I tell people who feign interest that Sonic Breakfast is all about the discovery of new music. I suppose that this is in part true. A more complete answer though would be that Sonic Breakfast highlights new music to unlock fading memories. “There are places I remember“, as Lennon and The Beatles very neatly once put it.
When I was eight years old, my family moved from Prestwood in Buckinghamshire to Dorchester in Dorset. For most eight year olds, I’m sure such a transition would hardly have registered on the anxiety scale. But, I didn’t find the change very easy at all. I hated my new school and I’m pretty sure that the teachers and other pupils weren’t that keen on my histrionics. I had a very real sense that this was a backward move for me (not that I could do anything about it aged eight). In my head, Prestwood equalled glamour and excitement whereas Dorchester was a dull sludge of a place. I can see now that my assessment of place wasn’t entirely accurate though it didn’t stop the young Sean crying himself to sleep most nights.
I do sometimes wonder if my struggle to now truly settle in one place is in any way informed by that formative experience. In an effort to not experience the desperate sadness I felt back then, I keep moving. And try not to become too connected with a place because it’ll only lead to feelings of ambiguous loss when the inevitable happens. Sonic Breakfast is simply a tool I use to moderate over the memories.
It seems that Liesl’s on the same page as I am with her evocative track ‘Driveway Bruises’. Liesl’s move was much grander than mine; a cross-continent trek as a teenager from a small South African town to the buzzing hive of activity that is Berlin. This tune, and the soon-to be released EP ‘Unfamiliar’, is largely inspired by the feelings of loss, estrangement and a search for belonging that the move provoked.
“Berlin is definitely a world away from where I grew up in South Africa – which was a much smaller town with different people, culture and beliefs,”, says Liesl when I ask her about the differences. “I love the open-mindedness, independence and creative freedom I have here in Berlin, but I miss the beautiful South-African nature, the familiarity, and the feeling of being grounded somewhere. I’ve been thinking a lot about the term “ambiguous loss”, which is essentially what the song talks about. Although the physical place still exists, the idea of it being a home only exists in my memory.”
There’s a cracking video that goes hand in hand with ‘Driveway Bruises’. Liesl made it herself with old film footage found in the family archives. By her own acknowledgment this is an effort to ‘visually represent the idea of memories receding into the past.’ The cover artwork (added above), also self-produced, draws focus on ‘something beautiful that is desiccating, decaying, causing it to become confusing and unfamiliar.’
The music and video chime and tug at my core. I can’t entirely put my finger on how something quite uncluttered can draw upon such emotion. I feel overwhelmed but also acknowledge a sense of release when listening to the simple piano and vocal effects within. See if it does the same for you?
And then, as an added Saturday bonus, you can also listen to the second single from the EP, Fish Net, that was released just yesterday. It’s another cracker from a deep-thinking new talent.