Image by Tony Monckton
With cold, hard reality assaulting us every day (and especially this week), there has never been a greater need to escape into the metaphysical and fantastical. Which thankfully happen to be specialties of London songstress Phildel.
Since her debut EP The Cut-Throat in 2009, she has built a loyal cult following – her songs have accumulated more than 60 million streams – who cherish her inimitable ability to intertwine gothic-folk, electronic, and neo-classical stylings. (Those fans have included Apple, Expedia, and Marks & Spencer, who have all used her work in their adverts.)
Her latest single “The Deep” and its accompanying video (which BlackBook premieres here) actually do take the proceedings deep into her fertile imagination. A hypnotic collaboration with Pixar animator Youri Dekker, it follows a mysteriously-masked being on a fantastical journey across galaxies and haunting, surreal landscapes – do they ultimately find what they were looking for? Phildel is also is keen to point out how space has become such a significant component of her compositional methodology.
And indeed, the new song comes off something like Bat For Lashes as filtered through Talk Talk, graced with mellifluous harmonies, and evocative bursts of Eno-esque synthesizers.
“It’s about the strength and resilience of love and the self in the face of the fear of betrayal and loss,” she explains. “Whereas the drama of my previous album The Disappearance of the Girl was overtly stated in the lush string and choir arrangements, the drama in the new recordings are implicit and implied through a sparse but meticulous placement of sound and texture. Space has been used as much as sound in this album, as a way to create a powerful and emotive world through the music.”
A full new album is in the works, which will surely expand on those sonic and emotional themes; but alas, it is not expected to be released until February of 2019.