The sound of a teardrop falling onto a moss covered stone. The sound of a heart breaking. The sound of a rosebud opening at dawn. These are just some of the sounds that Norway based band NOÊTA with vocalist and musician Êlea have woven their songs from. Once again, she has been joined by her long-time collaborator Ândris from Sweden, who added a wide range of instruments to the music, which has been fittingly dubbed as dark ambient among other terms.
Lyrically, their sophomore full-length, "Elm" is loosely based on emotions connected to the eponymous poem by celebrated American author Sylvia Plath, who struggled with severe depression and sadly committed suicide shortly after writing "Elm". "The lyrical material serves as an outlet for my own personal struggles", states Êlea. "It makes this album more cohesive as it mostly reflects my own musical vision."
Something dark, melancholic, and at times even sinister is haunting each of the eight tracks collected on this album. Yet at the same time NOÊTA's music comes with an inherent ethereal beauty, which is carried by Êlea's both lucent and lucid voice. The focus on her bewitching vocals is further underlined by a subtle and nearly minimalistic use of instrumentation that masterly captures and enhances the musical moods.
Taking their name from the ancient Greek philosophical notion of universal thoughts or ideas that exist independently of any agent having them, NOÊTA embark on their musical journey into the otherworld with the highly praised 2015 EP "psykhē", which also refers to classical Greek philosophy where it denotes the wholeness of a person. This was followed by the equally acclaimed debut album "Beyond Life and Death" in 2017, which added more depth and audible confidence to the duo's compositions.
With the recording, production and mix again firmly controlled by NOÊTA, mastering of "Elm" was for the first time left to the expert hands of Tore Stjerna at Necromorbus Studio (MAYHEM, WATAIN). Guest contributions by KNOKKELKLANG and P.Stille of STILLA and BERGRAVEN also hint to Êlea's roots in black metal that remain present although her personal darkness takes a different stylistic direction.
"Elm" witnesses NOÊTA charting their very own left hand course through the rising tide of unique female artists such as CHELSEA WOLFE, ANNA VON HAUSSWOLFF or EMMA RUTH RUNDLE to name but a few of the highly individual voices claiming their territory in the world of dark music.
Release date: April 23, 2021
1. Dawn Falls
2. As I Fall Silent
4. Above And Below
6. As We Are Gone
8. Elm (II)
Êlea – vocals, electric guitar, synth
Ândris – acoustic and electric guitar, lapsteel, accordion, piano
E. Rustad of Knokkelklang plays electric guitar on track 4
P.Stille of BERGRAVEN contributed guitar and piano chords on track 8*
Produced, recorded and mixed privately by NOÊTA
Mastered at Necromorbus Studio by Tore Stjerna
Cover photography by Aron Mattsson
Style: Dark ambient folk
"Elm" is available on Digipak CD, limited gold vinyl LP (200 copies), and on black vinyl LP.