Following the announcement of Iamthemorning’s new studio album The Bell, due for release on Kscope on 2nd August, the Russian duo, comprising of virtuoso classical pianist Gleb Kolyadin and charismatic vocalist Marjana Semkina have premiered the first single to be taken from the new opus “Ghost Of A Story”.
Marjana explains more on how “Ghost Of A Story” fits into the album’s song cycle:
Ghost of a Story’starts the second part of the song cycle that is The Bell, and we decided to launch it with a brighter note to have a bigger contrast with all what comes after. It’s a song about awakening, reinterpreting and questioning yourself and the world and looking for deeper meanings. It’s a song about how pain dims with time – about the fact that in the end, every tragedy that we suffer through is just a drop in the ocean of suffering of men – that we survive anyway. “Nothing feels real, these scars won’t heal – Nothing’s worth tears, it was alright from very start.
The live studio clip was filmed by the band’s long-time collaborator Eggor Kree at Lendok studios in St Petersburg.
The duo’s dedication to writing forward-thinking and thought-provoking music sees them create a new album of impressive depth and playability. A modern blend of rock, classical and folk, The Bell makes use of 19th Century song cycles – a style established by Schubert – that cohesively tells 10 individual stories. Vocalist Marjana Semkina explains in more detail “The Bell is divided into two parts but each song is a story in its own right, all of them are fuelled by human cruelty and pain caused by it. Cruelty is the central theme of the album – together with all the different ways we respond to it and cope with it. This album is multi-layered and is, in many ways, a journey inwards, taking us inside of a mind of a person suffering from abuse or neglect or open hostility of the society or a specific person.
“Aesthetically, the album is based on themes taken from Victorian England’s art and culture, but more in a way of turning our attention to the fact that at its core, humankind isn’t making much progress in terms of emotional maturity.”
The Bell was recorded in March 2019 across Russia, the UK and Canada in several studios: Mosfilm in Moscow; Lendoc and Red Wave in St Petersburg; Noatune in London; The Studio at Sunbeams, Penrith; and Union Sound Company in Toronto. With engineering and mastering handled by Vlad Avy.
The album features the track “Blue Sea” which featured in demo form on the band’s studio film Ocean Sounds.
The album’s beautiful cover artwork was created by the band’s favoured collaborator Constantine Nagishkin. Marjana explains the imagery:
On the cover is a safety coffin bell – it’s a 19th century idea born from people’s obsessive fear of being buried alive, having been provoked by a lot of press attention to supposed cases of premature burials across the country. and the fact that Edgar Allan Poe frightened many readers by vividly describing the premature burial phenomenon in his short stories.
One of the inventions to escape such a terrifying ordeal was a so called “safety coffin” that existed in many different configurations, including the one that had a bell attached to the gravestone with a thread that was attached to it and went all the way underground into the coffin so that the when the poor soul awoke and on realizing he’s been buried alive, could ring to let the people outside know what has happened.
Although the idea is a bit morbid I feel there is hope in the artwork too – no matter how low you are or desperate you think your situation is, you can still call for help, but more than that you have to call for help if you need it.
The Bell will be released on CD in a digi sleeve, a gatefold LP & digitally and is available to pre-order now.
Iamthemorning have confirmed they will be playing numerous shows in support of The Bell, beginning with European dates with Riverside in September including some headline shows in The Netherlands and UK – details below:
19/09 – DE- REICHENBACH, Neuberinhaus
20/09 – DE – MÜNCHEN, Freiheiz
21/09 – DE – MÜNSTER, Jovel Music Hall
22/09 – DE – NÜRNBERG, Hirsch
24/09 – DE – MAINZ, Kuz
25/09 – LUX – ESCH-SUR-ALZETTE, Kulturfabrik
26/09 – DE – KARLSRUHE, Substage
28/09 – DE – POTSDAM, Waschhaus
Headline / festival shows:
18/09 – NL – Zwolle – Hedon
21/09 – NL – Arcen – Elfia
01/10 – UK – London – The Courtyard Theatre
02/10 – NL – Maastricht – Intro In Situ