Armed with an arsenal of incense, candles and a hefty stack of vinyls reminiscing to the alternative 90’s Eye of NARA summoned herself into the recording of her first album. On the theatrical 11-song record the Dutch Eclectic Alternative act guides listeners through a journey of densely hot and icy cold landscapes, in search of transcendence. The album will be available worldwide on all streaming platforms on 2-2-2022 at 2:22PM.
Who is Eye of NARA?
Eye of NARA’s sound can be best described as an analogue reach to various alternative acts from the 90’s and early 2000’s. Think of acts like Catpower, Portishead, Feist and Radiohead. The songs simultaneously carry a sense of dreaminess and a threatening and heavy load, borrowing from acts such as Jeff Buckley and PJ Harvey in their more weighted elements. Singer-songwriter NARA (Naomi Claessens) starts the project during the first year of her musical education at the Albeda College in Rotterdam and is later supported by multi-instrumentalist and audio engineer Jelle Scholtes, also known as the frontman of Psych Rock trio Baardvader. The past few years they have been performing together on numerous stages and streams, Including WORM Rotterdam and Streamsonic 2022.
The process of SAMSARA
During 2 years of the lockdown Eye of NARA jumped into the proverbial studio, recording the album in 7 different places where they worked with whatever was available to them at the time.
NARA speaks about her personal process and inspiration for making the album:
‘I am strongly convinced by the magnitude of power that music carries. There is only so little that can convey otherwise elusive concepts as clear as music can. I feel connected to the outside world because of it and feel things that were once buried and stuck inside of me coming to life. In my path I struggled a lot with the feeling that I did not belong on this planet. Earth felt like a prison to me. I did not understand humanity and its motivations; routines, cruelty, and an endless fight for power and control. I grew up as an outsider, not only because of my inability to express myself as a regular human being, but also because of the color of my skin growing up in a small racist town. Because of this I spent a big portion of my life inside my head. There was a lot going on in there, really good stuff and great fantasies, but also very sickly thoughts and dark shadows. I ended up getting stuck in the latter and battled mental illness, self-destruction and toxic, abusive relationships with friends, family and lovers for a huge chunk of my childhood and adolescence. When I turned 18 I eventually decided to learn to live with myself, realising that it was a choice between that and death. I did a lot of soul searching and went through hell and back in attempts to heal myself. In the end that healing turned out to be nothing more but facing myself, acceptance and surrender. This process has been going on for more than 7 years now and I have experienced multiple rebirths through it. Through every layer that I shed I feel more free. I feel that I have a specific place in the world and that I can embrace my own unique human form. I also discovered that I am not alone in this experience. In SAMSARA I convey this process of waking up and going back to sleep, of dying and coming back to life, over and over. A constant rediscovery. I share my experience and hope that others will feel connected and seen because of it. My fascination with mystic and spiritual traditions has been ingrained in symbolism through everything. If you know how to look, everything has meaning. That’s one of the most gratifying lessons I’ve learned throughout the past few years.’
Live sessions & Theatre Tour
After releasing the album, Eye of NARA will be interacting with its audience by releasing 3 live sessions in unique locations and playing live shows around the Netherlands. Right now they are working on putting together a theatertour of 6 shows that will be held in April and May in venues such as Greyspace, WORM and Walhalla Theater, where they will join hands with dancers, performance artists and other visual creatives to present the album in a unique way. This too will be captured on film and released on Youtube and Instagram when the tour has ended.