Clementine Valentine, the Coromandel-based art-pop duo formerly known as Purple Pilgrims, share a new single ‘The Rope’ off their upcoming album, The Coin that Broke the Fountain Floor, out August 25th via Flying Nun Records. To celebrate the album's release, the duo will perform four intimate shows around the country this September as well as a show in August alongside Roy Montgomery for the Christchurch WORD festival.
Following their previous album singles ‘Endless Night’ and ‘Time and Tide’, the new single ‘The Rope’ is a captivating siren song, that entices the listener, inviting them into a world of both safety and potential darkness. Produced by Randall Dunn — known for his work with acclaimed artists like Björk, Oneohtrix Point Never and Jim Jarmusch —the track features expressive percussion by Matt Chamberlain, who’s worked with the likes of Lana Del Rey, David Bowie, Fiona Apple to name a few
The accompanying visuals, directed by the Tāmaki Makaurau/Auckland-based duo PICTVRE (Veronica Crockford-Pound and Joseph Griffen) and made with the support of NZ on Air, draw inspiration from 1960s films such as Jean-Luc Godard's sci-fi/noir classic 'Alphaville' and Ingmar Bergman's psychological drama 'Persona'. Styled by Tom So, the duo wears all local designers including Emma Jing, Wynn Hamlyn, and Shannen Young. Makeup and hair styling by Kiekie Stanners and Vanessa Mitchell.
"By ways of old, make something new, the rope".
Having felt for a long time that pop, and more specifically lo-fi/bedroom produced music, to now be the true music of the people (accessible to all) - the duo decided they wanted to use more acoustic and "traditional" instrumentation to express this feeling of modernising relics. Although their personal tradition of using an excess of synthesizers is still very much present all over this album, 'The Rope' is very stripped back for us and tells the story of their family music in a way they never have before.
About the song, Clementine and Valentine, share, “The rope acts as a motif to connect us to our ancestors - we wanted it to feel as though it could be both ancient and of now. A feeling we call "ancient futurism" something we've been chasing in our songs for years now. We were reaching for something simultaneously sinister and comforting, as to us, so many ancient songs are."
"We've always listened to a lot of new music, but the core of our creative expression has always come directly from our deep familial music traditions. Something that has not always been identifiable, perhaps due to the fact that we've never been interested in making "folk revival music" - there's no finger picking on any of our family records. The folk element in our songs is on a DNA level, stretching back beyond the 1960s wave that folk music is commonly associated with."
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 is out on Friday 25th August via Flying Nun Records.