Montreal-based musicians Helena Deland and Ouri (born Ourielle Auvé) have joined forces as Hildegard, sharing their new project’s first single “Jour 2” on Wednesday. The duo describe their debut track as “a psychedelic mantra that labours to reconcile the dissociated self by contrasting eeriness and softness.” That same unnerving beauty pervades the accompanying video (dir. Melissa Matos), which offers a visual representation of Deland and Ouri’s creative connection.
“Jour 2” (“Day 2” from French) centers Deland’s gossamer vocals, and her lyrics have a looping hypnotism to them, gently lifting you off your feet in a way that’s both disquieting and alluring. Meanwhile, multi-instrumentalist and producer Ouri adds backing vocals and muted synth-pop touches, subtly manipulating the song’s steady tempo in places, as if the fabric of its reality is warping. “I haven’t gotten lost in such a long time,” Deland sings at one point, a line that repeats nowhere else and stands out all the more as a result. Synth chords come to the forefront in the instrumental bridge, feedback drone threatening to drown out all else.
Deland gave Paste the scoop on Hildegard back in December when we highlighted her as The Best of What’s Next, explaining that the collaborative project was named for the “historical priestess figure in the 12th century who was also an enlightened musician, doctor and missionary. Just this really rare feminine figure to have survived the Middle Ages in terms of history, her writings and stuff.” The duo will release their debut album later this year, with further details and music soon to come.
“Jour 2” is the first release from section1, a new label created in partnership with Partisan Records. “We can’t think of a more exciting artist to launch with than our first signing, Hildegard,” section1 says in a statement. “Ouri and Helena have created a world both musically and visually inspiring, and we are thrilled to help bring it to life.”
Watch the “Jour 2” video below and stay tuned for more from Hildegard.