Skullcrusher has unveiled two new songs, ‘They Quiet the Room’ and ‘Quiet the Room’. Following lead single ‘Whatever Fits Together’, they’re both set to appear on her forthcoming debut album Quiet the Room and come paired with videos made in collaboration with Silken Weinberg. Listen and watch below.
“’Quiet the Room’ is the first song I wrote for the album although I didn’t know it yet,” Skullcrusher (aka singer-songwriter Helen Ballentine) explained in a statement. “It felt like opening a secret door into a new world. I wrote it on the piano I grew up with and inevitably felt the presence of my childhood self. This would linger with me throughout the process of making the record.” She continued:
Simply put, the song is about communication and isolation, the kind experienced by a child that influences their journey into adulthood. I was thinking about my childhood bedroom but also an unknown room, surreal and empty but for the weighted presence of things unsaid. The basis of the recording is a live performance I did at Dreamland studios in Woodstock, NY. From that take we added field recordings and room ambience (crickets, creaking, doors opening and closing, footsteps, etc…). It wasn’t until a year later that I revisited the song as the beginning of this album.
I had a thought to write an alternate version of the song with different chords on guitar. This version, ‘They Quiet the Room’ became a different song entirely. It shifted the tone of the lyrics and instead of a dark room I imagined playing outside in the daytime, lost in some fantasy world. The two together, ‘They Quiet the Room’ into ‘Quiet the Room,’ are like the passing of a day. Perhaps one spent as a child making up imaginary games outside before returning inside for dinner, crossing over some kind of barrier as dusk settles, to have dinner or sit at the piano alone.
Of the accompanying visuals, she added:
The video for ‘Quiet the Room’ came together at the last, but oh so right, moment. A sort of shrine to childhood, we spent much of the process arranging my personal tchotchkes into an intricate still life. We decided that I would make a drawing throughout the video and that this would add movement and intimacy to an otherwise still composition. As we worked, we thought of Walter Wick’s classic I Spy books, the Nancy Drew computer games Silken [Weinberg, creative director] and I both grew up playing (and still play) and the notion of collecting ‘treasure’ as a child. Shot on digicam, we wanted to contrast the crisp outdoors captured in ‘They Quiet the Room’ with a warm, candle lit, home-footage-esque interior. Through the window, we see a deeply personal moment, one that I felt I had experienced before, alone but surrounded by objects I’ve carried with me.
Weinberg commented: “Helen and I love a good quest so we set out for the forest, where land meets sea. We wanted to revisit the feeling of playing outside all day, in your own imaginary world, and then having to go inside, either for dinner or to sleep. It felt oddly appropriate to convey this state of make believe in an ultra vivid, hyperreal way; an attempt to explore how your unseen fantasies are physically manifested and witnessed by the outside world.”
Quiet the Room is set to land on October 14 via Secretly Canadian.