We thought we’d try and do something a bit different this time. Ancient Waters was released back in December and we have been speaking to Jehanna about an interview for a while, so we thought we’d combine it together into one big feature to give you a good idea of what she is about!
How would you describe your sound?
‘I like to describe it as Bluegaze since it’s like the water, which can be calm but also wild. I think it’s a mix of Symphonic Metal and Blackgaze, with some rock, some folk elements and classical music.‘
As somewhat confusing as ‘Bluegaze’ could be, it is actually a very fitting description. Opening track ‘Rán’ is definitely symphonic rock/metal, and it does flow back and forth between the harder stuff and a softer sound. The harmonies in the choruses are a highlight, as is the bridge riff which somehow reminds me of both Black Sabbath and Madness, what a pairing! Jehanna’s vocals are impressive too, soaring high and fitting the music perfectly. My only issue, and it will probably be with the album as a whole, is that it isn’t terribly well mixed. It may just be my laptop speakers finally giving up on me, but the instrumentation didn’t quite pack the punch I was hoping for.
‘Nøkkens Svig’ even fittingly opens on the sound of bubbling liquid, an almost ominous, creepy piano melody over the top. The rest of the instruments join in and make it heavy (though again I wish they were louder), before dropping out and making the verse feel slower and quieter, adding to the menacing atmosphere. In fact, the whole track is slower than the previous one, giving it a much more epic feel to it. It’s a great track!
The above track ‘Ice & Wind’, picks up the pace again, this one almost having a Norse feel to it! The vocal harmonies are again a massive plus, and the melody for the vocals itself is heavily rooted in folk. The blend of styles here is really interesting and sounds great. Also, the drums stood out a lot in this track, but they have been solid and enjoyable throughout so far. This one makes the playlist, awesome stuff!
How was it making the album, given that you made it on your own?
‘It was definitely challenging me as a musician, since I started to learn to play the guitar and even the bass, for I didn’t have the musicians at hand. Luckily, my former guitar player helped me on the guitars. I also had to program the drums, which was the most nerve-wrecking part and no fun at all. But I liked how this showed me how much I am able to do all by myself. It builds more trust in you as a person and in your skills.‘
Is there a particular theme or story throughout the album, or is it more on an individual track basis?
‘It’s actually a chapter of my life which was filled with new experiences. All songs came to me in dreams, so I wasn’t writing them consciously.’
Speaking of dreams, ‘Sailor’s Tears’ opens on a beautiful string soundscape that does sound almost ethereal. It also builds perfectly, adding a simple drum fading in and out behind Jehanna’s powerful vocals. The distorted guitars and synths build in after time as the drums pick up, adding some great dynamics to the track. In fact, this song goes up and down beautifully throughout, it has some great quiet bits as well as the heavy stuff. With the right production, this could have been a MASSIVE single. Still the sound is growing on me, and it doesn’t hamper my enjoyment of the song too much!
Do you plan on getting a band together to play some shows and tour it?
‘This is definitely something I want for Ancient Waters. I hope that when the Covid-situation is better and there is someone to give the musicians and me the opportunity to play, the first tour will happen. Of course it’s not that easy for me as a one-woman-band, for someone needs to pay the other musicians, but I’ll make it happen in one way or the other.‘
‘Boreas’ is another slow starter, a simple piano melody backed up with some ‘ooo’s. The lyrics soon come in over the top, again fitting the tone perfectly. It has even heavier folk vibes than before. Especially since it doesn’t actually get heavy at all. There are no guitars at all in this, just piano, vocals, strings and the same singular drum throughout. It’s a really enjoyable track, and one I could easily hear on a movie soundtrack, it’s that epic. Playlisted!
Where would be the dream place or venue for you to play at?
‘I think at any beach in the world with the sound of waves in the background.‘
Even though you have only just released an album, are you already planning and writing for a second?
‘Yes! The 2nd album is already written and the demos are recorded. Last week I finished most of the artwork and soon I’ll start to record it. This one is a bit heavier, for the melodies mostly came to me while sitting there with a guitar. I wrote it when Covid was at its core and we were in lockdown. There were many dark thoughts and dreams and this album expresses that.’
The rest of the album is equally as great as the first half of it, epic soundscapes of symphonic folk rock. ‘Havets Datter’ is another highlight, a nearly eight-minute epic of a track. But overall there isn’t a bad track on the album, it’s thoroughly enjoyable!
If you could collaborate with one artist or band, who would it be?
‘Tomi Joutsen from Amorphis. I even asked him already do to some growling on the 2nd album but he didn’t reply. So like always, I tried, haha.’
And finally, we asked her if she had anything to plug and the answer was a very fitting sign off for this article…
‘Yeah, go listen to the new album “Cølestine”, give it some love, purchase the CD… It’ll give you some escapism if you’re in a dark place right now.’
Did you enjoy our interview/review? As always keep up to date on all of our content from our Instagram here.