AVAWAVES – Chrysalis

Photo by Nicole Ngai

Contemporary virtuoso duo AVAWAVES, comprising of Anna Phoebe and Aisling Brouwer, are set to follow their expansive 2019 debut album ‘Waves’ with their exquisite new LP ‘Chrysalis’, released October 8th via One Little Independent. AVAWAVES are rooted in cinematic narratives, evoking emotional journeys of the heart and mind.

New single ‘Midnight Bird’ features the dramatic vocals of Newcastle’s YVA, conjuring up emotions through her poetry and powerful voice. It presents AVAWAVES in a different light, for the first time inviting another artist into their imagined sphere.

YVA tells us; “I wrote Midnight Bird after this vivid experience I had while I was struggling with my anxiety and depression. I woke up just before the sun had risen above the horizon and heard a bird song I’d never heard in our garden before. It was so melodic and strange, it didn’t seem real. I peered through the curtains as if I’d see some majestic parrot or mythical bird sitting there serenading me, but the garden was just quiet other than this song. It was a comfort, a reassurance, even as I slipped back to the world of sleep where my mind could quieten. I know it was real and not just a dream; it felt like it was just for me, like there was this layer of magic underneath all the sadness I was feeling, encouraging me to keep going and not give up.”

Their second full-length album masterfully layers ethereal keys over swelling strings and pulsating synths in a series of euphoric epics. Sublime, celestial textures ebb and flow, building towards far-reaching climaxes where everything comes together in effortless, natural harmony. The bold expressive palette reveals the influence of surrealist artists such as Katharina Grosse and Hilma af Klint, as well as the films that shape their worlds, like Georges Méliès’ A Trip to the Moon. It brims with energy and light, illuminating the power of dreams.

AVAWAVES continue; “We created the idea of the Chrysalis, which is a heightened dream-like utopia. When you listen to the album you enter the imagined state of AVAWAVES. In 2020 as we wrote and recorded our album from two different countries, creating this space was more important than ever against the backdrop of isolation and working remotely. Each of the pieces are made within this chrysalis. The feeling we want is that through the music, people can enter this immersive world and come out in a renewed and altered state, drawing strength from the music, energised by nature’s empowering resilience”

AVAWAVES are also composing an original score for Savage Waters, a feature documentary about a mission to find and surf a spectacular big wave in the Atlantic Ocean. It follows renowned skipper Matt Knight, who teams up with world-class big wave surfer Andrew Cotton to adventure into the most dangerous waters of the Atlantic. Their journey is inspired by a passage in a 19th century treasure hunter’s journal. Joined by family and friends, the pair are faced with life-threatening challenges on their quest. It’s directed by Mikey Corker (Beneath The Surface), produced by Ghislaine Couvillat (Girls Can’t Surf) of Whipped Sea and edited by Emmy winner Jordan Montminy (The 8th), with story consultation from BAFTA-winning Nic Guttridge (The Spy Who Fell To Earth).

Anna Phoebe is a composer and violinist who has recorded and toured throughout the world with multi-platinum selling bands, as well as collaborations with the European Space Agency, Royal Ballet School and Cancer Research. Aisling Brouwer is a film composer and producer who scored the BIFA-nominated anti-racist feature White Riot and is currently writing the soundtrack to ‘Lioness’ – a film directed by Helena Coan about British boxing champion Nicola Adams. She has also worked on campaigns for United Nations and Dior.

Coming from mixed European backgrounds (Anna Phoebe is German/Greek/Irish and Aisling Brouwer is Dutch/Irish) and having each grown up moving around multiple countries, they met for the first time in London in 2015.

AVAWAVES will play Royal Albert Hall on November 6th as part of Nitin Sawhney’s ‘Journeys: 150 Years of Immigration’ and they recently performed for award-winning podcast The Guilty Feminist.


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