Sub Pop has signed musician Lael Neale [pron. l-ai-l n-EE-l] to release her songs into the world in 2021. In celebration of the announcement, they have shared the video for her first single “Every Star Shivers in the Dark,” which features Lael’s crystalline voice poised above a drum machine and hypnotic church organ, with production by Guy Blakeslee and mastering by Chris Coady.
Lael says of the song: "This is my ode to Los Angeles, which always felt to me like the outskirts of Eden. I would walk a lot in the city, go from Dodgers Stadium into Downtown - along Alameda. Up in the hills, I'd look out at the vast sprawl and feel daunted. But Los Angeles is not as it appears. Even in moments of isolation, I have looked for communion with strangers and, almost always, found it. These were the scenes and feelings swirling around when I was challenging myself to write a song using only two chords."
“In directing the video, I was aiming to reflect both the light and the shade I experienced in the city at the time I was writing the song. It was a nod to some of my favorite 60s films that marry the bright with the heavy, dark humor with dispassion.”
Lael grew up on a farm in Virginia among acres of clouds, fields, and woods. It was writing and writers close to nature - Ralph Waldo Emerson, John Steinbeck, and Mary Oliver - that she most connected with. In 2009, she moved to California with a rising devotion to music.
She continues, “As songs began to emerge, I spent years honing my writing, enjoying the solitude and the internal process. Performing frightened me, but I took it as an opportunity to face fear and put an end to its rule over other areas of my life.”
In early 2019, in the midst of a major transition, Lael discovered the Omnichord and in the span of 3 months wrote a torrent of songs, including “Every Star Shivers in the Dark.” She offers this: “In a liminal space between ending and beginning, I started recording these songs. Guy, who had been an advocate for years facilitated the process. He set up the 4-track in my bedroom and provided empathic guidance, subtle but deep accompaniment, and engineering prowess. Normally I’m a morning person, however, I made most of the recordings in the early darkening evening.”