Violinist, composer, and Grammy Award-winning sound engineer, Simon Goff, has teamed up with acclaimed, multi-platinum-selling singer-songwriter, Katie Melua, and announced their forthcoming collaborative album, Aerial Objects.
The album is due for release digitally and on CD on July 15 via BMG and on vinyl on September 2. Alongside the announcement, Simon and Katie have shared the stunning ‘Hotel Stamba’, the first single to be taken from the album. You can pre order AERIAL here.
Simon Goff and Katie Melua were two musicians who moved into very different musical circles. Simon is more closely aligned to a bloodline of artists who inhabit an area between electronic, classical, and post-rock, with his unique approach to sound seeing him work with some of the world’s most acclaimed musicians, including Academy Award-winning composer Hildur Guðnadóttir on the scores for Joker and Chernobyl – both of which earned him Grammy Awards. Katie, meanwhile, has released 8 Top 10 UK albums across a 20-year career littered with modern standards including ‘Closest Thing To Crazy’ and ‘Nine Million Bicycles’.
Her latest LP, Album No.8, was released in 2020 to huge acclaim, and the accompanying Acoustic Album No.8 was released in 2021 and featured contributions from Simon on ‘Remind Me To Forget’ and ‘Maybe I Dreamt It’.
After that initial collaboration on Katie’s album, the pair agreed they immediately wanted to test the boundaries of what collaboration could look like from a blank canvas.
An exhibition the pair attended at the iconic brutalist edifice of the König Gallery in Berlin was the catalyst for the album’s thematic terrain. A discussion on the emotional effects of different spaces and architecture sparked an exploration of landscapes, both man-made and natural, and turned into experimental compositions that move, moment by moment, between the song spaces of Katie and the immersive melodies of Simon.
With Simon at the musical helm and Katie’s imagination and lyrical freedom addressing how environments shape her thinking and state, this six-track collaboration record is an exploratory project of two artists searching beyond their usual musical boundaries into places unknown.
On the album, Simon says “The process of making this album has been one of discovery and giving space to each other. The sensitivity needed for this kind of process has allowed many things to surface, from us discovering the differences in how we listen to and hear music and lyrics, to our own deeply personal life experiences. The record for me is a representation of us exploring the space that exists between us and discovering a common voice from within it.”
Katie says “I was fortunate enough to work with Simon when he appeared as a guest on an acoustic album I released late last year. During those sessions, and as a maker of immersive musical landscapes, Simon talked to me about creating records that make the listener feel like they are inside the orchestra. We agreed that we needed to create something new together – with a focus on how different environments affect the human condition.
She continues, “On Aerial Objects, our two artists’ worlds have merged to create a new space: Simon on the violin, analog processing, and synths, coming together with my world of traditional records rooted around the pop song. Lyrically this work has allowed me the freedom of imagination to address how environments shape my thinking and state; how the use of language and story-telling influence me; as well as the opportunity to finally reflect on a time in my life when I was recovering from a very challenging psychiatric illness.”
The album’s first single, ‘Hotel Stamba’, was the second song the pair wrote for Aerial Objects and is a love song to the eponymous hotel in Tbilisi, Georgia, where Katie spent the first eight years of her life.
The accompanying video celebrates architecture, pivoting from man-made spaces and shining a light on one of the great architects of nature, bees.
Katie describes the single as “an attempt to create a piece of music which makes me feel the way this space made me feel when I stepped inside it.”
She continues, “‘Hotel Stamba’ is about a hotel in Tbilisi which massively changed my opinion of what was happening in Georgia culturally from 2017 to 2019. This building symbolizes both the past and future of Tbilisi, a place where the streets are named after poets and writers. I’ve spent a lot of time in hotels and I couldn’t believe that my home town had managed to create this stunning hotel, which was both sensitive to the local culture, and cool, and comfortable, and just really killing it on the world stage. And so it’s how that hotel made me feel.”