The Sound Cafe
Portland's Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves Release Video Of Apocalyptic Hymn From New Album
By Devon Leger.
Happy International Women’s Day!
The new video from apocalyptic roots duo Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves has been released. “I Will Not Live Always” is taken from a mysterious shape note song that Tatiana discovered in her research.
Here’s what Tatiana had to say about the song - “We originally wanted to name the album “I would not live always” because it captures the dark apocalyptic vibe. The lyrics feel very surreal and have some almost sci-fi like imagery: “and see soft unfolding those portals of gold, all around us arrayed in their beauty behold”. We picked and chose our own lyrics from the poem to kind of create our own story line. I feel like it is about our own smallness in this world —again, in reference to climate apocalypse. Death is near, I would not live always…”
The duo recorded their new album, Hurricane Clarice (March 25 on Free Dirt Records) last summer during an unprecedented heat wave as Portland, Oregon burned under the sun. With the threat of climate change surrounding everything (and at the suggestion of their producer Phil Cook), they turned to their own families’ history (Allison’s Ukrainian roots in Canada and Tatiana’s Jewish roots) and to the string-band music community which has always held them aloft as two of the most brilliant and visionary artists on the scene.
Traditional music is not static; it shifts with the times, uncovering new meanings in old words, new ways of talking about the communal pathways that led us to where we are today. For master musicians Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves, traditional string-band music is a way to interpret our uncertain times, to draw artistic inspiration and power from the sources of meaning in their lives. History, family, literature, live performance, and environmental instability all manifest in the sounds, feelings, and sensations that permeate their new album, Hurricane Clarice.
Recording last year in the midst of a global pandemic and during an unprecedented heat wave that saw the city of Portland, Oregon burning under 120 degree heat, these two master musicians found themselves turning to their own communities, to their families, to bring that support into the music. In fact, it was producer Phil Cook (Megafaun, Hiss Golden Messenger) who suggested the two weave their own family histories into the project by including audio recordings of each of their own grandmothers. The album became a direct infusion of centuries of matrilineal folk wisdom, a fiery breath of apocalyptic grandmother energy. And yet the beauty of Allison de Groot & Tatiana Hargreaves’ music is that they’re using these old sounds to speak to something new, to speak to a dying world.