Ioanna Gika has shared a new track "Swan" , taken from her debut solo album 'Thalassa', which is set for release on April 5th via Sargent House.
'Thalassa' takes its name from the primeval spirit of the sea, a nod to the singer's Greek heritage and a thematic touchstone for the self-produced 10 song set. Following previous singles "Roseate" and last month's video for "Out of Focus", "Swan" offers both one of the album's most accessible and heart-breaking moments as Gika mourns love and grapples with the need to let go.
"‘Swan’ is about the sinking feeling when you sense a relationship is coming to an end, but you are powerless to stop it" Gika explains. "You exist in this nebulous state, and can sense the change, but are met with silence. I had this feeling right before my long-term relationship ended, I had this feeling when my dad was sick but doctors weren’t getting back to me with answers. Hearing the truth is harsh, but silence, when you’re looking for answers, is a suffocating purgatory."
Written in Greece during a period of familial grief and romantic dissolution, 'Thalassa' documents an unanchored soul facing nature at its most unforgiving. Gika's unique voice is laid bare, a
beacon above the black water of dense, looming production that lies beneath. Her lyrics (recently quoted by Booker Prize winning author Arundhati Roy in her best-selling book The Ministry Of Utmost
Happiness) sung in Greek as well as English, chart a path through her own mourning while luring the ear like a siren’s call.
"A series of deaths drew me home to Greece. The city of childhood memories was in disrepair. I drove past painted swastikas towards burial sites. I said goodbyes and grieved for those I didn’t get to say goodbye to. ‘Thalassa' is about going through change that is unwanted yet unstoppable. It is a document of the dread, the adrenaline, and the surrender in the moments when you realise the only way to survive the wave, is to brace yourself and go through."
The theme of change is represented not only in the album's lyrics, but also in Gika's production: from expansive opener “Roseate,” shared online late last year, to the stark loneliness of
album closer “Drifting,” she channels the helplessness of being plunged into the depths of 'Thalassa''s great waves, along with the adrenaline of not knowing if she will come up for air.
Gika, who formerly toured the world as a member of IO Echo, recently completed a US run of live dates supporting Deafheaven and DIIV. She also wrote and performed the song “Estrange” with Tokimonsta on the latter’s Grammy nominated album Lune Rouge. She will support Garbage across the US in May as part of a Spring tour around the release of Thalassa. European dates to follow soon.