Watch the new music video from Wellington musician Womb.
‘Teresa’ – the latest release from Charlotte Forrester’s solo project Womb – might at times feel dreamlike, but it’s grounded by a real sense of isolation that’s felt throughout the recording.
The song is about the loss of idealism, loss of innocence and the limitless magic of childhood, explains Charlotte. “‘Teresa’ is realising that weight of slipping under. But ‘Teresa’ is also seeing power in the people around you that carry on a sense of magic past an idyllic youth.”
“Singing and bringing to light the matriarchs of my life is central to my songs. My mother, my sister... Teresa is one of these matriarchs.”
Singing and bringing to light the matriarchs of my life is central to my songs. My mother, my sister... Teresa is one of these matriarchs.
Before settling in Wellington, Charlotte grew up in the woods just out of Melbourne and later “moved to suburbia”, a town in the US state of Illinois called Champaign. “Both shaped me in different ways,” she says. “There was magic everywhere in the eucalyptus trees of Australia. But in the Midwest it was more like you had to make your own magic.”
Music was always floating around during these times, but it was Athuzela Brown, a hushed, folk-y project she began with her twin brother Haz, that really marked the beginning of writing and recording. The duo - whose music she describes as “very dreamscaped and abstract” - have since parted ways, giving Charlotte a chance to explore the ideas she had of her own.
“Making music by myself was like a challenge,” she admits. “Trying to conceptualise and articulate and produce sounds on my own.”
Her five-song EP was released last May through Sonorous Circle, a local label whose roster includes i.e. Crazy, Seth Frightening, Glass Vaults and Paperghost, and who she describes as “just the loveliest and most inspiring people to be friends with”. The recordings have been characterised as “neo-folk”, which she confesses is probably true of the music she makes, but it still makes her uncomfortable to be shoeboxed into just one genre.
“Maybe this is because ‘folk’ or ‘dream folk’ became so synonymous with Athuzela that it almost felt suffocating in a way,” she says.
I feel like what we've ended up with is a magic but untouchable world.
The visuals for ‘Teresa’ comes courtesy of Tristan Brooks, a local artist who Charlotte felt would be a perfect fit for the video. The idea behind the clip, says Tristan, was to call on the sublime elements of digital realms and to explore the desolate and decaying spaces in Second Life.
“As a gamer I’m fascinated by the details that creators put into digital worlds, with a pointed fascination towards the unintentional glitchy moments in gaming,” Tristan says.
“Visually I tried to touch abstractly on ideas of loneliness and the idea of being somewhere but not belonging; growing out of one world and into another.”
“I feel like what we've ended up with is a magic but untouchable world,” says Charlotte.
“Like a dream, or like adolescence itself.”