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Naima Bock 2022 – Album “Giant Palm”

Album “Giant Palms”

London-based artist Naima Bock will release her debut album Giant Palm on July 1 on Sub Pop. Born in Glastonbury to a Brazilian father and a Greek mother, Naima spent her early childhood in Brazil, before eventually returning to England, south-east London. This heritage blends with Naima’s more recent musical pursuits; from the Brazilian standards the family listened to on their way to the beach, to European folk traditions that she immersed herself in on her own, to the pursuits that interest her today – studying archeology, working as a gardener , and travel the great paths of the world – Naima’s music draws on family, the land and the transmission of music through generations.

Giant Palm, Naima’s debut album, is undoubtedly steeped in the Brazilian music of her youth and regular family visits. She found inspiration in “the percussion, the melodies, the chords – and particularly the poetic juxtaposition of tragedy and beauty contained in the lyrics”.

In the wake of the singles “30 Degrees” and “Every Morning”, and her cover of the Brazilian standard “Berimbau”, she unveils today the title and clip of “Giant Palm”. About the track, she says: “’Giant Palm’ was written in collaboration with Joel Burton (who arranged and produced the album), I wrote the vocal melody and the lyrics, and he wrote the ‘instrumentation. The recording process was limited (which I always find to be the most creative way to record) to what we had at Joel’s, and recorded during the summer of 2020 – resulting in mostly electronic instruments outside of the acoustic guitar. The vocals were then recorded by my father, Victor Bock. We named the album after this song because it was the one that most reflected our collaboration as musicians and the innocence and freedom that characterized the making of the record. »

The video for “Giant Palm” was directed by Max McLachlan. Naima adds, “He projected the contrast of elevation and submission that is present in the song through a physical visual format. I had trouble expressing in writing the meaning of this song so I think it’s best to let the listener do what he wants with it. It’s a deeply personal song, which means it can reflect whatever one wishes. »

At the age of 15, Naima immersed herself in the South East London music scene, joining a group of like-minded friends, writing and performing music. This led to the creation of Goat Girl, the band with which she toured the world playing bass and singing alongside her classmates. After six years with the group, Naima decided to leave Goat Girl to try something new. In the years that followed, she started a gardening business and began studying archeology at University College London because, as she jokes, “I like being close to the ground”. At that time, she was composing, playing the guitar and learning the violin. He was also introduced to producer and arranger Joel Burton through Josh Cohen and his label, Memorials of Distinction. Over time Joel and Naima have worked together, Joel’s growing interest in western classical music, folk music in general, experience in large scale arranging and orchestration has fueled the process of collaboration that ultimately resulted in Giant Palm.

Naima had been writing songs for years with no clear idea where it would take her. But, over rehearsals and work sessions with Joel, the compositions began to become more and more concrete. It wasn’t until post-lockdown restrictions eased that they were able to focus on finishing and recording tracks. Dan Carey of Speedy Wunderground has made his studio in Streatham, south-east London, available to them free of charge. Informed by a desire to create thoughtful and intentional music, they spent the month following the recording developing the arrangements, which will be performed by a diverse group of musicians – with Joel recording the synth and electronic elements in advance. When they managed to plan the slots for the record’s 30 musicians, the expansive but delicate arrangements were then brought to life with the help of sound engineer Syd Kemp.

Naima loves the collective voice of traditions that belong to everyone. She recently found a way to indulge that passion by playing with the ever-evolving folk collective Broadside Hacks, but it has long been a way for her to explore her own craft. She learned to play the guitar and the violin through these songs, just as she also found her voice there. “All the other representations of singing that I had seemed so inaccessible to me,” she recalls, but in folk music she discovered that singing could take so many forms without having to replicate anything exactly. Here, the qualities that make her voice unique were able to flourish. This is present throughout his music, along with a sense of community and sharing of ideas.

Written over the years, each of Naima’s songs represents a snapshot of a specific feeling, brief moments in Naima’s life that form something larger. “I never change the lyrics,” she says, “even though I don’t recognize myself in them anymore, I was at one point, which means someone else, somewhere, might as well. be.” Whether in the humor of “Campervan”, the peaceful “Giant Palm” or the darker moments, as in the honest “Every Morning”, whatever the form, everything is laid bare.

There’s also a sense of clarity to the songs, which Naima largely attributes to the fact that many of them were written while walking. She finds her inspiration in the meditative character of nature during long walks without destination. Whether it was during a three-year period when she returned to the Camino de Santiago for several weeks in a row, or simple hours spent in the English countryside, the slowing down of thoughts by the rhythm of walking is at the service of accuracy of his texts.

In concert with Rodrigo Amarante:

On April 23 in Lyon, L’Epicerie Moderne
May 6 in Paris, Cabaret Sauvage
May 7th in Lille, L’Aéronef
May 8 in Nantes, Unique Place
Credit El Hardwick

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