Clementine Valentine’s “Time And Tide” Treasures Release From Overthinking

[Cover photo credit to Veronica Crockford-Pound + Joseph Griffen]

Clementine Valentine, the Aotearoa/New Zealand Art-Pop duo formerly known as Purple Pilgrims, have released lead single “Time and Tide” from their upcoming album, The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor, due out August 25th, 2023 through the Flying Nun Records imprint. The release of “Time and Tide” is accompanied by a video directed by Auckland-based photographer and filmmaker Greta van der Star.

They joined forces with New York City producer Randall Dunn (Oneohtrix Point Never, Danny Elfman, Zola Jesus, SQÜRL) to transpose their keyboard-and-guitar demos to cello, pedal steel, 12-string guitar, also bringing in a gallery of vintage synthesizers. Percussion was provided by Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple). It was mastered by engineer Heba Kadry (Bjork, Beach House, Slowdive).

Clementine and Valentine share the following about “Time and Tide”:

We thought we were only capable of writing sad songs – but found optimism creeping in during the writing of this album. Without ruining the mystery, ‘Time and Tide’’ is about the release that comes in too brief moments of relinquishing overthinking, fret and regret. It’s coloured with melancholy, but cheerful by our measure.

Regarding the video, they say:

We’re always inspired by [and identify with] outsiders. For this video we were influenced by three in particular: the photography of Francesca Woodman, the cover image of Brett Smiley’s album [Breathlessly Brett], and Tennyson’s ‘The Lady of Shalott’. Trapped in a tower, looking out over a pastoral scene, waiting for life to begin again (if you squint you’ll see Camelot in the distance). The idea of merging with four walls, or being suffocated by them (as felt in Woodman’s photos) resonated with us, and no doubt countless others, at the time this song was written.

Comprising sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon, the duo makes music drawn from “nomadic family heritage”. The duo have toured the world extensively alongside the likes of Aldous Harding and Weyes Blood. As children, the sisters were taught to sing traditional balladry by their grandmother, daughter of revered Traveller musician Davie Stewart (later recorded by Alan Lomax).

While their prior works were self-produced and released via cult underground labels, they now perform under their birth names, and The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor marks a milestone for the duo.

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