Premiere: The Hauntingly Intimate Empowerment of Vesper Wood’s “The Wall”

Vesper Wood’s hauntingly intimate “The Wall” is a stirring embrace of female power, gender identity, and generational transmission.

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We all have walls in our lives, some natural and some man-made. We are each born into different circumstances, with different opportunities, and told different things about what or who we can be when we grow up. These walls, however they came about, are meant to exist as barriers – in place to separate and divide. They are equally walls to climb: Opportunities for us as individuals and as a society to grow and advance. Vesper Wood’s hauntingly intimate “The Wall” is a stirring embrace of female power, gender identity, and generational transmission.

Instar - Vesper Wood

Instar – Vesper Wood

You can take my calm
Crush my womb with shame
You can free the hours
Then leave us all to hang

Atwood Magazine is proud to be premiering the music video for “The Wall,” taken from Vesper Wood’s forthcoming debut album Instar (out March 1, 2019). The indie folk solo project for Christina Wood (one-half of London-based duo Kaleida), Vesper Wood crafts an alluringly dark tapestry in a record that beckons us deeper into the human consciousness and our emotional experience.

Originally released in late November 2018, “The Wall” served as Vesper Wood’s debut single. The song is a fitting introduction not only to her artistry, but also to her record as a whole: Dark, with streaks of light; moving, moody, and intimate; impassioned and steady; female and raw. “The Wall” immerses listeners in a stark minimalist soundscape; you could hear a needle drop, if one were to fall. Wood sings along to a lone bass, her voice filling our ears as she casts off gendered chains and asserts every part of herself.

Previously describing the song as a calling upon the gender politics of the biological clock, Wood croons as much to herself as to a future generation of women:

Cause anger wake this
Anger break this
Anger wake my love
Call the fathers
Of the daughters
And ask em what’s enough

Later in the song, the chorus picks up an urgency that stands in contrast of the song’s otherwise slow progression: “Anger wake my love,” Wood sings, “No redemption or protection in the game of luck.”

Vesper Wood © Imani Givertz

Vesper Wood © Imani Givertz

Show near Lake Okeechobee, Florida, with White Sail Films (Brandon McGuire, Johnny Hedger, and Kayla Mendez), Vesper Wood’s “The Wall” music video resonates with a deep sense of identity and continuity. The song’s message – a half warning, half call to action and unity – comes to fruition through the merging of generations, as Wood comes to walk alongside three younger girls and together they embark on a journey together.

“It was a joy making this video… the three little girls were naturals and the team I worked with so relaxed,” Wood recalls of “The Wall” session. “We shot out in the cane-fields near Lake Okeechobee, on a cold Florida January day, during the full moon. The shoot ended at twilight with me being buried in a pit of black mud and then ’emerging’ with the help of the girls. We didn’t mean to make anything too literal, but we were playing around with ideas about the generations of women passing on a kind of eternal woman power, and how the ‘daughters’ were now in charge and helping others to be free of limits, ‘the wall.’ I was also 6 months pregnant when we made the video (you can’t really tell!) – so it had another personal layer of meaning!”

… Ideas about the generations of women passing on a kind of eternal woman power…
Vesper Wood © Imani Givertz

Vesper Wood © Imani Givertz

You can rule us out
Double toil for fame
Where you gon’ stand now
When the body calls her name
Cause anger wake this
Anger break this
Anger wake my love
Call the fathers
Of the daughters
And tell them what’s enough

“The Wall” rises out of darkness and reaches into light as Vesper Wood asserts herself, speaking for generations past and generations to come. Her words are humbling, and the soundscape she creates keeps listeners bolted to their seats throughout. It’s a glimpse of what’s to come from her full-length record, as well as a testament to the raw talents of this brilliant indie folk artistry.

Stream “The Wall” exclusively on Atwood Magazine! Vesper Wood’s debut album Instar is out everywhere March 1, 2019 — pre-order it now!

Stream: “The Wall” – Vesper Wood

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Instar - Vesper Wood

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📸 © Imani Givertz
album art © Haris Fazlani

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Mitch Mosk

Mitch is the Editor-in-Chief of Atwood Magazine and a 2014 graduate from Tufts University, where he pursued his passions of music and psychology. He currently works at Universal Music Group in New York City. In his off hours, Mitch may be found songwriting, wandering about one of New York's many neighborhoods, or writing an article on your next favorite artist for Atwood. Mitch's words of wisdom to fellow musicians and music lovers are thus: Keep your eyes open and never stop exploring. No matter where you go, what you do or who you are with, you can always learn something new and inspire something amazing. Say hi here: mitch[at]atwoodmagazine[dot]com