Colleen returns with new album The Tunnel and the Clearing

Photo: Luis Torroja

French multi-instrumentalist and composer Cecile Schott, known under the moniker Colleen, is back with The Tunnel and the Clearing, her first full-length album in three years following A flame my love, a frequency. An album that finds her “at her most vulnerable and confident”, The Tunnel and the Clearing was written during a transformative period. Schott began working on the album in 2018 when she experienced extreme fatigue from a previously undiagnosed illness, eventually leading her to relocating to Barcelona where lockdowns and a breakup followed. In her own words, The Tunnel and the Clearing “is a sonic translation of the highly emotional state and the heightened sense of perception that come in the wake of a breakup and a period of great changes, with the subsequent necessary reconstruction this entails.” She added, “Never before had I felt so profoundly the power that music has, through harmony, melody, rhythm and sound itself, to express the whole range of human emotions.”

To bring the album to life, Schott embraced a self-imposed rule on her setup, restricting herself to analog electronic instruments like the Elka Drummer One, the Roland RE-201 Space Echo and Moog Grandmother synth, as well as the Yamaha organ keyboard and select Moog effects.

The poignant and wonderful ‘Gazing at Taurus – Santa Eulalia’, named after the patron saint of Barcelona, is the first single to be let loose from the album. Take a listen below and grab the album when it’s out on May 21 through Thrill Jockey.

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