More and more I’ve been asking myself lately, where are the electronic pop innovators hiding? Unfortunately, safe and mainstream seems the way forward for many of today’s emerging artists. When someone dares to challenge the norm by striking out in an unconventional way. There might be a smaller, more intimate audience tuning in, but these are the type of listeners who will likeliest form a greater personal, connection with such pioneering art pieces. Valerie Renay, best known as one half of the German-based dark synth-pop duo Noblesse Oblige is no stranger with blending world sounds, creating unique musical landscapes. Out on her own, as a solo project gives her plenty of, scope to explore the realms of electronica, and theatre. Pushing through boundaries as she goes forth with her first solo album, endeavour “Your Own Shadow.” Opening track “Hollow” has just received an extraordinary, video treatment which will restore your faith in artists and musicians who courageously go off the beaten track, for their art.
Setting the tone for the album there is a strong sense of loss, running through this track. Something big has happened, causing Valerie to question who she is. We see her looking at her reflection in a mirror, tracing the contours of her face with her fingers. As if to suggest she is inwardly looking deep into her mind in search of seeking out her true self. Her eyes look empty, she is lost. Like a guide, the throbbing electronic bleats of the song create an embryonic-like atmosphere. Who do we turn to in our darkest hours? The one who gave life to us, our mothers. Even in her adult state, the sense of not knowing who she is seems to have sucked Renay back into the safety of the womb. Her ethereal cries summon up fleeting appearances of a tiger and panther. Renay’s, animal instincts are awakening, she’ll fight her way back to strength, confidence and power, yet.
Thanks go to Barnaby William Thornton for writing in, bringing this deeply, emotive, creative work to our attention. This track’s brooding electro ambience and hypnotic allure have definitely gotten under our skin.