Odd Beholder — Sunny Bay
This woman is in the worst possible mood. In an act of aggression, seemingly completely ruthless and sadistic, she destroys the place where she has worked most of her life. The stewardess burns an airplane in the video for "Transatlantic Flight". "Sunny Bay", the second album by Odd Beholder, the electronica / art pop project by Swiss musician Daniela Weinmann, will be released on September 10, 2021.
On her second album "Sunny Bay", Weinmann turns her gaze to nature. On the romantic ideas associated with it. On escapism and alienation. And on nature as a process. While her debut album "All Reality Is Virtual" revolved around digitalisation – around the uncanny collection of our data, but also around the spiritual importance of enduring loneliness – her second album is more personal, even though it loosely follows the topics of natural processes such as decay and fertility.
For the work on "Sunny Bay", Weinmann radically turned inwards. This was partly a result of the lockdowns of the last year. But, above all, it was a conscious decision. Weinmann sees the formation processes informing the debut album and the first two EPs before as vehicles to acquaint herself with ideas of her collaborators / musicians. With the forthcoming body of work, she makde no compromises: "I want to hear them exactly as they sound in my imagination. It has to feel right. The songs are at the centre. I have subordinated the production to them as much as possible without losing the interest in producing."
Whereas before the respective studios were decisive for the creation of the music, this time around it Weinmann's loft in a former factory. She lives directly on the water; outside of her window it is very green, there are countless spiders and insects, a family of swans, a beaver, an owl. From her writing desk, she can follow the lives of these animals more closely, something that would be impossible in a city: "At first I found the owl very cute. But I had to learn that it is a killing machine. There are lots of baby bird skeletons under its tree. I can watch the complete cycle of life and death here. Nature just does its thing: it's uncontrollable, unforeseeable."
For Weinmann, this is an important impulse. For a while she had toyed with the idea of setting up the new pieces as a counterpart to the debut album. But the conceptual, this urge for control things, started to increasingly feel unnatural to her. Instead, she concentrated on making music from within, letting the ideas unfold and take shape on their own.
„Sunny Bay" thus grew into a negotiation between dream and reality. A place of longing between utopia and alienation. An apparent paradise to recover from the constant exhaustion. From the daily fear of – shortly after waking up – doing too little again, on that day, while our hyper-productivity eats up the planet. "Sunny Bay" is a refuge into a picture of nature that is heartfelt, gentle and pleasant, but which has little in common with the owl outside Weinmann's window. On "Sunny Bay" Weinmann lets this fragile escapism collide in slow motion with another droning reality: A story of escape told as a road movie. An environmental disaster contrasted with a disaster movie.
Weinmann elaborates: "The cake floating away on the album cover, the burning rollerblades on the cover of 'Disaster Movies' – these are dreams. They are girls' dreams that are broken. But these girl’s dreams are not sustainable dreams. Acknowledging that they exist in order to let them go releases a lot of new power. I am already concerned with the extinction of dreams, but not in a destructive sense. We've learned to read such an end negatively, while it's a beginning and a form of liberation."
Just like "Sunny Bay" is the result of a liberation process in the first place. Weinmann explains why she didn't take the reins over earlier: "It has to do with discrimination. Gender discrimination is sometimes hard to grasp, because it's not tied to a single person or central experience. It's thousands of little things. Whenever you take something in your hands as a woman, a guy is there to explain to you, unasked, how it actually works. And over all these years in the grand scheme of things, it does something to your self-perception. Apparently you can't do it, even though you obviously can. That messes with your head. And as a result you tend to pass things off."
For the current videos, Weinmann worked exclusively with women: "I wanted to work with a woman on camera because I hadn't done that before. And it was so easy to find a very good Director of Photography! It just takes the will to find the right person. I got so many great messages from great DOPs."
She continues, "It bothered me that it was so much easier to develop a shared vision with the female director and the DOP. Without long explanations. I think a lot of valuable art is just lost in long discussions and one-sided lack of understanding. A lot of the female perspective just goes unheard because of that."
As co-founder of the Swiss offshoot of Music Declares Emergency, she also sees her involvement in this light: "That's my approach to really make a difference as a non-artistic persona. To really be a person who pitches in and tries to find alternatives. As an artist I don't want to be moralistic, I want to be able to be angry. Like the stewardess. She has my sympathies, but she is not a role model. As a human being, I have responsibilities and I want to live up to my values."
"Sunny Bay" by Odd Beholder will be released on 10.09.2021.
|Promotion:||Mouthwatering Records, Andreas Ryser|
|Booking:||Glad We Met, Fabian|
- 09.01.2022: Werkstatt Chur, Chur