There’s something a little dark and eerie about Nadja Zela’s new record, but it’s not as if it’s unintentional. The songwriter and guitarist has just released her new live music video for “Brickman,” off of the upcoming double album, Greetings To Andromeda. The track has an ambient, downtempo, experimental vibe about it, a recurring theme throughout Greetings To Andromeda’s eighteen tracks, an approach to songwriting which the band refers to as brute folk.
Musically, the songs veer widely into experimental territory, combining analog sounds, choir parts, and stereophony, and mixing it with dark gadgetry like small synth sounds and Moog sub-bass attacks. Lyrically, Zela sings of space, ghosts, and animals living in amorphous scenery that leads to an unknown world. This is a record that thrives within its mysteriousness, leaving the listener intrigued, but a little on edge.
Delving deeper into the meaning and significance behind the song, Zela said, “In ‘Brickman,’ I describe the absolute apathy after the shocking loss of a loved one. Life pretends to take its course, but everything remains in paralysis. The full bottle of wine stays untouched, the clock ticks mercilessly and I find myself in total isolation. Later in the song, I’m having fun picking up the old blues cliché of ‘a man walking down the street,’ just that in my case it’s me morphed to a stiff brickman, dragging my limbs mechanically through a life that became meaningless.
We played this song live at one of our most beloved local clubs called Mauz during the difficult times of forbidden public concerts during the Corona pandemic. Maybe it was an unconscious wish to share an onstage situation with our fans; we miss playing live a lot!”
The dark sound and atmosphere of Greetings To Andromeda was inspired by some very serious real-life events. The writing and recording of Greetings To Andromeda began during a very dark time for Zela as she struggled through the aftermath of the sudden death of her husband. For approximately two years, she struggled to find her voice again, befallen by shock and extreme grief. What helped her reach a place where she could process her feelings and begin the healing process was when she began to discover music from many different genres that dealt with confronting the pain associated with death. As she became more enthralled with the music she was unearthing, Zela gradually began to find her voice again, and she rediscovered her inner creativity. Music can be so many things to so many people, and as Nadja Zela has found, it can also help heal in the most unusual of ways.