Black Dahlia

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1975 saw Stevie Nicks take the mike singing about a Celtic goddess. Mythology seated her on a horse, giving her a lunar sensibility and a symbol of wealth and mystique. A few years later, a Kate Bush ballad inspired by the Brontë novel was set against the chilly fog and moistness of an ethereal English afternoon. Two rock and roll divas who pushed genre with their panache for mysticism and proclivity for experimentation and powerful music that breathes self expression into playlists.

 

Fast-forwarding the clock, Rhiannon—the ebony haired London artist of Welsh descent walks into a café. With a strong influence from folklore, a recent performance saw her bracing the reins as the precursor to her latest release and at a debut performance, the artist arrived via horse and carriage.

 

“The most hilarious moment in the conception of this song was in the horse scene she said…the horse ended up standing on my foot, so I had to go to A&E!”

 

‘Blue’—the debut single of Swim Silky, is the aimlessly flirtatious, bubbly track that sweeps over us in an ocean tide of paisley. With a Pagan sensibility, the single suffers from no fractures or wounds from an electric authenticity, and with vibrancy—the track swims with a smooth lyricism.

 

Religious chamber music was at the forefront of Rhiannon’s upbringing and was used to reference a current identity leaving us with a somber sonic impression.

 

With today’s release, a three-minute cinematic video of black and white imagery is included and in collaboration with the London rapper Redz Lashley, a prenup between silk and grit occurs and petals are plucked individually from the bud of a black dahlia. Hailing from separate backgrounds, the collab results in commentary from different shared experiences.

 

Like a dove with one wing, ‘Blue’ is the pendulum that swings between that which is positive and negative on the emotional scale, and serendipitously—a Pisces swims between an alternative and a rap rhythmicon.

 

Baptizing her music as Celtic fusion, ‘Blue’ snaps a Polaroid…showcasing a pop orchestration shot through an alternative lens.

 

“It has a bit of pace to it…it’s like meeting a lover in the forest.”

 

She mentioned after sipping a steaming cup of tea regarding the singles thematic backdrop.

 

Also opting to share that with the mark of today’s release, a more unapologetic approach to music is starting to manifest from the artist whose initial shyness towards singing is now being challenged.

 

Starting off as a student at London’s Central Saint Martins, fashion is the complimentary element to Rhiannon’s creative landscape, with Instagram featuring a gallery of performance wear including upcycled garments that are referenced throughout a music making process and help to describe the playfulness of a DIY performance wardrobe. A black pair of heels aptly named the ‘horse hoof shoe’ and an arduously constructed corset in chestnut leather is worn during the music video originating from a personal collection, and a femininity is reimagined with sharp lines, corsetry, and a striking equestrienne aesthetic.

 

Alexander McQueen surfaced during our chat, and with the rugged glamour and poetry of the 2022 spring collection, a thread of homage was tightly knotted with fashions that both redefine and recapture a style.

 

Clawing through the noise ‘Blue’ rings like a bell in the night.

 

STORY: ALEXANDER MAYS PHOTOS: JOSHUA HEAVENS ONABOWU

CONNECT WITH RHIANNON

INSTAGRAM // SPOTIFY

 

 

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