22 year old Surma, aka Debora Umbelino, releases the lead single from her forthcoming debut, accompanied by a surreal and dramatic video. Having signed to Leiria-based Portuguese label Omnichord Records, ‘Hemma’ is a tantalising glimpse into the artist’s otherworldly work. Her sonic blend combines ambient music, post-rock and jazz influences, reminiscent in parts of Joanna Newsom, Björk and Portishead. Opening with distorted, rattling percussion, and reverb soaked guitars, Surma’s almost childlike voice washes through the captivating soundscape with a yearning, seeking feel. The chorus bursts with bitter sweet euphoria, space and beauty, as Umbelino’s voice blends into the ether of pads and wailing guitars. As the song draws to a close, the garbled effects of her gated vocal, gently diffuses the energy, allowing the songs emotional gravity to sink in.
Complementing the atmospheric song, is an equally emotive and visually striking video, directed and produced by The Casota Collective. A sparse, washed out field, framed by a setting sun, plays host to an intimate performance. Two dancers contort their bodies, their face and body paint matching the bleak colours of the landscape, as they react in time to the ebb and flow of ‘Hemma’. The dancers seem almost androgynous in their appearance, showing no emotion, expressing all through physical movements. Surma, features in the video, unmoving and eyes closed, the dancers twist and turn around her, mimicking the relationship between her voice and the music. This video, perfectly mirrors the intimate moments of ‘Hemma’, and offers a stunningly captivating viewing experience Surma has crafted an intimate sound that is all her own, and with her debut album due for release in October, the multi-instrumentalist is proving why her voice truly has to be heard.
Surma: Hemma Lyrics: