Anneke van Giersbergen couldn’t be happier and more excited to be releasing her most personal album to date: ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ was inspired by heartbreak, but it is also a manifest of how heartbreak can lead into transformation and make way for something new and bright once the dark has been overcome. Anneke comments in her own words: “When I scribbled down some lyric ideas in 2018, I took the first steps on the long road that would lead to the release of ‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest‘. It’s easy to get lost in a sea of self-doubt when you’re writing and recording highly personal songs, but once the album was done, I was able to put my mind at ease. I’m so proud of what we’ve created and release day has finally arrived!”
To show a yet different side of the album’s musical diversity, February 26th saw the release of the brand-new track and video for “I Saw A Car”, which Anneke comments as follows:
“The stomps and plucky brightness might fool you into thinking this was a ditty, but the vulnerable and self-assessing lyrics actually fit the headspace that being expressed throughout the album. This song was written and produced very late in the recording process, but I just instantly knew the track had something special and needed to be included on the album.”
‘The Darkest Skies Are The Brightest’ available now. The album is available as eco-friendly CD Digipak (plastic-free), as 180g Gatefold LP (incl. the album on CD) & as digital album. 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