“Music was my refuge. I could crawl into the space between the notes and curl my back to loneliness,” wrote Maya Angelou, reflecting a feeling reverberating through generations of music lovers and artists and people who feel pain. Not only is Angelou summing up the solace that can be found in a melody, but she is the platform upon which innovative electronic musician ECKOES is building her voice. Her new track ‘Hurricane of Storms’ encapsulates the mood of the artist: music as a force to fight pain.
ECKOES’ deeply unique, somewhat androgynous voice has been heralded already as being unmatched by anything else on the market. Talent scouted by Grammy award-winning producer, Naughty Boy, and surrounded by tastemakers praise, ECKOES is turning heads in the industry simply by being there. Her latest single is the second release off her forthcoming EP and is as innovative as it is topical, dealing with mental health in our ultra-connected universe.
In 1918, composer Leonard Bernstein wrote, “music can name the unnameable and communicate the unknowable”, a sentiment that translates fluidly into the simple lyricism of ‘Hurricane of Storms.’ The main hook, “shelter in me” is an invitation, a statement that it’s ‘okay to not be okay’, but also a reminder that music is a place where you can escape. In an artfully electronic way, the track is almost cavernous, allowing for space to get lost in.
The trumpet-led electronic rhythm that the single is built around is present from the outset: opening with trumpet cries and shivering opening lines. There’s a premonition that it will be a slow song, but the instrumentals quickly climb with the beat, adding drums and light percussion. As the track moves into a borderline dance track, with a throbbing beat, synth line and vocals seeped in reverb, ‘Hurricane of Storms’ moves into your chest, the notes are in your bones, so that you’re not sure if it’s the song setting the rhythm of your heartbeat, or the other way around. ECKOES allows the track to flow back into the trumpet dynamic before waves of bass and instrumental texture break again. ‘Hurricane of Storms’ switches up every time you get complacent, much like your mind. The diverse nature of the tune wraps around your thoughts, so absorbing that you’re forced to shut the door on the world.
“Music touches us emotionally where words alone can’t,” murmured Jonny Depp, accidentally writing a line that would become immortal. Some music affects us through lyrics that speak to us or a chord progression that sounds like your lover rolling their eyes, or your first-born laughing. Electronic music and drum and base taps into that part of us that we can’t express, we can only ride the lightening of the beat until we are left in cathartic release. Somehow, ECKOES manages to harness both. Thematically she tells us that music can be there for you when no one else can. In tribal, bombarding instrumental complexity, she gives us a space to escape into
ECKOES is working with Help Musicians UK for World Mental Health Day. She told Neon Music, “I’m supporting music and mental health awareness because the highs and lows you go through as a musician, combined with the nocturnal hours and the pressure to create something incredible to send to your manager/ publisher/ label, can be overwhelming. It’s important that we really look after our minds.”