The inception of Black Currant coincided with the onset of the pandemic, and matured quietly during quarantine. Born out of lead singer and songwriter Kelly Martin’s solo project Native/naive, it has grown into a full fledged band that includes lead guitarist Brigham Rockwell, and classically influenced bassist Mollie Hicks. The band is now coming out of hiding with two new singles and an EP, scheduled to be released in October of this year.
Black Currant’s latest EP contains a diverse arrangement of instruments and rich textures. The songs combine the electronic and the organic to create surreal stories and new sonic landscapes that depict the space between our inner world- dreams and the subconscious- and external, real life events. Listening to Split is like standing at the edge of a river in the moonlight: lyrical guitar tones flow like darkened water, oscillating between soft and aggressive. Bass lines blend in the depths with the rhythmic pulse of an unrelenting drum machine. The singer’s creamy, rich vocals fill the night air, providing some comfort but lingering, seeking to haunt your soul.
Black Currant is led by Kelly Martin, a musician, visual artist, and spiritual nomad. Combining the experimental approach of Kate Bush with the darker themes of Nick Cave, her music explores the unusual, the beautiful, and the dark. She documents the consequences of a life lived in the vast spaces that exist beyond the boundaries of tradition and the familiarity of material living. She is self-taught, and self-made; this offers a creative freedom is both exhilarating and painful. It has been her life to live, and she lives it with equal parts fear and excitement, darkness and light, order and chaos. The music she makes is clearing an entirely new sonic path, leaving in her wake a light for others who will inevitably be compelled to follow.
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Top photo by Martha Moszczynski