premiere: moonbow, 'lethe'

Lose your mind over the London duo’s mythological tale of complete forgetfulness.

by Francesca Dunn and i-D Staff
08 January 2016, 5:04pm

Some people are just too talented for their own good. Photographer Eleanor Hardwick is one of these people. As well as shooting beautiful images for the likes of Rookie, Purple and yours truly, she makes ethereal electronic music with her BFF, Beau Hulse. As their friends, the Anglo-Icelandic Dream Wife, so perfectly put it, Moonbow are "a mystical experimental electro duo" who do things like cover songs from the Twin Peaks OST and shoot spacey music videos for themselves. Having released their debut EP Chiaroscuro in 2015 before impressing musos of Europe with their live tour (we caught them at Iceland Airwaves back in November and fell hard) they're back with a second release, part of which we're pleased to present to you today. Taken from their forthcoming Before Afterthoughts EP, Lethe is a gently distorted creation that, in all honesty, wouldn't sound out of place on Grimes' Art Angels.

"We had been listening to a lot of minimal dance music when we wrote this, and it's the first time that we've sat down and been that intentional with making a genre-specific song." Eleanor explains. "Lethe is one of the rivers of the underworld in Greek mythology; all those who drank from it experienced complete forgetfulness. When I was writing the lyrics, I was thinking a lot about the chopped and screwed vocal samples that shape the song's structure, and how something that begins at one point often warps over time to become something else. It reminded me of the way memory works, and often when I look back on nostalgic moments, the person who did those things barely feels like me anymore, and similarly how the pressure of the bad things people do to you lessens more and more over time, until you forget why you were even upset in the first place. So in the song, I created this character who goes to drink from the river of Lethe to forget the weight of their past."

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before afterthoughts