Severine Website | Instagram | Facebook | Twitter

Randy Radic is a Left Coast author and writer. Author of numerous true crime books written under the pen-name of John Lee Brook. Former music contributor at Huff Post.

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