Friday, September 30, 2022

Gloria de Oliveira & Dean Hurley Share “Something to Behold” 


I might date myself but I would have stayed up to midnight to watch Night Flight just to catch “Something to Behold.”  Not that the track was around back then but it’s very circa.  Check it out below! 

Gloria de Oliveira and Dean Hurley share “Something to Behold,” the new single/video from their forthcoming album Oceans of Time, out September 16th on Sacred Bones. “Something to Behold” is sparse and brooding and “bloomed out of a feeling of anxiety that had been creeping up on me more and more; living far from my family, watching loved ones getting older or in harm’s way,” says de Oliveira. “I fear losing them to time; not fearing my own mortality, but being left alone on this planet. To me, this is one of the most difficult cognitive challenges we earthly creatures have to grapple with – all we can do is try to merely soothe the sinking feeling by basking in the love we hold for others, and accepting our fate. The imagery of the song draws from Milton’s Paradise Lost, an epic poem retelling the biblical story of the fall from grace of Adam and Eve – and, thus, of humankind. Upon first hearing the instrumental track of the song, I was hypnotized by the cyclical movements that immediately felt like a mantra to me – so I came up with a simple, lyrical meditation. The echoing, overlapping vocals as the track progresses are akin to those intrusive thoughts keeping you up at night, and simultaneously a calming mantra to then recite to yourself.”
Its accompanying video – directed by Alex O. Smith (ColdplayPeaches) – collages a series of ominous scenes to encapsulate the track’s ethereal atmosphere. “I was Intrigued by the Cosmic Network universe that Dean alludes to in the promotional films for Oceans of Time,” says Smith. “Dean and Gloria gave me complete creative freedom to interpret the song. We had initial discussions about the feel of it that helped me feel confident moving in this direction. I wanted to create a ghost story, about themes of mortality and isolation inspired by the song, and to pay tribute to the BBC Christmas ghost stories and Paranormal TV series that would terrify me as a child. I felt like this would be the kind of archive film screened on the Cosmic Network after hours, sandwiched in between psychic hotline dial-ins and re-runs of The X-Files. I worked with my camera assistant, who also happens to build film miniatures, to create an Antarctic horror short, with all effects created in-camera.”

Growing out of a musical pen-pal style correspondence that took place over the course of a year, separated by the Atlantic Ocean, de Oliveira and Hurley passed thoughts and music back and forth that would eventually form their collaborative album Oceans of Time, all without ever meeting or speaking. The result is a sonic tapestry of that exchange: woven from conceptual threads of the celestial within, mortality and the realm beyond the stars. The album feels especially attuned to the connections between the physical and transcendental realms, and like the best dream pop, has a way of making the veil between two worlds feel just a little bit thinner. Oceans of Time is a key that has the power to release its listener from the handcuffs of reality, however briefly.

With its impressionistic synths, shimmering guitars, and ethereal sonics, Oceans of Time at moments recalls the foundational dream pop of 4AD acts and early 90’s New Age pop. Frequent David Lynchcollaborator Dean Hurley sets the tonal and sonic backdrop of each track on the album, lending a layered ether that envelops, frames and spotlights de Oliveira’s vocals. The duo’s partnership is an effortless merge, with the steady presence of de Oliveira’s vocals endowing the record with its sense of potency.

 Throughout Oceans of Time, there is an innate understanding of how a lyric across a chordal color can sharpen an emotional truth. Much like a sunbeam that pierces a spiderweb to reveal its intricacy, de Oliveira’s lyrics and melody are purposely aimed in order to illuminate the truths deep within one’s self…a process that ties us all to the universal. The Danish philosopher Søren Kierkegaard, a professed influence, wrote about concepts of truth and faith in a way that illuminate the hidden depths of the soul amidst an individual’s earthly trials of experience. Much of this feeds into the album and threads its quilt of themes.

Greg Kinne
Greg Kinne
Greg started Culture Fiend as a way to discuss the many facets of pop culture. Greg usually surrounds himself with Star Wars action figures, Legos and a healthy supply of interesting films and unusual records.


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