At the end of last year Anneke van Giersbergen announced the release of her new solo album ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest‘, one of the most important and personal albums in Anneke’s career to date. An album inspired by heartbreak – not something Anneke ever anticipated writing. It will be released on February 26th, 2021.
The third single “Agape” off of said album was released on February 12th, and Anneke is very excited to be sharing this new piece of music with the world. She comments: “Agape refers to the highest form of unconditional love, the type of love we all yearn for. I’ve tried to create a distinct echo of a love song from the ‘70s with a meditative guitar arrangement. The lush sound of a string quartet adds a dreamy quality to the song.” Watch the lyric video for “Agape” below.
‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ is available for pre-order. The album will be available as eco-friendly CD Digipak (plastic-free), as 180g Gatefold LP (incl. the album on CD) & as digital album. It will be released on February 26th, 2021. Pre-order the album here.
The new album’s title,“The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest”, refers to the idea that, when facing personal challenges, we are forced to find answers to life’s biggest questions.But, at this point in her near-three-decade-long music career, this solo album — and, crucially, the heartbreak that inspired it — was not somethingAnneke Van Giersbergenever anticipated writing.
In 2018,Annekebegan working on new material for her metal band,VUUR. Although their debut album,“In This Moment We Are Free – Cities”, was met with a mixed reception, fans were warming up to their heavy, progressive sound.Therefore, a rapid follow-up album would surely establish Anneke’s return to fronting a metal band.However, behind the scenes, these were troubled times.
Annekeshares:“My belief inVUURsaw me spend all my savings on recordingVUUR‘s debut album and taking the band on the road.After completing our first touring cycle, I realized that moreVUURwould mean yet more, huge financial risks.”
To make matters worse, in 2018, her long-lasting marriage, which had always been wonderful, unexpectedly saw a storm approaching. Annekeadds:“I instantly knew I needed to write music about fixing my life.This creative endeavor would be far too personal for aVUURalbum.And it would also require solitude.”
With just her acoustic guitar and basic recording gear,Annekeretreated to a small house near the woods, just outside her hometown of Eindhoven.She let go of the pressures of whatVUUR‘s future might be, and fell into the meditative process of writing a solo album.In 2019, work continued on the new songs.In 2020,Annekeasked her friend and producer,Gijs Coolen, to help finish the album.
Throughout the completion of the album,Anneke‘s fragile, acoustic song stories were fused together with an alchemy of panoramic strings, horns, and percussion.The resulting 11-track record has all the intimacy ofAnnekeserenading an audience of one, combined with surprising departures into swampier, foot-stomping grooves.
The Japanese art of kintsugi has inspiredAnneketo use a repaired heart as the album’s symbol.Kintsugi teaches that bringing together the pieces of a broken object – with the use of a precious metal – value and uniqueness to it.And, instead of giving up on their marriage, Anneke and her husband decided to take the time to mend their bond.They now cherish the repaired heartbreak as something profoundly valuable.
Their journey through this personal storm, and the album thatAnnekecreated in the eye of it, proves that the darkest skies truly are the brightest.
“The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest”track listing:
1.Agape 2.Hurricane 3.My Promise 4.I Saw A Car 5.The Soul Knows 6.The End 7.Keep It Simple 8.Lo And Behold 9.Losing You 10.Survive 11.Love You Like I Love You