Aotearoa/New Zealand art-pop duo Clementine Valentine, formerly known as Purple Pilgrims, have announced their upcoming album, The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor, out August 25th via Flying Nun Records, and have also shared new single ‘Time and Tide’.
The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor is a pivotal album in the creative evolution of sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon. It finds them leaning further than ever before into collaboration, folklore, poetry, and power. Their intertwined vocals reach for loftier, more operatic heights of pop and myth, heartbreak and desire, suffused with the spirit of storytelling heroines long lost to time. The album title alludes to the tipping point extremes of recent years, coloured by dreams crushing, wishes gathering, and an abundance of hope.
The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor sees the duo working alongside NY city producer Randall Dunn (Oneohtrix Point Never, Danny Elfman, Jim Jarmusch) and legendary drummer Matt Chamberlain (David Bowie, Lana Del Rey, Fiona Apple). Final audio finessing came courtesy of Brooklyn mastering engineer Heba Kadry (Bjork, Beach House, Slowdive). The results are regal and richly layered, softly orchestral yet lithe and shimmering.
Building upon the momentum of 'Endless Night’, today's new single, 'Time and Tide' captures moments of liberation, free from overthinking and regret, with its ethereal and anthemic quality propelled by the cascading string arrangements of Randall Dunn and the Matt Chamberlain's fervent drumming.
Speaking about the track, Clementine Valentine say: “Without giving too much away, this song is a kind of mantra of radical acceptance. Our songs usually overflow with words and imagery, this one we consciously left open - you’re invited to fill the space in between.”
The 'Time and Tide' music video, directed by Auckland-based photographer and filmmaker Greta van der Star (Kate Sylvester, Ingrid Starnes, Penny Sage), draws inspiration from American artist and photographer Francesca Woodman. It explores the feelings of isolation and confinement that came about during the song’s creation during the COVID lockdown.
Sisters Clementine and Valentine Nixon draw inspiration from their nomadic family heritage, creating music that evokes contrasting moods: ancient and modern, paradise and isolation, beauty and brokenness, ritual and the present moment.
Having grown up between New Zealand and Hong Kong, the sisters gained experience by performing in unconventional spaces and rogue music venues throughout Hong Kong's abandoned industrial estates, captivating audiences with their blend of experimental noise and futuristic dream-pop as Purple Pilgrims.
The duo have since toured the world extensively alongside the likes of Ariel Pink, Aldous Harding, John Maus, and Weyes Blood. It’s a lifestyle embedded in their lineage; travelling musicians and performers go back hundreds of years on their maternal side (as documented on recordings such as The Travelling Stewarts, from 1968). 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 earlier works were self-produced and released through underground labels, the sisters have honed their skills to create a more fully realised and sophisticated new sound.
To celebrate the album release, the duo will perform four intimate shows around the country this September. For more info and tickets, visit Banishedmusic.com.