“In the Garden” by Briana Marela

Briana Marela is a mixed race Peruvian American composer, performer, and vocalist currently based in Oakland, CA. She is an Allied Arts Foundation Grant recipient as well as an AAUW Career Development Grant recipient. Briana has toured with Jenny Hval, Waxahatchee,, Emel Mathlouthi and has toured across the U.S., Canada, Mexico, and Europe.

It was fun to work with my friend, the amazing artist Mitch Stahlmann (LCM) on this music video! We visually imagined me as the ethereal gardener that I am evoking in the song, but through the lens of a public access gardening show, filmed on mini dv camcorder. Imagine turning on the local public access channel and this is the intro to your new favorite gardening show that you put on to bliss out to.

This song captures a feeling of being an uprooted plant, after my move from Washington state to Oakland to start grad school. I am the ethereal gardener character talking to plants in my garden, connecting and processing my own newness to a different place. The song came about from an excerpt of a live performance art piece that Mitch and I created together. In the full performance, he and I both had wireless headsets on and we were rummaging around and whispering to plants and to each other in a garden courtyard at Mills College. Our audience was behind glass windows, separated from us, but in the room they were in, they could hear our amplified whispers being played live out of the sound system.

There is something both alien, nostalgic, and deeply soothing about this song to me. Mitch and I really tried to channel that in our ideas for the music video together.

You Are a Wave isn’t the album Briana Marela thought she would make. Born from her time at Mills College and written in the wake of her father’s passing in April 2020, it is a statement of artistic rebirth, a reignition of her creative spirit, and a meditation in the face of profound grief and devastating loss. After releasing 2017’s Call It Love on Jagjaguwar, Marela took time away from the world of indie music, relocating to Oakland to pursue her MFA.

In April 2020, at the height of COVID restrictions, Marela’s father passed away suddenly in his home country of Peru. She and her family were unable to visit for over a year, separated by closed borders, and it took two trips over the course of 19 months to transfer and bury his body and find any closure in the wake of his death. In the years that followed, these songs helped Marela process what had happened and let light in when she needed it most as she weathered a New York winter and time in her home state of Washington before her return to Oakland in early 2022.

You are a bird that dives.
You are a branch that breaks.
You are a wave.
You are a seam that rips…. You are missing.
You are gone.
You are here with us.
You are not here.
You are with us.

Briana Marela 2022 Tour Dates

9/04 Olympia, WA ~ Cryptatropa
9/17 San Diego, CA ~ The Comet Theater
9/25 San Francisco, CA ~ The Warfield* ~Sold Out

*support for Kikagaku Moyo

Pre order You Are A Wave by Briana Marela HERE


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