“Walking, Flying” By Whispering Sons

Whispering Sons have shared “Walking, Flying” the final single off their forthcoming album The Great Calm, available February 23 via [PIAS] Recordings.

From Whispering Sons member Fenne Kuppes:

“”Walking, Flying’” was the first song we tried out live while still in the process of writing the album”, singer Fenne Kuppes explains, “as a result, it not only became a band’s favorite to perform, but also served as a reference point for the rest of the record.”

“Before, the songs were finished in my head but not in a way the group could grasp the full meaning of the idea,” explains the guitarist. “This time Bert and I worked on the demos for a couple of months before we sent them to the rest of the band. Then Fenne could start writing lyrics.” A native Flemish/Dutch speaker (“although speaking isn’t my forte,” she suggests bashfully), a study of literature at university led Kuppens to adopt English as her songwriting tongue. “I’m not really a writer, per se, I find the idea of getting your thoughts onto paper really hard,” she confesses. “It can be a big struggle for me, but I start writing when I’ve got a deadline or something I have to do like a song, so I only write for the band really.”

Yet The Great Calm proved not quite to be the expected “struggle”. With Lijnen’s more formed demos offering a strong vision for the album’s sound (“I wanted to include more guitar on the record again, more energetic guitar,” he notes. “On the second record we stripped down the gothic atmosphere of the first album but in doing that, I think it was maybe too minimalistic”) his songwriting partner found herself immediately connected to the music.

“It was really good to have these demos in a more mature form because it created an atmospheric whole, so it was easier for me to write lyrics,” Kuppens reveals. “I knew what Kobe’s songs were about straightaway, so the themes of my lyrics really clicked into the vibe of the music. The first song I wrote words for was “Cold City”, and it was very clear from the start that it takes place in winter, immediately it had that sort of atmosphere around it. The album really started from there.”

Encouragement then came from an unexpected quarter, American poet Louise Glück. “The funny thing was that when I finished that first song, I took up a book of poetry by Louise Glück and there were exactly the same themes and images in those poems,” recalls Kuppens. “I was like, ‘this can’t be a coincidence’ so I started exploring that and I created a framework, a story for the whole record. Once I had a story figured out, I let go of it because I felt it also limited the writing, you don’t want to get stuck within a framework. But once I got through that process the ideas for each song just became very clear.”

Recorded in four weeks – two in the Audioworkx studio near Eindhoven, Holland, before being finished at the start of 2023 using a homemade set-up on Vlieland, a small Dutch island just off the North Sea coast.

The insides of a car gutted by fire, which adorn the album’s cover chimes with The Great Calm’s wider sense of renewal. In fact, the photograph by Belgium-born, Australian-based artist Wouter Van de Voorde was selected by Kuppens who art-directed the record while she was in the middle of writing album opener “Standstill”.

“He showed me this picture and I knew I really wanted to do something with it because at that time I was writing a song about a car and driving through your childhood memories, driving through the past,” she explains. “When I saw this burned-out car, it just clicked again, like the moment with the poetry.”

And the creative connection to Glück went deeper still, with the poet – inadvertently – helping to name the album.

“There was just one verse where she wrote about the great calm and I was like, ‘wow!’ It felt very cinematic,” Kuppens adds. “I like the sense of grandeur in a phrase like The Great Calm. It just really describes what the characters in the songs are striving for, this sense of peace and calmness, but it’s also something that’s probably non-existent too because it sounds too much like a dream. It’s just too big a concept and I find that scale funny but in a serious way. So it fits the album because everything is about moving forward. The record is more hopeful, there’s more beauty in it. Our last album was very dark and always very destructive. I guess this one is still a bit destructive, but there’s hope in that destruction.”

Whispering Sons
The Great Calm

1. Standstill
2. Walking, Flying
3. Cold City
4. Dragging
5. Something Good
6. Still, Disappearing
7. The Talker
8. Balm (After Violence)
9. Poor Girl
10. Loose Ends
11. Oceanic
12. Try Me Again

Pre-order The Great Calm by Whispering Suns HERE


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