Given the worldwide shortage of peace, the songs of Nailah Hunter almost qualify as “Strange Delights.”
The singer-songwriter crafts otherworldly music that is part ambient folk, part New Age and fully a salve for the abrasions of daily life. Hunter’s sophomore album, “Lovegaze,” made with London-based producer Cicely Goulder, is out Jan. 12 via Fat Possum. It mixes her entrancing vocals and lyricism, electronic soundscapes and organic instruments such as piano and harp (an instrument she took up while a CalArts) into songs that are “about reminding others of their capacity to be soft in a world that encourages and rewards the opposite,” as she told an interviewer in 2019.
Hunter introduced the album in October with “Finding Mirrors,” along with a video directed by Dillon Howl.
This week brought the arrival of the second single, “Strange Delights,” a song that Hunter explains started as an improv over a modular synth loop that my partner made. At the time, we were burning a bunch of incense in a dark room, which served as inspiration for the wandering vocal melody. Once I worked on it with producer Cicely Goulder, ‘Strange Delights’ took on a more golden quality that reminds me of a hazy and intoxicated feast in a peculiar, yet familiar wood.”
Haoyan Of America directs the video, which suggests that only the alligators might survive humanity’s apocalyptic tendencies. “The idea for ‘Strange Delights’ was developed through conversations with Nailah and inspired by her interest in crocodilian ‘tapetum lucidum’ (Latin for ‘shining layer’), a biologic reflector system common in the eyes of vertebrates that give them enhanced night vision. The visual arc takes cues from the song’s musical progression and highlights contrasting evolutionary ecologies.”
||| Watch: The video for “Strange Delights”
||| Also: Watch the video for “Finding Mirrors”
||| Live: Nailah Hunter celebrates her album release with a show at Zebulon on Jan. 12. Tickets.