Trixie Whitley has dropped her new album LACUNA, on which she pairs her signature vocals with a heady blend of hi-fi electronics and hypnotic rhythms.
‘Lacuna’ was entirely written and recorded in Brooklyn, NY where Trixie resides. Never afraid to defy genres, her work on ‘Lacuna’ with producer/engineer Little Shalimar and mixer Pat Dillett, sees Trixie pulling classic soul into a future world thru a fascinating, heady blend of hi-fi electronic sounds, hypnotic rhythms, and her trademark vocals with gut punching lyrics.
« For me the new album is all about possibility and imagination, evolving from an individual to a collective consciousness and all the liminal qualities in between. In a way ’Touch’ marks the starting point of that arc. It’s also a study regarding the universal qualities between polarizing elements. I’ve always been intrigued by that space between opposing elements which may seem like a void but contains a well of information -- that’s why I’m calling it ‘Lacuna’… »
‘Touch’ is also the first part of a music video trilogy shot by visual artist Hannah Marshall, whose creative direction accentuated Trixie’s impressive performances at Pukkelpop & Lowlands in 2018. Hannah Marshall is known for her black, monochromatic aesthetic and her work with bands such as The XX, Florence and The Machine, Savages and Goldfrapp.
This third solo album marks both a departure and an arrival for the Brooklyn-based singer and multi-instrumentalist.
« In many ways this album is an ode to my 14-year old self, when I started crafting my own musical identity and spent a lot of time contemplating my ‘ideal’ sound. I’d always been fascinated by rhythm and movement. From an early age I was playing drums, found myself touring with a modern dance company, and began DJ-ing. Musically, I soaked up a lot during those early years. I always thought of my ideal sound as something that would incorporate and fuse all of these influences, from my roots heritage to Squarepusher’s breakcore or the melodic genius of Aphex Twin. When I moved to New York at the age of 16 to spend some more time with my father [the acclaimed singer-songwriter Chris Whitley] before he passed, I knew… I’m diving into the school of life to develop my own sonic language. For the past 10 years I largely focused on my instrumentation and writing skills, but that early vision always stayed with me. So, to me LACUNA doesn’t feel at all like a change of course but more like a natural progression in what I’ve been working towards. »
‘Long Time Coming’ makes for the second installment of the video trilogy ‘The Space In-between’, that Trixie created in collaboration with Hannah Marshall and Australian choreographer/dancer Paul Zivkovich (Akram Khan Company).
« Long Time Coming is largely about the tension which can exist between two individuals. It is an ode to the departures and new beginnings which often occur at the same time, an observation of this rich yet challenging process we experience when going through changes and transitions. I’ve always been intrigued by the space between opposing elements which may seem like a void but contains a well of information – that’s why I’m calling the album ‘Lacuna’, or ‘the space inbetween’ »
The final part of the trilogy is called 'May Cannan'.
“Physical movement is a primal and powerful means of expression and throughout the decade of collaborating with female music artists, I’ve always gravitated towards those who perform their music in a very visceral way. The journey of working with Trixie and the dancers has been inspiring and fulfilling to explore and capture a non-verbal communication, that speaks volumes. Trixie’s potent lyrics and voice laid over the pulsating pounding beat gives a sense of immediacy and urgency.” – Hannah Marshall
« The making of this last chapter was especially rewarding and fun. While working with Wim Vandekeybus on ‘TrapTown’ last year, I really connected with the incredible dancers at Ultima Vez who were part of that performance. To perform together on ‘May Cannan’ and see them interpret in dance what I wanted to express with my music and my own body was a very intense feeling. » – Paul Zivkovich
For the recordings of LACUNA, Trixie Whitley turned to Little Shalimar, one of the producers behind hip hop duo Run The Jewels. Working with him, as well as the challenges of motherhood, made Trixie seriously rethink her way of writing:
« I had to become a lot more practical. As a mother your schedule is largely dictated by your child’s, not the other way around, and I had to maximize my working time at home and in the studio. So, I began to see the studio as an instrument, showing up with a handful of songs, some of them just blue prints, not everything perfectly finished. I’d never done that before. I had outlined and explained my vision to Little Shalimar in a few long letters. He definitely helped me to trust the process that with a clear vision and the right blue prints the songs would roll out naturally. And they did. For the lyrics I went back to my days as a DJ watching freestylers at work; x-amount of words per minute, no preparation, … let your subconscious do the talking… in a beat poet’s sort of way. And it worked beautifully! »
On collaborating with Trixie, Little Shalimar comments:
« Trixie Whitley is the real deal. A true artist, more concerned with mining deep emotional truths than fashions or conceits. Making Lacuna with her was deeply gratifying and I consider it one of the artistic highlights of my life. I’m very excited to share it with the world. »
Lacuna is available on all online platforms. Listen here.
All vinyl orders get a free limited tote bag. While supplies last. Grab your copy of 'Lacuna' at the Unday shop.