Upon seeing a Loreena McKennitt concert at age 10, Jennifer Crighton began a lifelong relationship with the harp. The Calgary-based artist has since traveled a unique path, aware of more mainstream music trends but also falling in love with, and feeling the impact of such innovators as Tori Amos and Joni Mitchell. Crighton has now adopted the moniker of Hermitess, an atmospheric choice that fits with her less traveled musical journey.
After a two week solo residency in Northern Michigan, Crighton is now slowly emerging from the snow to interact with the world once again. Her debut Hermitess album will be released on May 26th, and today Atwood Magazine is happy and excited to premiere her track “Blood Moon” as well as its accompanying music video. The video stumbles upon a snowy path in the woods where a cloaked figure cautiously plods forward towards the camera.
Listen: “Blood Moon” – Hermitess
The video for “Blood Moon” feels like a fantastic representation of what we can begin to expect from Hermitess’ latest project. The hooded figure at the center holds a mirror to her face, creating the illusion that her face is invisible. Enigma lives at the center, surrounded by an intricate web of textured instrumentation. Crighton’s work with the harp achieves a level of entrancement that subverts the typical heavenly quality rooted in ancient paintings. There are no cherubs to be found in the Hermitess world.
On “Blood Moon,” through floating vocals and subtle texturing beneath an intoxicating harp melody, Crighton reveals her knack for atmosphere. Crucial to the process is her fantastic attention to detail. The mixing on the track finds an essential balance, letting light piano come and go as it pleases like an occasional cold breeze and coolly letting the momentum of the track build and finally fade away. Nothing about it feels clunky or out of place, everything feels cared for and intentional.
All in all, if allowed the attention it deserves, Hermitess’ “Blood Moon” affects its listeners and viewers. The harp lures like a light on a dark night, revealing a clearing and a bleeding moon above. Like her influences, Crighton is not creating easily digestible music. It is beautiful, but it is beautiful in that it is challenging and completely refreshing. Thankfully, there are mothers who take their children to see new and wondrous things. Those new and wondrous things keep on giving.
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cover © Jennifer Allyson