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Poppy Ackroyd – “The Calm Before”

Poppy Ackroyd can conjure whole worlds of sound out of the barest essentials. On her recent mini-album Sketches, the neo-classical composer pared her violin, electronics, and piano down to just one piano, and the result was truly lovely. But on her new album, out next year on One Little Indian, she goes a little bigger: Resolve is the first of her records to feature other musicians, including Björk collaborator Manu Delago on Hang, Mike Lesirge on clarinet and flute, and Jo Quail on cello. Lead single “The Calm Before” retains her earlier work’s intimate beauty but with a slightly expanded scope, beginning with a fluttering clarinet and the perceptible clicking of keys before gradually blooming into a vibrant sonic landscape. “‘The Calm Before’ is about the determination to embrace the good things in life whilst dealing with unexpected and challenging difficulties,” Ackroyd explains. “Finding the light in the dark, facing sadness and loss head on, and developing a growing inner strength.” Listen.

Resolve is out early 2018 on One Little Indian.