Puma Blue AKA: Jacob Allen, has shared his new track “Sunwflower.” The song arrives ahead of his forthcoming release in praise of shadows, available January 29, via Blue Flowers. In the song his vocals are minipulated beyond recognition – to a warm but understated string arrangement, which is structured around a stark looped beat that becomes increasingly hypnotic. Lyrically it offers a melancholic take on the album’s overarching theme, a contemplation of “the painful things you have to heal from or accept, that bring you through to a better place” The recording features contributions from Bon Iver and Big Thief producer Andrew Sarlo, and a sample from French musique concrète pioneer Pierre Henry’s “Catherine Malade.”
From Jacob Allen:
“‘Snowflower’ was a beat I made that sat on my laptop for ages. I was originally trying to give it to another artist who I thought could be perfect for it. For some cosmic reason they didn’t vibe with it or maybe forgot about it.
Instead I sat down one evening feeling strangely full of new life for it, and just sang the whole verse in one take improvising with stuff from my phone notes, and that’s the take I used. I remember feeling self-conscious about my raw voice, so I ran it through loads of filters until I got this warped vocoder sound. Even then, until Andrew [Sarlo] lent some special little moments and Harvey [Grant] wrote the spellbinding string arrangement, I wasn’t sure if the sentiment landed.
The lyrics are about acknowledging being hurt in the past, but also the regret of causing hurt too. It’s sort of a poem about purity, and mourning your loss of innocence, as well as seeing beauty in love that didn’t work out.”
“Snowflower” is accompanied by a minimalist visual which underlines the song’s innate sensitivity. Jacob is shown laying on his bed as golden flower leaves drift down upon him. It’s left up to the viewer to interpret its meaning. As Jacob adds: “The song has more of a poetic form than a song structure, so I wanted the video to feel that way too.”
In Praise of Shadows by Blue Puma is now available to pre-order from here