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  • David Bentley

Katharina Nuttall - Lethe (single)

6th November sees the release of the first single for some time from Norwegian/Swedish artist Katharina Nuttall, an artist, music producer and film composer living in Stockholm, who is currently recording her fourth studio album, ‘The Garden’, to be released in 2021. She’s spent the last couple of years making movie scores. Nuttall is a name that runs in my family too although they are all from Oldham so I doubt there’s any connection. However, it appears her father is English.

She has quite a history including a previous collaboration with PJ Harvey’s producer. She has a postgraduate degree in film music composition and is an award winner in that discipline.

The album is a concept one about “emotional flows and resurrection, combining songs, instrumentals and the spoken word, and inspired by Charles Baudelaire, John Keats and dirt.” I’m assuming that’s the sort of dirt you’ll find in a garden rather than the sort that’s thrown around in politics.

Within a few seconds of the song’s opening you know this is no Scandi-pop adventure. It’s heavy, man, a peculiar melange of Harvey, Siouxsie and the Banshees, and Kate Bush vocally, mixed with a Celtic cello (?) opening, military drums, then what could be a ‘battle’ soundtrack to one of the ‘Hunger Games’ franchise (I’d love to see Jennifer Lawrence in a bit of rough and tumble to this) and yet underpinned by a 1980s electro-pop melody that might have come from Marc Almond or Erasure. It’s quite a feast, and builds to a spectacular climax. It will take you probably more than one listening truly to appreciate but persevere. You will.

Lethe (‘lee thee’), by the way, is one of the five rivers in Hades, the underworld in Greek mythology. Somewhere near District 12 in Panem by the sound of it. In classic Greek, Lethe means oblivion, forgetfulness or concealment. In keeping with classical mythology, Lethe was also the name of a Greek spirit: the spirit of forgetfulness and oblivion.

‘Lethe’ has just been released by Novoton Records today.


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