Helena Deland is an enigmatic singer-songwriter to watch from Montreal. The video for her single “Claudion” premiered on Monday via Pitchfork, and she’ll be playing U.S. dates in December:
Helena Deland 12/04 • Pittsburgh, PA • Club Café
Helena’s new collection of songs, From The Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” Vol III. and IV. was just released on October 19th via Luminelle Recordings, and also features the intimate acoustic guitar-laden “Rise” which saw Helena fall “into a gentle, dreamier state” according to Stereogum, wherein Helena plaintively expresses a desire for intimacy with an avoidant person, along with the single “Lean On You” which ended up on Pitchfork‘s What’s Good This Week playlist, and deemed one of Under The Radar‘s Best Songs of the Week.
Helena recently visited CBC Music for a phenomenal session, watch her performance of “Rise” HERE.
Helena also spoke with UPROXX for this illuminating feature: Canadian Songwriter Helena Deland On The Friendships That Inspire Her Meditative Synth-Pop
Praise for Helena Deland and From The Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” Vol. III & IV. out now on Luminelle Recordings:
“‘Think of something you’ve seen breaking down,’ Helena Deland sings in “A Stone Is a Stone,” from the not-quite-an-album, “Altogether Unaccompanied,” that she has called a “series of songs” and began releasing bit by bit in the spring. The songs are by no means a cappella; this one starts as a lo-fi waltz and gathers a full folk-rock band. She sings about knowledge and disorientation, discord and reconciliation; the music tells the same story.” – The New York Times
“Across four short volumes, the Montreal singer-songwriter introduces a lonely and diverse set of songs written with an exceptional eye for melody and texture.” – Pitchfork
“a sleek affair with soft, pulsating synths, and her smokey voice builds up to a hook that dazzles like a handful of glitter in the air. If you have not been fully converted to the lures of synth-pop yet, this will do it for you.” – The FADER
“The beat of this song mimics a heart’s, making you feel even more physically connected to the soulful lyrics Helena Deland croons than you’d thought possible.” – NYLON
“It begins with a bouncy dance-oriented keyboard riff and eventually expands into chamber-pop house music of a sort — or at least a dream choreographed in time with a heartbeat.” – Stereogum
“Montreal’s Helena Deland makes synth-pop that’s not easy to classify, if mostly because she can change moods or styles on a dime. “Claudion,” in particular, feels purified, her smooth vocals and classy production swooning lightly with the ebbs and flows of her emotions. For a song that is about the relief of anxiety, it’s not surprising that it functions the same way for the listener.” – UPROXX
“Like wisps of silver-grey smoke, Deland’s voice curls and dances its way through her latest track “Claudion,” as tendrils swirl up into the eardrums of her listener they’re engulfed with an intoxicating synth-pop aroma.” – Dancing Astronaut
“It is this intimate specificity in Deland’s storytelling that separates her from the lot of bubblegum dream-pop artists of late — her work pairs the same intricate textures and infectious beats with haunting personal narratives.” The Wild Honey Pie
“‘Lean on You’ ends with Helena Deland humming softly alongside a steady rhythm, like waves crashing onto the shore — consistent, but somehow still mystifying and beautiful.”– The Wild Honey Pie
“HELENA DELAND’s newest single release ‘Claudion’ is so melty and crispy and mesmerizing, that we didn’t know what to do about it for a while. But then we let things breathe, clean out our lungs, and absorbed what this single was all about. And the depth of the product is what HELENA DELAND has always been: dynamic, innovative, seductive.” – Come Here Floyd
There’s no discernible pattern to Helena Deland’s latest release. On the third and fourth volumes of From The Series of Songs “Altogether Unaccompanied” the Montréal-based artist has amassed a collection of memories in song form, more like a box of old photos or unsent letters than a traditional EP.
“The songs are to be considered as their own little things,” she says about her unconventional release structure. “They are part of something larger, yes, but they live on their own.” As a listener, however, there is an undeniable cohesion to Vol. III and IV, and to the previous iterations of the project: each song is nostalgic, intimate, and indelible.
References abound, but the sound is all her own. Musical and literary influences weave through with ease, underscored by her dynamic vocals and clever lyricism. Deland’s constant journaling has allowed her songwriting to mature organically.
“I’m learning to be really patient,” she says, “I can’t really force writing. When I’m ready to write a song the words and melody are usually there.”
Helena Deland – TOUR DATES
* co-headline with Buzzy Lee
11/16 • Montréal, QC • Théâtre Fairmount [Vol. III & IV Launch @ M for Montréal]
11/23 • Trois-Rivières, QC • Église St. James
11/24 • Quebec, QC • La Meduse
11/29 • Toronto, ON • Monarch Tavern
12/01 • Chicago, IL • Schubas Tavern
12/02 • Cleveland, OH • Beachland Tavern
12/04 • Pittsburgh, PA • Club Café
12/05 • Philadelphia, PA • Johnny Brenda’s
12/06 • Washington, DC • DC9
12/07 • Brooklyn, NY • Elsewhere (Zone One)
12/13 • San Francisco, CA • Swedish American Hall *
12/15 • Los Angeles, CA • The Echo *