Words: James Frostick
Artist image: Leisa Hayhoe
Melbourne-based indie-rock veteran Claire Birchall is on the cusp of releasing her new solo record Running In Slow Motion this Friday –a moody synth-pop opus signifying the artist’s fist foray into the realm of electronica. As a final taster, Claire is releasing the visuals for the album’s title track and third single – a languid ode to loneliness and disconnection.
In May Claire Birchall (also of Paper Planes and
The Phantom Hitchhikers) will make good on several months of build-up, releasing her solo record Running In Slow Motion through It Records after a few months of drip-fed singles. Claire first gave us a taste of her intoxicating solo creations in September last year with ‘Dead Air’, following up in February with ‘The City and The Sea‘ and then dropping the title track ‘Running In Slow Motion’ in March. The latter has now been given a visual treatment, enhancing the dark and melodramatic music with some added weight. The single is heavy with emotion, forlorn in part but also arresting and beautiful. ‘Running In Slow Motion’ is a fitting name for the track, which progresses in a sparse, sleepy-headed fashion – like moving through a dream. It’s all about subtlety – minimal adornment, just the steady click of robotic percussion, twinkling synthetic flourishes and waves of woozy drone.
Throughout the track, Claire pleads for someone’s company – there’s a discernible absence weighing her down, adding to a pervasive loneliness that seems heavier at night (“The night is so long, I can’t make it through alone”). It seems like it’s less of a physical absence, but more of a disconnect – a change of personality in her partner that has Claire unsettled and feeling solitary. “I don’t know who you are” is a common lyrical fragment that Claire repeats, with lights in her eyes and forces messing with her mind that obscures her vision, leaving her to clutch at a mere silhouette of the familiar. The clip of ‘Running In Slow Motion’ adds weight to this theory, with a blindfolded Claire cornered amidst swirling lights. Has Claire blinded herself to certain traits of the other for the sake of companionship? Does she now feel blind after being deceived? You’ll have to draw your own conclusions here, as Claire is cautious to not give away too much, cleverly leaving it up to you to fill in the gaps.
Watch the clip for Running In Slow Motion here:
Claire Birchall’s LP Running In Slow Motion will be officially released digitally this Friday April 23, and physically on May 29 through It Records.