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Uh oh, Valentine…


Photo: Scott Byrne

I love strings, and I love songs. But I don’t love Valentine’s Day. So I’ve made a tricky decision to delay the launch of “The Coldwater Project” to a more appropriate time…

The creative side would benefit from less pressure, and more time is needed on the business side. Doing creative stuff while juggling strategic decisions is challenging, but ultimately, I’ve realised it isn’t necessary to be this crunched.

Because this timeline is elastic, and it’s time to stretch it…

I’m in London, in the studio with Alex McGowan (Tricky / Martina Topley Bird). Kevin Dippold is mixing in Los Angeles, and Bella Erikson is editing in L.A. Angus Cameron (My Bloody Valentine / Primal Scream) is working on a film in Scotland. Rynda Laurel is steering our ship’s course in the virtual world, and our brand partner in the UK is by the sea getting ready for the launch in a very inspired and fun way.

The whole ship is scrubbing the decks, and we’re determined to bring you this beautiful project as quickly as possible! We’ve been in production for ages and ages: we’re looking forward to sharing it, and I know you’re impatient to hear it… but it doesn’t make sense to launch before it’s ready, or to cut any corners in quality, simply because an arbitrary date is approaching that I don’t really like anyway.

It would be nice to present the music with this cohesive glue: a collection of love songs with an orchestra, launched on Valentine’s Day. Simple concept; romantic and classy; high feel-good factor.

Only problem is, Valentine’s feels a bit “Hallmark Cards” to me.
And they’re not all love songs, they’re more complex.
And right now, it all feels a bit limiting.
And to be honest, a bit scary.

I’m not into holidays in general. Birthdays suck. My best birthday of all time was this year, spent in Chicago shooting “The Mermaid Song“. The reason it’s my favourite one? Because I was working, creating, doing what I do. I knew it was coming, so I had to do something. But I simply placed an exciting event from my ongoing creative life onto this date in my schedule, and thus avoided the pressure of having to do something ‘birthday-ish’.

Holidays are made for people who don’t really love what they do on a working day, but I do: I much prefer my regular life to any constructed holidays.

Take Christmas, for example. Best Christmas ever was my first one in Los Angeles, spent with strangers in Rudi Valentino’s old pad in the Hollywood Hills, listening to a massive stack of old vinyl records. Probably the least-Christmasy one ever, but the most enjoyable because it was part of the natural flow of my world. No feeling of compulsory feasting or obligatory merriment.

Best New Year’s Eve was on my own in the Amazon rainforest, naked and painted green on the banks of the River Cuyabeno, the sky packed with galaxies of stars, the forest teaming with life, by a river chock-full of piranhas. Far, far away from the biggest Saturday night of the year…

I admit to quite liking Thanksgiving, which despite its dubious history has evolved into a fine meal shared with friends, with no pressure of enforced gifts, no religious content, and a strong emphasis on feeling grateful and counting your blessings, which I am, and I do often.

But Valentine’s Day… most of them have totally sucked, whether I’ve been single or not. Hmmm…. I do have a best Valentine’s Day of all time. It’s the one I spent in San Francisco recording with the Master Musicians of Joujouka, David J and Dub Gabriel. Again, it’s the only one I can remember when I basically ignored its existence and continued with the flow of my creative life, and actually, it was the day I met David J, which led to a productive collaboration that’s lasted many years.

So that’s the exception that proves the rule: I love my life, my real life, the actual one that I choose. And I adore making string arrangements, writing songs, and composing music. Also making films.

I’m so grateful for your patience as we get ready to launch “The Coldwater Project”. I promise you we’re all moving as quickly as possible to make this happen. This ship will be shipshape soon!

But for now, Thank You for rolling with this twisty-turny process.
Because that kind of “no-strings-attached” love is the best kind…

xx Ysanne x

P.S. I’m surfing the crest of this wave here in Old Blighty, just like they taught me in Malibu!

Only the waves here are so different, often frozen and icy, sometimes plenty of fish, other times black with tangled seaweed, shipwrecks, and rocks…

Now and then I can see the tail of a faraway whale or the flip of a dolphin’s fin cutting through the foam…

And on misty days, there are pirates, muskets drawn, swords at their sides, drinking ale, and spitting tobacco at the water…