Written by Gabriel Mazza
Illustrated by Prince Pretzl
I have always been drawn to Spoken Word, including in the form of a musical genre. Voice and words gently surfing over a beat or a soundscape, together with a meaningful (or not) message. Goosebumps incoming.
That was pretty much my reaction when I heard SERENA’s newest track, Wild Lavender. Blending sharp vocals and world-influenced samples, the London-based artist gifts us a deeply layered track, focused on her inner struggle against environmental causes and climate change deniers.
“It was Autumn 2016, and I was appalled to read the news regarding the Standing Rock protest, a lengthy demonstration Native Americans endured because of the US government’s decision to build a pipeline over one of their sacred sites, in a National Reserve. The protest was quite brutal and didn’t get much media coverage. Parallel to that, Trump was at the zeitgeist of his political campaign and was scaring the world with nonsense statements like “climate change doesn’t exist”. I felt incredibly mad, lonely and helpless. So mad I couldn’t just ‘sing a song’, so I decided to recite it.” – SERENA
It’s been a few rocky years. Eventually, we made it, everyone using different coping mechanisms. For SERENA it was the ability to simply transform thoughts into songs, sort of like packing a drawer with your ex-lover’s objects, now too painful to keep around you.
“Back when I wrote it, I never thought I would one day release the song. Over the years the piece became a sort of mantra I liked to repeat myself, whenever I felt the world was going down. Finally, it was clear to me that November 2020 would have been the perfect time for the song to be released into the world. I hope it can empower the listener into making a change, and give hope to whoever needs it!” – SERENA
Self-produced, the track layers a wide range of samples, from field-recordings of natural elements to tribal chants, thus creating an enchanting atmosphere where the message narrated in Wild Lavender finds its perfect home.
I dig the track a lot, I hope you will too! For all the curious ones, you can find SERENA on Instagram here and you can listen to Wild Lavender below:
Based in London, Gabriel divides his time between music-making and music journalism, championing his deep-rooted passion for everything that makes a noise. Currently developing and writing for YMX, he is also about to launch AnalogueCometa, an outlet for his retro-aesthetic obsession, both in sound and visuals. On Sundays you can find him reading about history or playing drums.