On her new single “Northern Lights,” Los Angeles-based singer-songwriter Claire George attempts to reckon with memory. Not just her own specific memory, but the way memory exists entirely — the way it has a tendency to rot and crumble, eventually leaving us with just sketches of what we thought we originally knew. “I wrote ’Northern Lights’ about someone I loved and lost to opioid addiction. I wanted to eternalize the memories we shared before they became distant or distorted, as they do when you retell or revisit them,” she tells The FADER via email. “After they passed, they appeared regularly in my dreams. Waking up I would relive the loss and beg for an alternate reality.”
True to that, “Northern Lights” refracts hard-wired, vivid specifics — “azure eyes,” “an old schoolhouse,” “that song” you loved — through haunting, inconsistent spectre: “You were so far gone, hardly recognised you / And now that you’re gone, well I see you all the time.” True to that, the song’s electro-pop production begins hard and distinct before degrading, pinging synths and dubby guitars beginning to obscure the tight drum hits. Altogether, it’s a striking, heartbreaking image.
Listen to “Northern Lights”, taken from George’s forthcoming The Land Beyond The Light, above.