Helena Deland – ‘Truth Nugget’

Atmospheric and perpetually on the cusp of something: ‘Truth Nugget’ is the latest single release from Canadian artist Helena Deland’s upcoming debut studio album ‘Someone New’.

‘Truth Nugget’ begins with a moody intro; fuzz and static that embrace you like a downpour on a lonely night, before a looming, wavering baseline creeps in. Paired with a steady drumbeat, the bass remains throughout the song like a lifeline to grasp at. Light synths eke their way into the jittery yet smooth melody while anticipation swaddles you in the same way you await a kettle to start whistling. When the vocals finally kick in, after over a minute of melancholic build-up, the ambient sounds cut out and you are left with just the bass, drums, and, of course, Deland’s velveteen voice.

Just as the track begins to settle into a comfortable groove, the synths reappear and with them that same ambivalent tinge. Expertly interlacing with Deland’s hushed crooning and soulful lyrics, more sonic layers present themselves. The half-whispered chorus is underscored with a slight reverb and the echoes of what sounds like screeching machinery. Always just a hint, never enough to allow you to feel comfortable. A stark guitar riff kicks in seemingly out of nowhere, falling quickly into place, twangy and clear enough that in any other song it may even be considered upbeat, but here just evokes the feeling of crying on a night-time drive.

The second chorus is a daze of dreamy, discordant rumbles paired with overlapping vocals, now even more whispered than before, as it feels like Deland is leading us towards an implosion. But no such implosion comes, instead the baseline shudders and ends, the instrumentals lucidly meander back to their ambient beginnings and the song concludes with one solitary drumbeat.

This track never really gives you a release, the kettle never actually whistles and that is exactly what makes it. You are left with a sonic unease, that stays with you for a good five minutes at least. In a press release, Deland said “Truth Nugget is about the distance that exists even between the closest people and how friendship involves nurturing the other’s solitude”. Our solitude has definitely been nurtured in this slow-burn, ambience-laden track. ‘Someone New’ is scheduled to drop October 16, through Luminelle Recordings.