A self-confessed, “synthesizer lady”, Alice Hubble’s solo material first came to my attention back in 2019 around the release of her acclaimed debut album, Polarlichter. An electronic interpretation of pastoral solace, the record was a beautiful soundtrack to the vastness of the countryside, even if it was conceived in the urban-hum of London. The album’s release saw Alice head out on a headline tour, as well as supporting the likes of Damo Suzuki, Advance Base and Beak>. After taking time out earlier this year to release the debut album from her collaborative experimental electronica project, ADRA Hubble, alongside Bradford-musician, Andy Abbott, Alice returns this week with the video to We Are Still Alone, one of the stand-out moments on Polarlichter.
Described by Alice as, “the most personal song on the album“, We Are Still Alone is a reflection on the slow journey of grief Alice and her brother experienced following the death of her father in 2007. As Alice explains, “my experience of grief is that it is isolating and whilst you’re processing what happened you likely won’t be able to be there for others in the way you would like to”. Although rooted in that experience, the song isn’t focused entirely on the sadness of the event, but also a celebration of things becoming easier, and finding a way to come back together, “the overarching themes are of love, renewal and a hope to make amends“.
Musically, Alice has suggested this track is heavily influenced by her, “unashamed love of OMD’s brooding moments on their Architecture and Morality LP. This wasn’t intentional, but in some ways inevitable“. Certainly the track shares some of OMD’s musical DNA, as it fuses the clinical edge of electronic music to a distinctly human quality; particularly clear in the steady heartbeat-like pulse of the bass-drum that runs through the entirety of the track. Above the lush processed soundscapes, Alice’s voice seems to almost drift, as if floating atop a musical river, unable, or perhaps unwilling to anchor herself as she sings, “the passing of time will heal us, but we are still alone”.
You can check out the video, as well as the reflections of both Alice and film-maker Alicia Britt below.
Alice Hubble: “I had been talking to film-maker Alicia Britt about doing the video prior to lockdown and in the end the whole video was conceived remotely and filmed in her bedroom. It tells a story that mirrors that of me and my brother with a fantastical twist.”
Alicia Britt: “I had been excited about working with Alice on We Are Still Alone for a long time. What neither of us realised was that the world would be closed and we would start the project apart! Using a white bed sheet and two spotlights attached to my wardrobe doors we created a shadow studio in the bedroom. Taking inspiration from 1960s cult horror, paganism and tarot cards, I created the shadow figures and scenes, creating beautiful images using coloured lighting gels, sequins and mirrors.”Alice Hubble & Alicia Britt on the making of the We Are Still Alone video