We’re only two songs into the musical career of Gina Été, yet she’s already a strong contender for our favourite Swiss musician. With a band of musicians gathered from across Europe, Gina’s first single, Mauern, was recorded in San Franciso, completing a truly global introduction. Today we’re premiering Gina’s second single, Im Rhy.
I’m Rhy is a delightfully eerie composition, all rattling pulses of drums, waves of distorted, wobbling synths and rhythmic, minimal bass. At the fore is Gina’s vocal, singing in Swiss-German, even if, like us, you’re not understanding a word, you can hear there’s a passion to the way the words tumble forth.
The first taste of her upcoming Oak Tree EP, Im Rhy marks it out as one of the year’s most exciting new releases. Check out the track below and then read on for Gina’s thoughts on the songs and its inspirations, and some words from the video director Barbara Steinitz.
Im Rhy Commentary by Gina Été
I felt awful. I‘d arrived in this new city, it was all supposed to be exciting, so many new places, bars, festivals, restaurants, parks, students, musicians, other artists… I didn‘t feel excitement. To me it was only those big grey walls, no one to hang out with and the question I was asking myself over and over again – was this the right choice? I‘d moved into a new city – I guess you recognize it from the video ? – because my hometown felt as if it was growing smaller, strangling me at some point. But moving away ment moving away from all of my friends, from my homecountry and most of all – from my band. I saw how my friends were making new friends, my musicians were playing more and more in other bands and how everything seemed to move on easily without me. Suddenly I did not remember, why I‘d wanted to leave, did not feel the strenght to go on on my own, doubted my own aims, my own decisions, my own musical path, wished to be someone else for I feared all I‘d built up would now fall apart. In this moment, in this very desperate, regretful mood, just before I could decide to quit to quit music and start a new life, I wrote this song. Ironically, nothing really fell apart, I now know which friends I will have for a lifetime and the collaboration with my musicians just got more intense and the song is one of their favourite. Still, the feeling is coming back from time to time, the feeling of not having made the right choices, that other people are living the life I‘d wanted to live with ease while I am struggling. But I guess, that is a part of every artists life, if not every humans life. Doubting.
Barbara Steinitz about the music video for „Im Rhy“ by Gina Été
A few months ago I got an invitation from Gina Été to make a video for one of her new songs. I visited a concert of her and her charming band in Berlin and was very pleased to get to know her and her lovely music – melancholic songs that don’t miss a certain humorous way of looking at serious thoughts.
„Im Rhy“ attracted me especially for two reasons: First I have lived in different cities and countries too. I can remember that moment, when you arrive in a new place, get thrown into a completely new situation and start to question wether it was a good decision to leave all well known behind and start anew. Probably everybody gets to know this state in one or the other way in one’s life, even without changing cities.
Also I was touched by the language: Im Rhy is sung in swiss german, it has a familiar sound to me as I grew up in Southern Germany, not too far from the Swiss boarder. Also I know both of these cities that grew so important to Gina, Cologne and Basel. The same river runs through them, yet the river is so different in both cities in many aspects.
Gina and me had some chats exchanging ideas about the storyboard of the video, but most of all she let me develop her words freely. As I have already worked using the shadow theatre technique for book illustrations, in puppet shows and partly in another music video, too, I wanted to continue developing this technique. The reduced simplicity of shadow images fits very well with the melancholy of this song. I was vey happy to work with filmmaker Peter Bräunig, who added an important artistic flavour filming and editing the video. Most of the scenes and little tricks are done by hand, pulling threads and wires, using stop motion with movable puppets and animating the shadows by moving hand-lights, but Peter also used some simple effects working with layers, cross-fades and colouring in the post production process.
I guess all the rest is self-explanatory.
For more about me and my work, visit http://www.barbara-steinitz.de
Oak Tree is out in June via Lauter. Click HERE for more information on Gina Été