Helena Deland – Someone New
Format: CD – Vinyl – Digital – Cassette
Label: Luminelle Recordings
Release: 2020

‘Someone New’ is Montreal’s Helena Deland’s first full length record. It follows her 2018 series of EPs entitled ‘Altogether Unaccompanied’, a two-year period during which she toured with Weyes Blood and Connan Mockasin, amongst others, opened for Iggy Pop in Paris and collaborated with Jpeg Mafia. The album is an exploration of  gender, power, time and the “self” that finds Deland in full control of her sound and style, even as she asks whether control is ever possible. The album was written and recorded over a period of two years, beginning with Deland’s guitar and expanding into a lavish sonic sphere that blends elements of hypnagogic pop and classic folk. Deland’s voice ties it all together, sometimes hushed in a whisper, sometimes shrouded in distortion, and sometimes full and clear – but always inviting the listener into her world.

The writing process was slow and deliberate. Following the release of her 2018 collection of songs, Altogether Unaccompanied, Deland found herself lacking a sense of who she was and longing to feel defined. She reflects on how gender dynamics affect her both personally and professionally.  “In and outside of my music career”, she explains, “relying on the gaze of someone else for validation and a sense of my own worth alienated me from myself and made it very difficult for me to make anything.” She was caught in fears of getting older, of having missed out on life while waiting for it to start. Deland returned to the intimate bedroom-scape as a fortress from which to work towards self-recovery and to reclaim the process of album-making. “I had to take some time to reflect on that and to let myself write some tunes that were soft pockets of myself outside of myself. The songs allowed me to feel freed at least partially from insecurities the patriarchal gaze brings forth by identifying them and situating myself in relation to it.”