Venezuelan experimentalist Arca has shared Madre, a new four-track EP.
The project revolves around “Madreviolo,” a track that features melancholic, pitch-shifted vocals and a unique cello progression. The song appears on Arca’s score for HBO series Euphoria’s latest episode, “Fuck Anyone Who’s Not a Sea Blob.”
After listening to her raw, unedited vocals on the track, Arca sent the a cappella version to London-based cellist Oliver Coates, who reworked the composition into the EP’s title track. On the haunting, funereal song, Arca tells a tale of a strained relationship between the writer and their mother. The remainder of the EP concerns itself with the different elements of “Madreviolo,” offering the a cappella version of “Madreviolo” and the remaining instrumentals on “Violo.”
“After recording ‘Madreviolo,’ I destroyed the cello I bought specifically for this,” Arca explained in a statement. “It had to be like a one-time thing for the version where I pitched up my vocal to castrati registers. But the original version with my unprocessed vocals, which felt a necessary version to share alongside ‘Madreviolo,’ needed an arrangement that I could envision but couldn’t hear. When I shared the a cappella version with Oliver there was an insane resonance and chemistry; where he took it felt like the place I dreamed of but couldn’t reach without him.”
This is Arca’s latest release following the December project Riquiquí; Bronze Instances (1-100), which collected 100 versions of her song “Riquiquí” generated by artificial intelligence software. In June, she released her latest album KiCK i, which included “KLK” featuring Rosalía and “Mequetrefe.”
Watch the visual for “Madre,” created by Aron Sanchez-Baranda, featuring otherworldly textures from organisms captured in tide pools:
And stream the project below: