Sometimes life forces you to take a step back from your regular routine, and inadvertently cause you to reflect on where you’ve been and where you might like to go in the future. It also might stoke some new creative sensibilities in the process.
Such is the case with Chalk / Flint, the upcoming album from guitarist, sound designer, and songwriter Isobel Anderson. Raised East Sussex, England, and now based in Belfast, Northern Ireland, where she moved to pursue her MA, and later a PhD, in Sound Art, Anderson has grown a following for her blend of intricate indie / folk melodies with atmospheric field recordings.
Anderson’s many talents and hard-working nature have resulted in three full-length albums and a number of collaborative recordings to date, but, when a particularly difficult flare up of tendonitis made her unable to move her wrists, she had to approach writing her fourth album a little differently than its predecessors. Rather than picking out melodies and chords, or jotting notes on paper, the songs on Chalk / Flint were largely composed in her head and filled out on guitar and computer once her symptoms subsided.
Given those circumstances, and the fact that Anderson spent time recuperating in her hometown, perhaps it’s only natural that her new music would have an introspective feel. The album’s first single, “Flint Shingle,” for example, was inspired in part by the familiar water and cliffs around her. “‘Flint Shingle’ is sort of a love song, if only with a nostalgic, almost regretful, sentiment. The idea is that the landscape acts as a sort of sobering force, a marker of myself and what I am now,” Anderson says.
The video for “Flint Shingle” drives those themes home even further. Directed by Dave Neale of Wild Stag Productions, the video was shot on location across the striking chalk cliffs and expansive beaches of Sussex’ Seven Sisters. “I wanted the video to echo the distance that the song depicts in terms of a nostalgic memory of this place, rather than something more present,” Anderson says. “So, we projected the images of me at the Seven Sisters onto myself singing the song in a studio. As well as this Dave added in some really nice touches of reversed footage and split screens which give the landscape a strange atmosphere.”
Check out the video for “Flint Shingle” below. Chalk / Flint will be released on June 2. Pre-orders are available here.