Alice Phoebe Lou has announced her new album, Glow. Our former Artist of the Month will release the follow-up to her 2019 sophomore album, Paper Castles, on March 19th. As a preview, she’s shared the lead single, “Dusk”.
The South African-born, Berlin-based APL has long been known for her thoughtful songs about grand concepts. But like the rest of us, 2020 forced a shift in focus. With the world literally closing in, she was challenged to confront more personal matters — and not always in the prettiest of ways.
“I spent more time alone than I ever had,” Lou explained in a press statement. “I shaved my head. Had an ego death. Fell in love. Had my heart broken. I was a raw little mess. And that was what I wrote about.”
Thankfully, the “mess” wasn’t entirely, well, messy. There were moments of connection and profound love to be had, and those are the focus of “Dusk”. A bright, jazzy number filled with playful piano and horn notes dancing atop a steady, shuffling drum beat, the song reflects the simple joy of true companionship. “She smiles, and everything will be all right/ In the world, the whole wide world,” sings Lou. “But the world don’t matter/ When we’re looking at each other.”
“Dusk” arrives via a self-directed music video shot on old school VHS. Watch it below, followed by Alice Phoebe Lou’s Origins of the track.
The loneliness of dusk:
“Dusk” was initially inspired by my best friend and how the time of day when the sun goes down has always been hard for her emotionally. It was as though dusk was a sad, introspective, lonely time of day for her and it always had such a toll on her mood or state of mind. For me, dusk has always been one of my favourite times of day so I found it interesting to step into her shoes and see it through her eyes.
“Dusk” is inspired by closeness and intimacy with a dear friend. The kind that is holding each other up, looking at one another with admiration, sharing, giving, full of love and promise. It’s inspired by this feeling of understanding and unconditionally being there for another.
Dance floor euphoria:
The song is also inspired by the feeling of complete euphoria one can experience on a dance floor with the person you care about most in the world. The elation and transcendental feeling of dancing and laughing and moving with your closest friend, to the point that everything disappears and worries cease for just one night.
When we recorded this song, it felt like it needed an instrument with a warm breathing quality to it. I love Andy Shauf’s work and how he uses the overlaying clarinets to create such feeling, so I feel as though the instrumental and the use of clarinet was inspired a bit by him.
Overall, I’d say dusk is a friendship lullaby, written for and inspired by love and friendship and women who lift each other up and share their success and let it overflow upon the people closest to them.